May 20th, 2014


Another Old Bear Moment

Last Friday as I walked around the U of I campus, I had numerous flashbacks to all of the good times I had when I was going to college. People who say that high school are the best years of your life probably went right into the service or some factory after graduation. I was fortunate to have had a fairly "typical" college experience for the time where you went from high school to college and could concentrate 100% on your studies and where you would graduate 4 years later with your degree. I thought I had the perfect balance of studies and socialization. There were many late-night pizza-and-beer sessions as well as many hair-pulling periods of studying physics, calculus, or organic chemistry.

So the old nostalgia part of my brain really fired up as I walked past the dorm to see parents and their kids struggling to fit everything into their vehicles for the trip home. Oh yes! I remember move-in/move-out days very well! I even had a flashback to 30 years ago when I first made the move. It was that "30 years" part that made me go, "Damn! Has it been THAT long?!?" And just like I though last year as I walked through the SIU campus, "These kids weren't even born when I was going to school! They could be MY kids!"

It also felt good to see so many kids running around in the caps and gowns. I wanted to go up to each and every one of them and congratulate them for their accomplishment. Once again I remembered the excitement (and relief) I felt as I stood with thousands of other grads in Assembly Hall. Being a geology grad I had little cardboard dinosaurs attached to my mortarboard. The nostalgia kept going all weekend as NPR had a few stories about famous commencement speeches. I can't remember what was said at mine, but the speaker (a businessman who donated millions to the university) was actually pretty articulate and funny. Oh, so much promise and optimism as I faced the future, now replaced by bitterness and jadedness. *lol* Not really. The future is still so bright, I gotta wear shades.