This weekend I attended my college reunion, and it was far more fun than I expected. I went to a SLAC only a few hours' drive from Small Town, so it wasn't too much trouble to attend, but I didn't have high expectations. I figured I would catch up with a few people, get away for a few days, see how things had changed and maybe get some work done. Instead, I got nothing useful accomplished and I'm still paying slightly for a late night last night. But it was totally worth it.
I found that people haven't changed at all, except that we all have a "plus one" that we drag around now. My college has changed very little; I could almost trick myself into thinking I had never left.
I got to visit my old advisors as well as one of my favorite professors, who was (and still is) an adjunct, though she's no longer working for the SLAC that I attended. It was interesting to talk to her now that I'm on "her side"...we discussed teaching, student attitudes, and whether everyone should really go to college. I was reminded of how shitty a place academia can be, when someone as amazing as she is is scrambling for positions. I can only hope I do half as good a job with my gig.
I'll be looking forward to the next reunion, when I'm sure I won't be the only one in my class with a PhD (I was surprised -- I assume someone out there has theirs as well, but didn't show up) -- there are plenty of people still working through their grad programs. I do admit to taking a small amount of pride in having that title when a room full of classmates didn't...which probably makes me a jerk.
Now it's back to work, with a lingering jealousy left over from a visit to the fancy science building at my alma mater.
21 hours ago