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C. Adam Pfander Photograph

Journals

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All Campus Emigration

November 16, 2012   

Breaks are an interesting phenomenon to behold at Hamilton, as life on the Hill is dramatically interrupted.  The campus, normally vibrant and buzzing, empties out and becomes silent—cut off midsentence.  Students load busses, vans, and cars to return home; automobiles quite literally flow down college hill road.  In just a matter of hours, most of the Hamilton community has disappeared.

I am sure the campus resembles something of a ghost town during these brief periods of vacancy.  Beds are unmade, food is left in running refrigerators, papers litter many desks.  The dorms and classrooms echo with the hustle and bustle of everyday Hamilton life.  It would appear that people left in a hurry; I know I did. 

I was in class right up to the moment of departure.  My morning began with economics, then calculus.  I then had just a few minutes to collect my things from my room to make my shuttle bound for Albany.  It was a mad dash to be sure.  I frantically stuffed dirty laundry and folded shirts into the same bag.  I threw my computer power cord into my coat pocket.  I’m sure I forgot something important… maybe my cell phone.

I left a cup of coffee cooling on my desk.  I’m sure it will leave a dark ring on the wood surface; I’m sure the cream and coffee will slowly separate over the next few days; the paper cup will most definitely be saturated.

And yet, I would fully expect to come back in nine days and pick up the cup as if to drink it.  Breaks go as quickly as they come.  Though campus was seemingly abandoned, the students will start right back where they left off.  If a break at Hamilton is life interrupted, then coming back to the Hill is life resumed.

I’ll be back on the Hill next Sunday, to pick up where I left off—with a Calculus exam that Wednesday, two chapters of a German novel to read, a psychology lab to research, and an economics problem set due Friday.