I write this post from a Comfort Inn in Richfield, Utah, having completed the first leg of my cross country drive (or x-country x-cursion as I have dubbed it) so I can attend both my niece’s Bat Mitzvah in New York and three weeks later my Williams Reunion in Billsville and in the between time, visiting friends and family on the east coast while taking time to pay homage to the subject of my dissertation at her North American shrine.

And in the past few days, few weeks really, I have spent much of my time remembering Williams, with odd memories cropping up at strange moments.  Because this is a big reunion (25th), the college sent out a facsimile of our original Facebook, only replacing our dorm and high school information with our current address and professional situation.  So, I page through it, particularly at moments when I needed a break from dissertation writing (or was procrastinating that writing) and remember classmates and wonder at their current situation.  I never would have thunk he or she would end up in the UK.  Or that he would teach high school.  Or she go into finance.

And her spouse is a woman!?!?  (Cool!)  But, she and Steve (not his real name) were the most coupled people at Williams, smooching in the snack bar, holding hands in Hopkins.  Their relationship didn’t last, but it was fascinating to note how many of our classmates married other classmates.  Some relationships just made sense. Of course they’d end up together.  But, they didn’t date at Williams, did they?  (In many cases, they did not.)

And then there were people I wished I had gotten to know better or had made the effort to meet.  And those with whom I lost contact (and regretted as much).  Thanks to Facebook, I have gotten in touch with several of my classmates, learning that one man comes up with better one-liners than some people who earn their living writing such lines in Hollywood.  (Was he this witty at Williams?)

Two things to note, some of the sharpest memories I have are of freshman year (and I do hope that that is not the same for my classmates about me).  And then, there’s something a classmate said to me when after learning (via Facebook that he was in LA for a few months) we got together for lunch.  As we talked about reunion and our class; he remarked how despite the size of the school, people had so many different experiences there.  So many people loved the place–and for so many different reasons.

It is amazing the diversity at such a small college.

For some it was the Theater Department, another this PoliEc Professor, others found that Rugby made Williams special.  While still others loved the snack bar.  And for many, particularly of my generation, it was the Log.  Or the Purple Pub.  For me, it was my most excellent track and cross country coach, some extraordinary professors and our fellow students willing to hold forth passionately on any matter of subject.  And the snack bar.  Not to mention my fellow runners.  And rushing to class on a cold fall morning just as the leaves were beginning to turn.  And the snack bar.  Or studying conservative political theory with a Marxist gourmand (the finest professor I ever had–and I’ve studied at seven post-secondary institutions.)

I have more thoughts in this vein.  And if no one objects, I would be delighted to blog my cross country drive the best as I can when my thoughts/experiences on that route relate to Williams.

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