Sunday, October 09, 2005

Adventures in Urbana

The recruiting went well. I had a great time seeing friends walk by and schilling to strangers about the wonders of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. We gave out a lot of brochures, pens, sticky notes, and magnets, and we talked to a lot of students. We were primarily recruiting for student internships, although if anyone was interested in a job we informed them about that too.

I saw a few of my former students from my TA-ing days too. One student, who got a D in my class, now works for Microsoft. (It figures.) Another one, whom I actually liked and who did really well in the class, was also seduced by the dark side.

I went out to lunch with my (former) classmates and that was a lot of fun. Then in the afternoon, after the job fair was over, I saw my (former) advisor and went to my former office and chatted with the current inhabitants. In the evening, Jeff and I went out to dinner and to see the movie Serenity.

On Saturday, I saw the house in all its emptiness. Jeff is almost done fixing it up and he will come here sometime this week. And I saw Glen and Barb and the kids. It was good to see them.

It was kind of strange going back to Urbana so soon after leaving it. I guess it really underscored to me the fact that I have no home at the moment. I think of Urbana as home, but seeing my bare house, and my now-former school/workplace, staying at a hotel, and being a guest at Barb and Glen’s, drove home the fact that I no longer live there. It is hard to think of Oak Ridge as home right now, because it is unfamiliar still. At the moment, I’m living in corporate housing, and the only things I have that are my own are my clothes and toiletries. I feel ungrounded and that makes me insecure and unhappy.

I remember when I moved to Urbana seven years ago that I felt the exact same way. It did not feel like home for quite a while. What really made a difference was buying our house, which made it feel like we were members of the community, we lived in a house that we had chosen, and it was ours. I think that when we take possession of our new house and all our stuff is moved in, Oak Ridge will start to feel more like home. I’ll be able to let go of Urbana. I’ll still miss a lot of things about it, but I’ll no longer feel homesick.

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