I haven’t been in school for over four years, but when I walk through my old school buildings, I have flashbacks to those days gone by.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a class at my collegiate alma matter, Iowa State University. My youngest sister, Mary, is a senior there, and the family and I went to see her a few weeks ago when she received a scholarship from the College of Human Sciences.
The awards ceremony was on a Friday afternoon. I initially thought about visiting my former professors in the Department of Political Science, just to see how many of them remembered me. I thought it might be fun to drop in on a class, to see if it was anything like I remembered it. That didn’t materialize, but fortunately my sister was kind enough to let me sit through one of her kinesiology classes.
I don’t know anything about kinesiology, which is the study of how the human body moves. I don’t even think I took an anatomy class in high school. Nevertheless, it was still fun to be in a college classroom (especially since I didn’t have to take notes).
My sister asked her professor beforehand if I could attend the lecture, and the professor agreed. Mary knew that one of her classmates was going to be gone that day, so there would be an extra chair for me.
I was surprised when we walked in the room that Mary sat at the back of the class. It surprised me because I know Mary is a good student, and I thought that only the students who goofed around sat in the back. When I was in school, I sat in the front row in virtually every class. Apart from it being easier to see and hear the professor, sitting in the front was an incentive not to fall asleep.
I didn’t expect anyone to notice me, since I believed the class to be sufficiently large to hide an extra person. I was not counting on the professor announcing my presence to the rest of the class. She announced it in a rather amusing way, I must say. She walked over to our row of desks and said, “It looks like it’s bring-your-brother-to-class day.”
I didn’t mind the attention. I thought it was funny, and my sister did, too. After the class, I thanked the professor for letting me attend her class. She seemed to be pleasantly surprised that someone would want to do such a thing.
That was the second time I had been to one of my sister’s classes. The other time was when she was in high school, and I had just returned from a semester in Mexico. I asked my sister’s Spanish teacher if I could share my experience of living in Mexico with his class, and he graciously agreed.
Visiting my parents in Pocahontas, where my high school was, does not elicit the same nostalgia. Some of the high school was torn down five years after our class graduated and a new building was constructed in its place.
Even though the new school has been there for a few years, I’m still surprised every time I see it. I never thought I would be sentimental about a building, but I guess I am. It’s just brick and steel, after all, right? Well, it was more than that to me. I’ve heard good things about the new building, but I’m not in a hurry to go inside. The truth is, I can’t look at the new building for very long, because I’m afraid I’ll forget what the old one looked like, and forget all the memories I made there.