Remember that soul-searching about the MA versus MFA? How each day I picked a different grad school and it was never Southampton? How my thesis, wherever I did it, would be creative nonfiction? And living in a dorm again? I remember Beth's pros/cons list for my grad school life. In the Southampton cons category was "weird bio major friends."
I found a freedom here that I never experienced at Cortland. At Cortland I had laughter and injuries and wonderful teammates, but I could only be real around a few friends and my PWR-ers, and that only came in the late-middle to the end. Maybe it was my existential crises, maybe it was just everyone around me who wanted to get wasted and stand in crowded bars every weekend. (Now, dancing with Emeline or throwing darts with Rachel as we tried to avoid our emo lives yet always complicated them further -- those were good nights at the bar!)
Maybe I came here expecting I wouldn't fit in. Twenty-two compared to seventeen and eighteen. What could we have in common besides being in the same place? How could they like me when I'd be the one pouring out their beer?
After crying and dancing with Deana, Sarah, Caralyn, nearly all of Shelter one night, being hit on by Jeremy, ice cream trips, weekend nights coloring and playing games, nights in Suite 1 with Dom, Dusty, Fernando Jason, Paul, LOU (so notorious), roaming in sweats and pajama pants, prancing outside for kickball and zombie attacks, Lauren living here, Deana and her tequila and vulgarity, this pretty fantastic boy I happened to meet, bursting into song whenever someone's statement triggers a lyrical connection--it's safe to say that I'm more a me here than I ever was there. "It's like Diana Gone Wild!" as Kim once said.
This year's been a bit of a letdown. The caliber of freshmen decidedly poor, the destructive derelicts outshining the intelligent, inquisitive ones. The "omg I'm eighteen and this is the first time I've ever drank!!!" The "omg I love weed!!!" So I've more or less hidden. In some ways, I wish I did more. At the same time, I had this thing called a thesis to do. So I suppose it balances. On the plus side, we've gained Flosef, Bryan the soon-to-be Escort, John who rivals Sassy Gay Friend, and beer pong with 21-year-old residents and Sean with his "cream soda."
At the end of the day, I want to write and to teach. My degree will let me teach. But I want life experiences that inform my stories and my wisdom. I will be better at both for living more.
On to the next adventure.
It's pretty awesome that my students gave me such high ratings.
Although I wonder what prospective employers who ask to see student evaluations will think when they read,"This class was good because it taught me to write good" or "let us no when things are due"...