Saturday, April 01, 2006

nostalgia [nä-'stal-j&]
a bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past; the condition of being homesick; homesickness.
Synonyms include: longing, pining, reminiscence

For the last 3 days I’ve been working with our inside sales supervisor on a project that involves making calls to university bookstores. At first I was apprehensive because I hate customer service and the possibility of telemarketing made me sick. BUT, this was not that kind of task. For those who don’t know, I work for a company who publishes textbooks and scholarly journals. There’s a new sociology book that’s coming out with a new edition and my job was to call university bookstores, speak with a textbook manager and then ask for the name of the professor who used that book in their class. If they can’t give me much contact information, I’ve had to go into the school websites and look up the info myself. I had to look up about 120 websites in the last 3 days! It was actually cool to look through the sites and see their campuses, their programs and student life, etc. If websurfing were as popular when we were looking for colleges, I think the application process would’ve been a whole different experience! There’s SOO much information on these websites that visiting the campuses (although recommended) doesn’t even seem necessary!

So, overrun with glimpses of college life in schools like the University of Wyoming, Xavier University and Skidmore College, I went onto UCI’s website (just for fun) and perused for a good 20 minutes. I looked up grad school info and checked to see if some of my old professors are still there and they are! (Dr. Nelson and Dr. Jacobson – history, Dr. Dalton – poli sci, Dr. Garb – Global Peace & Conflict studies, Dr. O’Connell – sociology and, I cringed at her sight because I got really awful flashbacks: Dr. DaSilva, my chemical engineering professor who taught my very first core class and who gave me my very first F. I owe that nice lady lunch or something for forcing me to admit how much I hated my major. Hahaha!). I can hardly believe it’s been 6 years.

I just have to laugh when I think about everything that happened in my 4 quarters in the School of Engineering: trying to stay awake for an 8 am, 80-min physics lecture; trying to understand all my ESL professors who I’m sure were the smartest people in the field, but thank goodness for Clone Notes (goooo Andrew!); driving to PSLH from Middle Earth with Joe and Cahloh cuz our asses were too lazy to walk 10 minutes up Ring Road; walking in the rain after a calculus final that I thought I failed and then seeing Cile and Pat’s expressions when I walked into the room soaking wet; my 9-hour Thursdays (8-9:20 am: Physics, 10-11 am discussion, 12-4 chem lab, 4-5 another discussion); trisquits and butter, Mama Celeste pizza topped with Doritos (Geez! Who eats like this!). Anyhow, it was ALL FUN-the stress, the procrastination, the new friendships - ALL OF IT. It's a nice time to look back on, when life was relatively more predictable, laid out for you, less uncertain. Though I love my life right now, with all its spontaneity and promise, I can’t help but wish that sometimes life was as simple as it used to be; when friends just had fun together, there were no bills to pay and no 40 hours/week to dread every Sunday. 1996-2000, good times…

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