Back in time …
Today, at the University bookstore, I joined a long line of students buying books for the spring semester. I waited to purchase two greeting cards. One was for a colleague's birthday, which I was told earlier this morning we would celebrate later in the day. The second, well what can I say, was in preparation for Valentine's Day. As I stood amongst almost thirty students winding in and out of three lanes, I added up the prices of the cards. I thought to myself, "Is it worth waiting the twenty odd minutes or so for such a small purchase?"
My mind immediately began to wander back to 25 years ago. I had just arrived in Buffalo, and was going back to school, at the huge Buffalo University to complete a BA. In order to register for classes, I arrived at the administration building at five o'clock in the morning. A line was already stretching as far as the eye could see, and further. I joined hundreds of young, undergraduate students – me a Mom, 39 years old, a foreigner, an immigrant from a far off land. We sat together drinking coffee, sharing snacks and chatting about our futures. Six hours later, at 11:00 a.m. I finally made it to the front counter to sign up for all my classes. Indeed, twenty five years ago Internet on-line registration did not yet exist. On-line meant something physical, concrete – literally sitting inside a huge, long, diverse line of human beings – a social, community-like experience, and required enormous amounts of patience.
I must have been reminiscing for quite awhile, for before I knew it, I was at the front of the line and paid for the two small greeting cards in my hand.
I walked out of the bookstore onto the path towards my office still lost in thought, back in time.