I never left Furman. I’ve got two and a half degrees from there, and it counts for half of my family income. I’ve seen and tracked the changes over time, with new buildings, new faces, and new atmospheres. It’s amazing how one becomes so attached to a place, especially one where most people only spend four years.
I wouldn’t have it any other way, but sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be one of the almuni who make it back only once every ten years or so. Would the changes be too startling to be reconciled with my memory of the place? Would I like it less or more, not having seen the growth as it happens? I chatted with an old friend who had not been back in ten years, and she asked if it was “weird” never really leaving. From her perspective, I guess so, but it is what I’ve lived with for the past 21 years, so to me it seems normal.
Homecoming always makes one keenly aware of the passage of time, but often in unexpected ways. Seeing long lost friends throws me back in time, and in some ways, things go back as if they hav never changed. Seeing current students, and how incredibly young they are, doesn’t really make me feel older. As a teacher, that’s just something I’ve come to expect – kids grow up. What does make me feel old is when I see alumni with families and children, thinking they are about my age, and find out they graduated in the 1990’s. Not THAT’s scary.
It was a great weekend, made even greater by Furman’s victory over rival Georgia Southern.