C. Adam Pfander Photograph


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Welcome Back

January 22, 2013   

The end of the fall semester found me eager for a break.  After the long, blistering whirlwind of finals week I retreated to my quiet home in Vermont, hidden away in the Green Mountains.  It was a fantastic break; the days were pleasantly free of commitment.  Most of my time was spent holed up with a book, far away from the bustle of the wider world and the hum of life I had grown accustomed to on the Hill.

In fact, the placid silence of my country home grew a little too quiet.  After one month away from school, I found myself longing to go back—to listen to a lecture, to read the paper before class, to push myself through another practice.  I needed the multitude of people, the depth of opinions, and the youthful vitality that makes this small hill in upstate New York a hub of life and opportunity.  I needed Hamilton.

My wish was granted; I now sit at my dorm-room desk, eagerly awaiting the start of my second semester.  I am struck by the community’s liveliness.

For dinner, Commons Dining Hall was packed—busier than I had ever seen it.  The line for food stretched practically out the door. Pizza was snatched up quicker than it could be made.  With all other dining halls closed, Commons served the entire student body.

I weaved between the serveries, filling my plate with what I could easily grab.  I shouted quick hellos and greetings to familiar faces.  I exchanged more than a few words with some friends from my dorm while we navigated the overcrowded beverage line.  Finally I found a table crowded full of cross country runners and sat down.

We found extra chairs and crammed them onto a small circle table—12 people in all managed to jam themselves in a small corner of Commons. Over the roar of countless other dinner conversations, we compared the merits of various urban legends.  I leaned forward to hear the conversation—in stark contrast to my quiet dinners in the quiet hills of Vermont.