23 July 2011

One last walk through UMass (Part 2)

I ended suddenly and awkwardly because I received an opportunity that few people do. I can't sell out those who gave it to me, so any discussion must take place out of band. But on that note. the Chadbourne thread will need to be picked up later, because now I'm in Southwest and in another state of mind.

The first time I was in Southwest, it was my world. I was fortunate enough to have a room where people would congregate for all variety of reasons: from homework to movies, to video games, to just chatting. And for many of the people who lived there, that was their world. It was my world too. My then-roommate  still considers this time to be one of the most noteworthy and energetic times in his life. There was a lot going on, and quite frankly some interpersonal drama. I used to feel the same way, but now when I look back at it, I can't.

I feel as though I was so ignorant then to what was occurring outside of the bounds of the 15th floor of Washington dorm. My life involved hanging out there, going to various classroom buildings, and going to eat at the dining hall right outside (until they closed it for renovations, in which case it became a grueling 3 minute walk to get food). I had no idea the nature of the campus and no interest in finding out. I was perfectly content in this little sphere.

Is there a problem with being perfectly content with such a parochial existence? Not really. But I feel like it's fundamentally limiting, because who knows what bigger and better things exist outside of it. Maybe there aren't any, but doesn't it behoove us to find out? That didn't occur to freshman me.

I remember one thing that did bring us outside of the sphere was we played pool in the Student Union basement one day. I think it was a weekend where few people were around. I went with my roommate and four other friends, two of whom had smoked weed just before. I was on the team with the two smokers and we frequently tried to go out of turn and otherwise not care about the rules and cause havoc. This didn't seem to go over well with the other team, who I christened as the 'team uptight' to our 'team relaxed'. These names seemed to go over even worse. But after all, isn't it only the uptight who desire strict adherence to the rules. Maybe not. Afterward, I chased a duck around on the Student Union lawn and now that I mention that, I remember now another time walking around the pond with some people and discussing not desiring having children. I was told I would make a good father. Maybe I got out a little more that I thought I did.

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