Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dartmouth Undying

Reunion was a blast. I went knowing that at least one close friend would be attending, and was pleasantly surprised to find that two others decided to come at the last minute as well. I slept very little that weekend cramming in a lot of catching up.

Some things had changed in Hanover. I was shocked to find a Gap and a Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street—I had understood that franchises in general and fast-food in particular were forbidden downtown, but I guess the place has loosened up slightly. A lot of the landmark buildings at the north end of campus have been torn down and replaced with new ones. I’m not usually one to embrace change, but I have to admit that these renovations are for the better. I won’t miss Kiewit, a squat, one-story concrete bunker of a computer center that supposedly could be retracted into the ground during a nuclear attack, or whatever that ugly tiled building was that we called “The Shower Tower.” (It really did look like a four-story public restroom.)

It was novel to exchange cell phone numbers with classmates—I didn’t know anyone with a mobile phone in college—and fun to meet spouses and kids. Dave and I joked that we wondered who all these middle-aged people were hanging around our class tent, but in fact, no one really looked shockingly different. (Dave himself may have spent the last 15 years in a hyperbaric chamber.) And Dartmouth hasn’t changed too dramatically, either. The major buildings are still there, my old house is the same as it ever was, and the Green looks just as it has since approximately the time of the American Revolution. At least one of my friends discovered that he can still open his mailbox at the Hop. Change comes very slowly to Hanover.

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