I ventured down to Beloit at the end of January, at the invitation of a Lex of my acquaintance. It was fun, and gave me much more time for both seeing people and retrospective than my 4 hour visit in October. Apologies to those that I didn't get to see, and those I didn't get to see enough. Several people told me I should come back, so I probably will. If nothing else, I'll be at graduation.
Being at Beloit gave me time to think about Beloit in a way that I either couldn't or hadn't been otherwise, and I realized some things. For one, I am still very glad to be done with classes, and have no immediate desire to return to the academic world. On the other hand I sort of miss having the impetus to study some of the stuff that college students can manage. While I don't regret taking time off, I do miss the intellectualism sometimes.
Community was interesting to interact with. I heard quite a bit about what was going on these days, and while it was certainly interesting, I felt no connection to any of the problems or drama that hangs around college campuses. I have most definitely moved beyond tht part of my life, and like to think I maintain a bigger picture, in part inspired by working through similar struggles of my own. It was a good feeling, to say the least. On the other hand, I do miss the cooperative ideas and projects that it inspires, including gaming.
As far as the campus itself is concerned, one of the nice things about the construction being done these days is that it is almost impossible for me to fall into nostaglia. The dynamic nature of the physical campus, especially of many areas that I am most familiar with, makes me unlikely to mistake the Beloit of today with the one I left a year ago.
I managed to get sick about Sunday or so, something I find strange because of how few people I interact with. It's not a bad cold, but it is noticible and I have been taking it easy in hopes that it will go away sooner.
I am not working much these days, but I'm not too worried about it. I have enough money to get by for a good while. Also, it was about time I found another job anyway: my big account expired (which also deserves a retrospective), and I probably would have been punted around as a grunt, which would most certainly have been depressing. So back on the job market I go. At least for now, I feel more confident about the prospect than I did last time.
An additional benefit of my location is that my family comes to see me, more or less. I am having dinner with my grandparents tomorrow, and my parents are coming a week from Friday. The first will certainly be good, the latter probably will.
Furthermore, some of my dad's old college buddies that live in town learned of my existence, and one of them decided to take me out to dinner at their old hangout. Apparently there are more of them that want to meet me, as well. It is sort of strange, but I had fun and it is an interesting way to learn about my father's life when he was my age. So that's new.
That's the big things, and I'm getting tired, so that's all you get for now.
Addendum: Now that I have brain power again, I'll continue.
I also have a gaming group. It's fun, and we are playtesting a homebrew system of the GM's design. Furthermore, the GM and two of the players and I have started hanging out independently, and doing things like watching documentaries and playing settlers. It's an awesome core for a friendship group.
I have also decided that I am going to try running Exalted for these friends of mine (they've never played before, so we did a Q+A session last weekend), so that might be exciting. It'll certainly be interesting to see how people outside of Beloit treat the game.