Yesterday I had an appointment on Ohio State’s campus. This was my first time back on campus since I’d come back from Germany, so I decided to leave the house early and hang around on campus for a few hours before my appointment. Heck, college was one of the best times of my life (hopefully there will be many more to come), and I wanted to revisit the places and people that made that all possible.
You know the first thing that hit me when I got to campus? How much construction can make getting from point A to point B a bloody maze. Not kidding, I’d actually forgot that. I got off the bus near the north residential district of campus, and I thought it would be a quick matter of walking down the street. Little did I would have to take about three different detours due to all the construction going on in that district. And all to get to my old workplace!
The second thing I forgot was walking around campus in below-freezing weather. You’d think I’d remember that–I was a student for four years and I’ve lived in Ohio for most of my life–but no, I was still shocked by how freaking cold I was and I really hated myself for forgetting my scarf. The cold is something you can taste, a dry taste that takes the air out of your lungs and skins your throat raw. Even a few minutes is bad enough that once you get inside, you need a few minutes of doing absolutely nothing so as to regain your body warmth without losing any more energy.
But besides a horrible maze of buildings and cold that feels like it’s ripping off your skin, being back on campus was a great experience. I got to see my old coworkers and had about the same conversation twenty times, telling people about Germany and what was going on in my life. Everyone at work agreed that the Student Financial Aid office was quieter without me, and that they missed my personality.
After that I visited a few of my old professors (it was the first day of classes at OSU, so nearly all the teachers I wanted to see were around). It was great running into them again. In one case I almost literally ran into a professor: on the way to see him, I came out of the stairwell, turn the corner, and nearly walk into him as he’s going to the bathroom. He was like, “Whoa!” and then he said, “Take a seat in my office, I’ll be right there.” We had a nice conversation after he got back.
Another professor I got to see was the teacher who taught two of my classes, including my science fiction literature class (yes, I took that and a History of Witchcraft course. Be jealous of me!). I gave her a book of early twentieth century sci-fi stories I picked up in Germany as a gift, figuring she’d get way more out of it than I did even if she was retiring at the end of the semester. She also told me an interesting story: during the previous semester, she was teaching about the “7 Beauties of Science Fiction”, and how there is a similar list for fantasy. Apparently one student did a Google search online about this, and found “an author who did posts on the beauties of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. And his name’s Rami Ungar.” My teacher was like, “I know him!” So like a ghost, I still haunt the school.
Walking on campus was an interesting experience, to say the least. While I’d been a student, I’d felt like a member of a giant mass of something big. And now, I’m an alumnus. Strangely, I felt a little weird walking among all those students. I was one of them, but I wasn’t. It was like being a big kid on a playground filled with younger children: you used to be part of that crowd, but now it’s a little weird, though I was probably the only one who saw it that way. I kept expecting someone to come up and say to me, “You’re no longer one of us.” It definitely was a new experience for me, but I think by the end of things I got a little used to it.
After that, lunch, and my appointment, I went to visit OSU Hillel, the Jewish organization on campus that I’d frequented at least once a week nearly every week for my undergraduate career, and it had barely changed since I left. Sure, there were a few new things here and there, but on the whole most of it stayed the same. Hillel’s like that, in a weird way: no matter the changing faces, it kind of stays static, as if to let people know that no matter how much time flies, OSU Hillel’s there for them.
Well, it certainly was a wonderful and interesting day for me. A real trip down memory lane, and I was glad to come back. It made me realize how much I missed OSU, not unlike how I miss Germany. And the good thing is, despite my weird feelings of being “too big” for campus, I felt like I belonged there, like this was still a home for me. I guess once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye, right? Like the blogging community or your circle of fellow authors, you know that even after a long absence you’ll be accepted back and given all the friendship and help you could possibly need. And I absolutely love that about Ohio State and its people.
And I’ll be back on campus tomorrow for another appointment. Given my impressions from yesterday, I’m likely to have just as good a time as yesterday. Until then, I’ve got things to do, so I’ll wrap it up here. Have a good day, my Followers of Fear.
Oh, and there’s only a few days left for the 2016 New Year’s Sale. You have till Thursday to get to Amazon, Createspace, or Smashwords to get a copy of any of my books at a great price. Trust me, this is not an opportunity you’ll want to miss.