I headed east to be present for a conference that takes place tomorrow. I stopped by the HR department of my employer on the way through to pick up a 10 year “service award”. It was a small pin and a notepad cover. Though the “award” was paltry, I looked at the pin and and thought how proud my grandfather would be that I was receiving an award for working for his alma mater for a decade.
After leaving the administration building, I thought I would go for a walk around campus on that beautiful afternoon – stretch my legs before the last short leg of my trip. I thought about my time in school there and the fun and stressful moments. I started to walk towards my old office building, but was repelled by the memory of anxiety over work, papers, and classes that never ended. So, I went a different direction and was impressed with the number of young people on campus, the feeling of potential energy and accomplishment and work.
My image of college is one of a place for progress and learning, for friendships and freedom. And, I am saddened by the events that happened yesterday at my other college town – so incongruous.