Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Bittersweet Homecoming

I'm not sure why they call it homecoming. Tufts may have been my home once, but it's not anymore, and it will never be again. So when I went back to Tufts for homecoming last weekend, I wasn't really going home. I didn't really belong there anymore.

It was nice to be back at Tufts and see my old haunts, but I was looking at everything as an outsider.

Some things were just as I had left them. South Hall, where I spent three years of my college life, still looks more like a castle than a dorm. But I no longer have a Jumbo FOB to let me in. I watched the students coming in and going out with a little bit of jealousy.

South, once the newest, cleanest, and most modern dorm, is now upstaged by the new dorm, a modern looking building with huge windows and fun, colorful furniture. The new dorm was not the only addition to the campus.

The new music building, promised for so long, is finally almost finished. Aidekman, the old music building, is still there and the new building will connect to it. I spent many happy hours postering for the music department at Aidekman. The pictures on the walls next to Balch Arena are still of productions from when I was a student, which made me feel like it really hasn't been that long. Then I went downstairs and saw the completely redone basement. The dingy, cockroach infested basement was done up with state of the art practice rooms.

I had to stop by Dewick, the dining hall where I worked for four years, but I drew the line at going in and eating, no matter how badly I wanted a piece of white pizza. I did, however, say hi to one of the ladies who worked there who claimed to remember me (she could have been being polite) and she informed me that the dining halls are shockingly now opened to 9 and that fewer students are TUDDING (working in the dining hall). The full time workers are not happy.

Perhaps the biggest shock of all was 154 West Adams Street, my off campus home before I went abroad. It actually looks like a nice place to live now. Everything gets better after I leave.

Homecoming itself was an interesting experience as I'd never been even while I was at Tufts. I didn't go to the football game (I am told that there was actually a game), but I did learn that Tufts has a marching band and a cheerleading squad. Who knew?

I opted instead for tailgater's village where college graduates from as recently as a year ago to as long ago as say 50 years ago (that's not an accurate number, just a guess) can get together to relive their glory days.

Reconnecting with people I didn't care enough about to stay in touch with in the first place seemed superficial. It's a little tiring to have to explain to people what arts journalism is (I stupidly assumed it would be self-explanatory), especially when I know they don't care/I won't see them again until the next reunion I choose to go to.

This sounds pretty pessimistic of me. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people who meant a lot to me in college and those are the people that made homecoming worth it (the free food helped although it was not of Dewick quality).

Graduating from college was hard for me. I really love Tufts and I do still miss it. But I know that I have to let go. So going back home was really a way to say goodbye.

This doesn't have to do with Tufts, but the T (the Boston subway) is finally getting rid of tokens. The "Charlie cards" as the new entry cards are called are so much more convenient and you can finally pay with credit cards. The drawback is that the new machines are not available in all the stations yet so if you arrive in Boston and load up a card full of money, you might be stuck having to buy tokens on top of that.

No comments: