- Damn, but we look good! What happened to the class of 1985? Everyone else from 1980 on back looked great, too. Why did nearly everyone in my class get a Ph.D. or become a physician? Attorneys were present, but thin on the ground compared to the M.D.s and Ph.D.s
- The progression of age is gradual but clearly visible in 5-year increments when one attends reunions faithfully. Most of us still stay in the dorm, but the complaints are getting louder and louder about the accommodations. At the 15th reunion, people started schlepping their own special pillows from home. By the 20th, it’s all “Did we really use these grungy bathrooms? I can’t even turn around in this shower! They haven’t changed the fixtures since 1982. Why can’t they do something about this rusty pipe?” And their music these days–its just noise! The dorms are great for people with families, but I have a feeling that those who are on their own will be hitting the area hotels harder as of the 25th reunion.
- The student helpers in our dorm were really sweet and enthusiastic–one was a recent grad whose nervousness and excitement about her future were charmingly apparent. She told me she was glad to see that there are alumnae with happy lives and careers because her classmates are all so pessimistic about life after college now.
- People who had their stuff together in college have their stuff together now.
- People who drank a lot in college still drink a lot at reunions, but they’re a lot of fun. (That second bottle of wine on Friday night was nice, but as it turns out, unnecessary!)
- Were there really all of these trees here? (Or does it just seem especially leafy and insanely green and lush coming from Colorado?)
- Weekend highlight: there were several members of the class of 1940 there, who are all now in their 90s. One of them stood up at an outdoor sing-a-long and sang a class song from her day about a girl who became a cocaine addict. True.
- I heard a horrible tenure denial story and an update on a horrible adjunct situation that never turned tenure-track from two classmates. The only reason I’m tenured and they’re not is nothing but dumb luck.
- A recent building renovation has razed the classroom where I had my first history class in college. I remember distinctly that I impressed the professor in that class by having done the reading and being willing to discuss it. (Imagine that! I think I said something about the Carolingian empire being an “empire” in name only, with only a veneer of administrative control. The professor was impressed enough to turn up his hearing aid when I raised my hand again.) It was my formative experience as a historian, and I remember it now nearly 24 years later quite clearly. I remember the smell of the trimmed boxwood shrub rising in the mid-September afternoon heat as I ran late into the classroom building. Now it’s all gone–the boxwood shrub, the little garden outside that building, the old wooden steps, the polished brass stair rail, and the door fixtures built to look medieval in about 1928.
- Tempus fugit, friends. It is swift, and it will all be gone. Make ye merry, while ye may, and all that.