Occasionally alma mater notifies me about attending orientation sessions for prospective or incoming students. At these klatches it’s hoped alums will attend and act as gushy founts of information (the more arcane the better) regarding the school as well as be enthusiastic ambassadors. In the promotional sense, not as negotiators.
My high point for transitioning cosseted high school graduates into women and men bearing the Arizona crest ended somewhere in the late 90s. Eighteen years after the fact represents a generational change. The place I knew has evolved into something unfamiliar.
Had my 18-year-old self attended one of our 1977 events, how might I have evaluated descriptions of the 1959 institution? A perceptive teen, sure I could’ve extrapolated another’s undergraduate years into my present. But doesn’t the overwhelming majority of that age-set looks askance at the old, considering the “ancient” irrelevant to their then lives?
At 18, who sees him- or herself at 36? While at 36, doesn’t 18 habitually become even more burnished?
Yet through the 1990s I made dutiful facetime. I owed alma. Am I not obliged to her until my will is recited before survivors? (Won’t that be a jack-in-the-box!) The 2500 miles between Sonora Desert and Northeast excited me with unknowns. The sort which never would’ve infused me had I remained coddled here within the familiar region and among equally mired contemporaries.
The adult fondly recalls the teen; the young adult never could’ve conceived of today. Continue reading Bleed Red and Blue