October 5-7, 2007. My 10 year class reunion @ Beloit College.
I never understood the whole reunion thing. Let's face it. I vowed on my high school graduation I'd never go to any of those reunions. After all, why go back to someplace you wished you never wanted to be in the first place, let alone someplace where you never felt like you belonged? There's no interest revisiting who I was in high school.
Which makes going back to Beloit College interesting. I went there as a part-time student for 2 years and as a full time student for 2 years until graduation finally happened. When I was there, I just wanted to get a degree. What I did was prove a lot of things to myself. I discovered my self worth, who I am, how I feel about life and my ability to change whatever happens in it. My college career was a new lease on life, and I went for it. The end result...a BA in Theatre/Communications (Radio/TV emphasis) and a self designed minor in Gay and Lesbian Studies. You saw that right...and I've been told from one of the members of the Alumni office that I'm the first to graduate with that minor. Talk about my own personal claim to LGBT history!
At the reunion, I visited some of the old buildings I had classes in, not to mention the library, the commons area and places I was with friends and colleagues. It was like I never left. For the first time in ten years, I felt that "new lease on life" feeling again. Walking around on the campus...it was as if I never left. Meeting the other alums was a trip...who'd think that talking with other folks who experienced life on this same campus would come back in that swirling mood of reflection and rejuvenation all over again?
When I drove home Sunday morning from the alumni breakfast in the commons area, that's when I got it. We go back to reunions wanting to visit a temple of our familiar. We know we can never physically go back to a place and time where we experienced a special connection (for lack of a better word) in our life, but we can go back to it in our current place and time knowing the connection lives inside us, ready to awaken when we step on that physical place.