Campus Life

31 Mar
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winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Twenty-five years ago, I was a college freshman at The Ohio State University.

Now, I am starting my first term as a lecturer at OSU.

What a difference 25 years makes, in some ways. The buildings are nicer. Gone are the ugly 1980s orange chairs in the Ohio Union. Now that orange is back again, there are new orange chairs in an au courant hue, in a completely renovated Union that’s actually a cool place to hang out. It no longer smells bad or has dark corners. The area that once held Mark Pi’s and Hardee’s now has much healthier and better-smelling food options, with natural lighting and comfortable seating. Students want to be there–a far cry from my student era at OSU.

Despite the infrastructure makeover, some things have not changed. You really can’t get much better than spring on campus. People wearing shorts and playing frisbee on the Oval. Students crossing College Avenue with zero awareness of oncoming traffic. A general sense that the future is full–of promise, adventure, prosperity, and new information.

When I looked out at the faces in my Masters seminar class in the John Glenn School, I got a little bit choked up. It seems just yesterday that I was in their shoes, looking at the world as a glass nearly, if not entirely, full. My primary goal in teaching them is to share some knowledge that can help them to drink from that glass with style and grace.

I am acutely aware that many of my professors when I was a graduate student were about the age that I am now. At the time, as is the case with all “young people,” I thought they were “old.” And now, because of the cruel laws of logic, I realize that my own dear students probably feel the same way about me. The fact that I do not feel old is immaterial.

And so it goes…I am doing my best not to use the words “why, back in my day,” “you young whippersnappers” and the like. It really puts things into perspective to know that when I was a graduate student, most of them were not yet born.

Despite this awareness, I have realized that my perspective on life has not changed very much at all since I was a young student. I am still a glass is mostly full type of person, and I honestly believe that just about anything is possible if you work hard and want it enough. Some people may think this is immature or naive. I prefer to think that it helps me to not have preconceived notions about what can and cannot be accomplished. In my new-found “campus life,” it’s refreshing to be in the company of so many like-minded souls.

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