We started the process of moving Richard in today - a friend came over and he helped us fill two cars with some furniture and all his clothes. I started the process earlier, simply because I had to clear out a closet and move some bookshelves to make room for his things.
Moving the shelves meant removing all the books, dragging the shelves down the hall (a complicated process which included stopping every few steps to remove one of three cats who decided that riding in the shelves was a really cool new game, and they didn't care that it made it that much heavier for me to lug), and then reshelving the books. It's been a good way for me to do some sorting - I've got a full box of books to go to the local thrift store - but it was also an unexpected trip down memory lane when I started to put things back and found my old college dorm yearbooks.
I spent two years in Titus Hall at UCDavis - two incredibly amazing years. I was a shy, quiet bookworm of a kid back in high school (oh, quit snickering. Ask anyone who knew me then - I'm not making this up). During my freshman year, the girl across the hall - a short and exuberant girl by the name of Rowena - decided that she wasn't going to let me be shy, so she dragged me along to parties and gatherings. By the end of the first quarter, our end of the hall was one of the social hang-out, despite the gloomy presence of my first roommate - a girl who was seriously lacking in self-esteem. She eventually moved out, a new girl moved in (the one who would become my best friend and roommate for the next nine years, and who will be my Maid of Honor next summer), and things just kept getting better.
But back to the yearbooks. One of the girls in the room next to mine and I decided that the floor needed a 'yearbook', so we wandered the halls with cameras during the last few months. Neither of us possessed much skill in photography, but we figured that by sheer volume of pictures taken, we would end up with enough good ones to make do, and when we added in all the pictures we begged out of the other residents, we ended up with a great selection. We put it together on the floor of my dorm room, staying up til early morning to type up captions on my typewriter (Most of us didn't have computers in the dorms back then. Sheesh, now I feel old) and then scotch tape everything in place. Then we carted the whole mess down to the local copy place and copied and assembled the whole thing there. It was an amazing amount of fun, and while the pictures (since they were copies) didn't come out so well, everyone seemed to love it.
Year two some outfit on campus decided that dorm yearbooks might be a good thing to look into, so they sent out information saying that if someone gave them the stuff, they'd put it together. My new roommate and I got together and took on the task (we were the designated Social Committee, so it naturally fell into our laps anyway). The picture quality in this one was much better simply because they were done by someone who actually knew what they were doing, but it is still a 'homemade' book.
One of the sections in the book was where we'd all listed our goals - what each of us saw for ourselves in our future. For the second year, I had listed as my goals to go to graduate school in Nutrition, to travel, to earn a lot of money, and then live in a big house with lots of cats. And it occurred to me that out of all the others in that book, I might just be one of the only ones who'd achieved everything I set out to do (okay, so the 'big house' is still to be built, but the contract with the builder was signed Friday night, and by next spring, it will be reality). The few friends from that era that I still am in contact with have changed directions probably just as often as I have, and so their goals are no longer in synch with their reality. I'm not sure if I deliberately made mine vague, or if I had more in mind at the time, but it's kind of nice to know that I succeeded anyway.
As I flipped through the books, peering at pictures (and luckily I'd had the foresight to go through mine and write names next to faces), I was struck, not by how much I remembered, but by how much more I'd forgotten. The names were familiar, but it was hard to recall who the people were. Each book had a list of quotes submitted by each resident for that year, I think in the hopes that they might trigger some memory later on. Um. Sure. I read through my list and couldn't remember what half of them meant. But oh, what I do remember:
Christmas in the dorms (and by the way, mistletoe smells *nasty* when you have a huge laundry basket of it sitting in your dorm room overnight). Late nights with ice cream. Poodle perms. Mud volleyball. Dancing in the rain. Caffeine addictions. Singing around the piano. The rat getting loose in our room. The water fight in the men's bathroom. Inner-tube water polo. Pranks. Friends. So many friends.