Road Trip: You Can Go Home Again

There is an old saw about how you can't go home again. I think the idea is that when you return to a place that has been formative in your life, you cannot merely return as if nothing has changed--neither you, nor the place that you left. To a certain extent, that may be true. At the same time, places where you have spent a lot of time at--where you have grown up, where you have learned, where you have been changed--will always be with you, and there is something that is reassuring about that.

I worked for ten years at Ursinus College before joining WII, and so I was excited to return to the campus that I knew so well, and especially to return to see old friends and colleagues. It was a bittersweet return, as the campus was still mourning the death of its amazing president, Bobby Fong. Bobby was a man possessed of a heavyweight intellect, a genuine care for students and the cause of liberal education, and a quick wit. He was a great mentor to me, and I am still shocked by his death and sad that I cannot learn more from him.

Thus, it was helpful in some ways to return to campus to share memories of Bobby with colleagues, but also to remind myself the lessons I learned from Bobby. It was also great to meet students who had obviously taken to heart Bobby's concept of "Liberal Arts Plus": that Ursinus (and many other liberal arts colleges) offered students a great education grounded in the values and practice of liberal education, but also provided opportunities for students to gain experience outside of the classroom to see those concepts put to work--exactly the kind of opportunity students can find in our program. 

So, you can go home again--you'll be different, home will be different, but there is still so much of a connection that the return can still be wonderful.