Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A 20 Minute Drive Makes Me 10 Years Older

This past weekend was my 10 year Brandeis University reunion. While I debated whether or not I should go, since many of my closest friends wouldn't be able to attend, I felt compelled to be there. I live less than 20 minutes from campus, and had no other major plans for the day, so I couldn't justify sitting at home instead.

I signed up for the Saturday daytime events, and drove to campus by myself early that morning. And I missed the turn off of Route 30. I can't tell you how many times I've been through that intersection, and it made me laugh. But, in my defense, it was my first time actually being the driver on that route, since I didn't have a car back then. Pulling up to the half-circle driveway was surreal. The campus volunteers pointing out the parking lot were SO YOUNG, and how could I possibly be older than them? It was a similar set up to our first day on campus, when you spent time waiting in the parking lot until there was room for your car near the dorm, and while I didn't feel quite as excited as I did in 1996, I did feel like I was home.

The day went by quickly. I picked up my registration materials in the room where we used to hold weekly Shabbat dinners, big enough to accommodate a crowd of 400, but now feeling so small. I attended a lecture on health care featuring two of my old professors in one of the new buildings on campus, realizing I can't remember what the building was that used to be there (though I think it might have been where BEMCo, the Brandeis Emergency Medial Corps, of which I was a member, albeit a very fractional one, was). Marc and the kids arrived after going to services, and it was raining, so the BBQ that should have been outdoors was held under a big tent. We all got fairly wet, but the kids enjoyed the bouncy house, Build-a-Bear craft and balloon animals. We waited around until the class photo, and it was amazing to see how many of us were actually there. I took some photos of the kids by the Justice Brandeis statue (hello, admissions applications of 2021 and 2025!), and then Hannah and I took a quick tour of the library and the old student center before arriving at the Castle. I was lucky enough to live there sophomore year, but was a bit sad to see that living conditions hadn't improved at all for all of the students since then. We had our ice cream sundaes and I had a few conversations, but the highlights were getting to see old friends Carl and Arye. Hannah and I walked back across campus and spent a little time in the troubled Rose Art Museum before heading home.

It was a great day, and I'm glad I went. Looking back now, my time at Brandeis went by in the blink of an eye, and it was fun to revisit the person I used to be then.

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