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Going Home

Last weekend I attended my five-year reunion at Swarthmore College. I graduated in 2005, and it was my first time back on campus since I attended the 2006 graduation to see off friends from that year. I think I had somehow forgotten how beautiful the campus is (being a national arboretum will do that).

Campus hasn’t changed much since I left; the Parrish remodel I had seen in 2006 makes a much nicer first floor lounge, New New Dorm is in place next to New Dorm (where I lived senior year, now called Kemp and Paul respectively), and the arboretum building got expanded. The newest trees planted around the science center (which was completed my senior year) have grown a fair bit. The napping couch in Hicks (the engineering building) was reupholstered. Otherwise, the campus is a very familiar place.

My sense of calling Swat home really struck me Sunday morning, as several of us met up to go to brunch at Java Joe’s. Since my parents moved to Seattle, I haven’t had a sense of permanent home. There’s not much tying me to Minneapolis other than high school friends I visit occasionally, and while my parents are associated with home, their current condo is largely unfamiliar. It probably also doesn’t help the sense of home there that my sister is still far, far away! I like Boston a lot, but I don’t feel Bostonian in a number of key ways. Swarthmore, however, is where I spent a good chunk of four years of my life (almost straight through in the last three years, since I did summer research twice). Now that I’ve been back, I can see myself returning more often, if for no other reason than to keep an anchor there; conveniently however I can expect to see a lot of old friends every time I go.

A more detailed rundown of the weekend is below the cut. Overall it was great to see everyone, but the official events were pretty lame. Apologies if I left anyone out!

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Nicolas Ward

Software engineer in Natural Language Processing research by day; gamer, reader, and aspiring UltraNurd by night. Husband to Andrle
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