This weekend I went down to Corvallis. I intended to go to see my friend Rachel Becker, who was also visiting Corvallis at the time. I also wanted to see my Corvallis family. The driving itself was uneventful. I did the drive that I had done a thousand times before with as little fanfare as something so mundane deserves. As soon as I arrived in Corvallis, I went to the Honors College on the OSU campus, because I knew they would be closing soon on Friday afternoon. It was fairly slow, so I got to talk to my good friend and old coworker Rebekah. According to her, nothing has changed at the UHC. It was all exactly as it had been before my tenure and during apparently. The dean wasn’t there, so I didn’t get to say hi to him, but as I wandered around campus, I got the distinct impression that I hadn’t left much of an impression at all. Of course, I still ran into people I knew even two years after I graduated. But it seemed to me like it was a place where I was no longer welcome. I had tons of memories of my time there, and I realized I don’t want to be done with the university scene. There are too many things I enjoy about it, and I don’t want to lose them. It was a strange feeling; a disjoint in me that at once felt like I wish I had done more yet also knew that I had done so much more than most people. I don’t know that I could have been more involved than I was, and yet, I wanted more still.
I went to my Grandpa’s house and found him mowing the lawn. I checked my work email to make sure there were no fires to tend while he finished, then we went out to dinner. Shortly after, I met Rachel at the Darkside Cinema, a relatively new independent theater in Corvallis (why didn’t they have it when I was there?). We saw a documentary on Bettie Page that turned out to be fairly interesting. Afterwards, we found a park and talked until 2 a.m.
The next day was all about eating. After I got up, Grandpa made pancakes and bacon. Shortly after that I met Rachel for lunch at a Thai place next to the campus. I wandered around the campus some more, but only got more of the weird and very uncomfortable feeling, so I left, heading to Aunt Diana and Uncle Les’s just in time for dinner. After dinner I stayed and chatted for a while, then headed back to Grandpa’s to give up and call it a night. Sunday morning I didn’t even get breakfast. I felt so out of place in Corvallis, so steeped in past emotions and memories and people, that I needed to escape.
I’m not sure what to think about this weekend. I’m glad that I have my Corvallis family. They’re a good bunch. I’m glad I got to see Rachel. She’s good, too. But I have very strange feelings about the university now, and in talking to some people, that’s common. There are some people and some relationships that could have happened very differently.