In what can only be described as a spontaneous bout of nostalgia, I recently visited two pillars of my academic past: the grade school I attended for twelve years and the university I attended for four.
Okay, neither was really spontaneous. I happened to have a meeting across the street from the University of Winnipeg and had some time to kill before it started. And, since I’ve been back in Winnipeg, I’ve made a habit of judging at local debating competitions.
(I’m sure I will get around to posting something more substantive about my involvement with debating and public speaking. Today will not be that day. However, suffice it to say, I’ve been involved in both in one fashion or another for many, many years.)
As for the University of Winnipeg, it was in surprisingly good shape. The exterior renovations of Wesley Hall are finished, and it has really livened up the exterior of the building. Additional work to renew and expand the public space surrounding the building is a nice touch, too. Oh, and the closure of Spence Street to everything but pedestrians: I tip my hat to you, Mr. President.
As for St. John’s-Ravenscourt School. Well, it’s always in good shape. Still, I was tickled by the few new renovations and additions they’ve made to the place since I went there so many years ago. Thankfully, the charm of the place – the heart, the character, the bizarre mixture of brand-spanking-new with tired-but-classic infrastructure – remains.
I must admit: this newfound nostalgia has taken me by surprise. See, I’ve never really been one for it. It never made much sense to me to spend any time thinking about what’s past, what’s been done, what’s over. Can’t change any of it.
And yet, here I am, looking backward – and I like it.
Don’t get me wrong, there is no yearning in my backward glance. I’m quite happy where I am, thank-you-very-much. Still, it’s been nice to take a moment to remember where I came from, remember the places of learning that helped make me who I am today. Because, well, I like that person. So there.