Waltham Weekly 8
It's All Too Much
10 November 1998
It's been a while, eh? Where've y'all been? Come to think of it, the question is more relevant as to where I've been. I've been more neglectful of everybody than the US Govt. is neglectful of the interests of world peace. & that, my friends, is pretty darn neglectful. To all of you, I extend major apologies. My list of excuses is long & my life has been busy & the sine curve has been bouncing up & down faster than the ping pong ball at our new table. Forgive me please & understand that I don't care any less just because I've been in less contact. Personal e-mails will come soon within the reasonable limits of time, but college is a darn busy experience.
The last pair of weeks have been marked by seeing a lotta folks I hadn't seen in quite a while & this was pretty darn cool. Spiffy, one might even say. Jake & Freez were up here for the last weekend in October & the first in November (Halloween time), to see the sights of New England on Halloween... people really get into it here. Then my mumsy & daddy paid a visit this past weekend for parents' weekend... just informed me that they've returned to Abq. safely. Oh yeah, & I've had most of my midterms (2 last week), a coupla papers here & there, & a few roaring good migraines to boot. I'm leaving for UPenn's 4-day Model UN session this coming Thursday morning, giving me all of 40 hours between now & then to do a couple days worth a work & try to write most of you some personal stuff. College life has it's ups & downs, but both are filled to the brim. Extremes in high school look like east-coast "mountains" as compared to Denali.
Gate C-31 at Logan (Boston's) Airport got back-to-back visits from me on Friday afternoons at 4:07 pm.... Jake came in from Atlanta EXACTLY one week before my parents did... on the precise same flight at the same time at the same gate. Delta probably routes flights from New York to Boston through Atlanta. Evidently someone else made both of those flights as well, cuz he bothered to come up to me & ask if I worked at the Logan Airport. I said "no, why?" & he said that he saw me here last time he was in Logan (one week previous), recognized my attire (i.e. the Mariners jacket), & wondered why I kept showing up. It was probably a good question, in retrospect. Being at the bag claims with both parties (Freez & Jake on the 30th & my parents on the 6th) has to be one of the odder experiences in recent memory... redefining friendships (imagine... parents as friends who visit once in a while!) without transition is fun! But I think I've learned that one can maintain friendships across miles & months... after all, every one of you (save 2 people who I don't see that often... John & Mesco... & two more who I see even less... Lisha & Lauren) is quite a distance away & it's working out, right? So it goes.
Jake & Freez & John & I ended up hanging out here & over at John's beloved BU.... just in time for a fire alarm in the latter case, involving being introduced to Boston weather in late late evening with only one full layer of clothing. Wonderbar, in John's words. But we survived, stronger for it, & in time to receive a call from Kunx & Fish who were sharing the UCLA experience for the weekend... 4-way speaker phone (Freez couldn't make it & Kunx & Fish kept having to juggle the call) is an experience not to be missed. Then Jaque & I got to ride the subway home later than we thought it ran... contemplating a 5-10 mile walk back to Waltham in 35-degree weather with some fairly fierce winds. But this was avoided & we made it back in time for a miniparty in Andy's & my room... replete with our colored lights & much a-singing of Counting Crows, with whom I've become completely obsessed in the past couple of weeks. I'll give back Stina's copy of their new live album someday, I promise. Really, I will. Remember your graduation presents, Fish? Here's everything I owe everyone already.....!
Then I had a week with 2 midterms, 2 papers, & a whole lotta ping-pong. Our floor bought a ping-pong table to discover that frickin' everybody on our floor is really darn good at ping-pong.... esp. the foreign students. Eliaii & Kunx, I'm going to be ready to ping it up this December, you can count on that! Eric, Ashwin, & I have fully replaced sleep with ping-pong... considering that Andy jumps up & shouts to the rooftops if I so much as walk in the room while he's sleeping, I usually have to spend the bulk of the night elsewhere anyway. Something about a ping-pong table just increases a sense of camaradarie & makes everyone feel better about life. Or something. It's a vast improvement, that much is sure.
My parents have been here for the past few days & that's just been a bit wacky. It was the first time the 3 of us were together outside of New Mexico in about 4 years, so that was strange enough, but I also haven't seen them for a record 2+ months & that makes everything just a little more funky. I showed them a good bit of Boston & the dining hall food & the ping-pong table & we all got used to being a little less parents & child & a little more friends & friend. It'll never completely shift, which is good, but transitions have been in order, there is little doubt. Then again, everything's always in flux... we're always changing as Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) would put it.
I'm beginning to associate the sound of the commuter rail approaching the Brandeis/Roberts station with the concept of saying goodbye to someone else... this is a scene repeated in each of the last 3 weekends. So, for a switch, I'm taking off to UPenn for a 4-day session of MUN on Thursday morning... I'll be back sometime Sunday night. The next couple weeks should be a lull period in academics 'round here... the time between midterms & due dates for term papers is usually about as lax as it gets. A good time to take a break.
People keep asking me what college life is like. Those who are in college are getting a pretty good picture, I'm sure. But for those of you who haven't been yet (or in a while), I have to admit that it's not really like anything. Or maybe it's like everything. The level of everything is made a bit more extreme & is a bit heightened... not necessarily the work or the academics, but since one is living in the exact same place as one goes to school & does all their recreational activities, everything is that much more intense. One can't retreat to their own room, because it's shared space. Everything here is always shared & constantly grouped... this makes the fun more fun & the loneliness more intense as well. The sine curve metaphor's been stretched even further out in both directions, so it's Everest to the Mariana Trench & back again every day, more or less. Things MOVE in college. Fast.
Since I've been so doggone neglectful, I'll try to make up for it with some semi-personal stuff in the following lines... as personal as I can get here & now... I can't promise to be more correspondant in the future, but I'll try as much as I can. Rest assured that I'm still here & thinking about all of you, even if I can't always be borrowing Andy's computer & writing all of you. Ethernet card... well, Eric's trying to get me a cheap one through his "connections", but it might be another week or so. Sorry, guys... I'll ICQ/AOLIM y'all soon as possible... it's the "possible" part that sometimes remains an issue....
Jake, Freez, Mom, & Dad, it was great to see all of you, in the varieties of times & contexts in which I saw you all. I hope you enjoyed your time here as much as I did. I look forward to seeing you all again in December & January!
Gemma & Jenny, congrats on the FBK stuff & everything... wish I could've been there, but I can't fly down to FL ALL the time, can I? No, realistically.... but I'm very proud of you two in your successes in forensics & in surviving junior year... even if you aren't doing LD as much as you should! Just kidding, of course...
Kate, I'll try to call you soon & we can work out this coming weekend & Thanksgiving stuff as well... receiving the parade package in the mail has gotta be one of the biggest oddest surprises I've had in a long long time.... all my friends here wanted to call you with a variety of random comments, but suffice it to say that it made an impact. We'll talk soon...
Shan & Fish, I know, I know, I really owe both of you a lotta e-mail... really long detailed messages. You both understand how busy college life is, though, so hopefully you'll forgive me. I hope you both are having the time of your life at your respective western universities...
Barrett, any debate news to report? The LD squad at AA really is gonna be gone after this year, isn't it?
Lauren, I keep bumping into you at random times in Harvard Square & it seems like every time I'm rushing off somewhere... sometime we might even get a chance to talk for a while!
Kunx, it was good talking to you & it's great to hear that you're enjoying college so much.
Mesco, I told you so, I told you so, nyah! ;p
Don't let the sine curve, the man, or Jehuda getchya down! Life is. Whatever you can make of that, do so, & with much energy. Sometimes life seems to demand more than we want to give, but as the cliche goes, it never really demands more than we're capable of. & if it does demand more than we can give, heck, there's always next time.
Take care, everyone. I really do love you all....
"Round here we're never send to bed early
and nobody makes us wait
round here we stay up very very very very late"
-Counting Crows, "Round Here"
the Past has come and gone
the Future's far away
but Now only lasts for one second
[Quotes thanks to Hootie]