Home, or away

That’s what we were discussing before we left Purdue for the summer. Are we going home, or are we going away for the summer? It’s really hard to tell. I’ve spent most of the last 9 months at Purdue, and made so many great friends there that it blurs the line between home and away.

Well, it was an incredible year. I said that I would withhold my thoughts about what college would be like before I got there, so I’ll share them with you now. Actually, I already did, it was incredible. It was totally different from anything that I had ever done. I was living by myself, more or less, for the first time, which takes some adjusting to. Then there was the complete change of schedule, which I can’t get used to, since the nearly everything else in the world doesn’t work that way. It was the strangest thing having different classes on different days, being able to sleep in until 2 pm on particular weekdays, not that I could ever do that, and doing things like staying up until 3 am, just to watch a movie.

There were also a lot of great memories from my first year. Several of them can be summed up on “The Quote Board” created and maintained by some of my friends who lived down the hall from me.

I’m going to try and go in chronological order for this, so that means that I have to start with band. A lot of that was fun, going to Notre Dame, and marching, or going to El Paso for the Sun bowl for example, but I’ll be moving on to different things for next year.

Then there were my EET labs, one in particular really stood out, EET 107 was a lot of fun, not only did we get things done, but we had fun at the same time, that was because of the great professor that we had, and the lab assistants that he was working with. I’ll be a lab assistant for that class next year. All of the labs, though, were very interesting, and because of them, I remember a lot more of the information presented in the course.

There were also a lot of really stupid things that I remember, like having to ask about half of the people on our floor how to use a can opener (remember we’re almost all engineers) so that we could make some bean burritos. I have, since then, mastered that can opener.

Somewhere in there, I think right about this point chronologically, I stared watching the Simpsons. We made a ritual out of that, every day at 6 pm and 10:35 pm, I am sure that we will carry that on next year. I’m doing my best to keep it alive at home.

Later in the first semester the trumpet section took a road trip to the Purdue vs. Northwestern game. I hope that I’ll be able to do that again next year with some (or all) of the guys from our hall. (We must have set a record for getting to Northwestern from Purdue, but I won’t state the time here just in case it isn’t a record).

There were other traditions that we had as well. Things like, going to Steak ‘n Shake (that’s 2 1/2 words) at 1 am on weekends. Because of that, we ended up going there twice in the same day.

That brings me to my next memory, the basketball games. I didn’t get season tickets, but I did got to all but one or two of the games. I really enjoyed those, it had been a long time since I had been able to watch a good basketball game, without having to be in the band (think 1998 Chicago Bulls). Everyone had assigned seats, but no one follows that, just about everyone from our floor sat together, which made things that much more fun.

The basketball season takes place from about December to March, and it must have been the coldest 4 months on record, or maybe that’s just because I had to be out in it so much to get to and from campus. I’ll never forget what my roommate (from Florida) said when we had our first really cold day, “Dude! These are temperatures that you only hear about in chemistry class.”

Another thing that I’ll miss about living in the dorm is having a bunch of people that know you really well living only a few feet away. For example, when the Columbia tragedy happened, I was about to take a shower, the guy across the hall from me, knowing that I was interested in the space program, had his door open and, instead of saying something like “good morning” like he usually would, he pointed that out to me. It’s really great knowing that your friends know you that well.

Another thing that I won’t forget is that “start or sin” is an anagram of “transistor.” We were playing Cranium that night, which I’ll have to get a copy of, it’s a great game.

That was another one of those cold weekends, and we even got snow then, so, at 2 am we decided to get a football out and see what we could do. What we ended up with was a cross between football and rugby, and a lot of really wet clothes.

Once again, to show how great the friends that I have are, one weekend they realized that I would be just about the only person left on our floor, so they invited me to come home with them for that weekend.

Another great idea came from some of my friends who were baseball fans. The wanted to go to a White Sox game, and, of course, asked me if I would like to go as well. We did, and that was a lot of fun. I even got to meet up with one of my friends from high school and a few of his friends from college.

Granted, I did make a lot of new friends at Purdue, I still did my best to keep in touch with friends I had at home, whether they were still here or off somewhere else at college. There were several times when talking with any one of them really helped me out. I might have been really stressed out from one thing or another, or just really bored on a Saturday night, and the great thing was the through the magic of the Internet, or cell phones, I could almost always talk with anyone of them. And, of course, coming home for the various breaks that we had, and being able to do things with them was just great!

As you can see I really can’t tell what I should call home anymore, I have so many friends and memories here, but I am living at Purdue for a large part of the year.

I’ve had an absolutely incredible year at Purdue, and I hope to have another one starting this August. In the mean time, I’ll be catching up on things here at home, mainly family and friends, and taking some time to relax, so much so that you probably won’t see me posting much here for the summer, but keep an eye out, I’m sure that things will show up from time to time.

Posted on May 12, 2003 at 11:50 pm by Matt Walsh ยท Permalink
In: Blog