What You Love

It would never have occurred to me, years after graduating college, that the place would mean as much to me as it does now. College was good, sure, but I had always thought that graduate school was where my real-life happiness began, where I wrote fiction full-time, where I edited the journal, when e came to nyc to be with me. I was so intensely happy then. But if I learned that the Columbia University School of the Arts was closing tomorrow, I would not be devastated. Oh well, I’d think. They should have charged less money. Among other criticisms I won’t go into here.

Not so Antioch. This experience of the summer, watching all the incredible alumni work hard to save the school—I admire them so much, and, e, I count you as one of them: you are amazing for everything you did with the websites—seeing the students on campus (talk about amazing!)—and more, I won’t go on—has brought up this realization in me. I love that school. I wanted out so badly my last year there, holing myself up in the darkroom, ignoring parties, fantasizing about leaving the small town for the big city… and now look. I cried when I thought the school was closing. Cried. It’s not like I go there anymore or work there or ever visited. Its closing really would not have affected me personally. Even so, my heart was broken.

You should have seen me yesterday. I guess my post shows a little of this. But I was at my weekend writing spot, where no talking is allowed, when I had my earbuds in and started listening to the meeting on campus where the announcement was about to be made. Someone was streaming live audio from the meeting (thank you!). When I heard the school would stay open I exploded in my chair. I was overjoyed. I was silently cheering, my arms waving, looking like a fool, I’m sure, to any writers who may have seen me. It was one of the happiest moments I can remember in a good long time. [EDIT: Though, I must say, news that is now coming to light is making me very, very nervous.]

It’s funny when you realize you love something more than you ever thought you would, or could. This caught me off-guard. What else do I love this much, hiding deep in me until dire events bring it out? I wonder…

Limbo

Windows on the second floor of the Photohouse, Antioch College

No answer yet, and none expected for one, two, three (?) days. As a writer, I am all too familiar with this state of waiting. Someone says they have an answer for you, but they don’t know when. It could be good, they hint, but they don’t say it outright, which brings to mind the doubt (if it was truly good, wouldn’t they just tell you? Why are they not telling you?). And so here we are.

But this situation is not about my own personal struggle to make it as a writer. This is my college on the line. The people here—students, faculty, staff, residents of the town—living through it every day, I can’t imagine what it’s like for them. I go home on Monday; there probably won’t be an answer then.

Anyway, I have no inside information. There are negotiations I don’t know about, couldn’t fully understand. If it means waiting to get that yes, I’ll wait. I don’t think it’s shameful to wait. (Long story; someone else can blog about that comment from community meeting.) I just hope—can I be hopeful? can I?—that we don’t have to wait much longer.