Now that I'm teaching again at the same institution where I got my undergraduate degrees, I've managed to escape being steeped in nostalgia all the time (which would be crippling and regressive), mostly because I feel pretty well in charge of my new role here. Still, I can't help but have the occasional flash of "oh I remember when I did this or that thing on this spot X years ago," usually when I am doing something stupid like taking a pee. I've actually wondered how many gallons of my effluvia have passed through these pipes over the years, since I spent soooo much of my time in college one particular building (and always drinking a lot of water).
So I was walking back to my office after lunch today and thinking about my first year here, how I was finally old enough to vote and it happened to be an election year and I voted by absentee ballot on this very campus, and helped to get Bill Clinton into office (as Anna said today, "I think Bill is pretending today is his Inauguration again. He loves being President.") for the first time. And because I really love me some bookends when I'm reflecting on my life, it seemed fitting to be thinking about my first vote, and how that ushered in a new era, and how today's inauguration did the same thing, and here I am in the same place I was then. I could never have anticipated it. The big difference is that practically everyone on campus seems galvanized by the political climate and by world events, and even first year students have a much greater awareness of politics than the average student did in 1992. This is good news.
Also, if you haven't yet read Vanity Fair's Oral History of the Bush White House, it's a must-read.
That is all.