Sunday, October 17, 2010

I might be in NJ--Train-ride up to Yale

I barely made it, of course. Haha. My subway hit Penn Station ten minutes before departure time, and I wasn't sure where Amtrack was in that place, but seemed like enough time.

My credit card has been over-swiped, though, and the kiosk kept rejecting it. The human ticket line was way too long--I'd never make it. It finally worked, but then hung up. Arrrrrgh.

Got to the train with over a minute to spare, though. Haha. I'm in a broken seat, though.

So . . . Is this New Jersey, or Connecticut?

Haha. Maybe the Bronx.

I'm not actually sure where New Haven is from here. (From Manhattan. Mentally, I'm apparently still there.)

Not important. I'm gleeful, that is.

I was surprised the train was packed solid on a weekend.
(Standing room only and broken seats.) It's Sunday night, though. Ahhhhh. My first glimpse of the northeast commuter life. Weekend in the city, now back to whereversville life.

There are a smattering of students. Many of them probably headed same place as me. I never thought of it so close to NYC. God, I would have loved to go to college that close to the center of the universe. (I was Champaign-Urbana: two hours would get you to Chicago, but no trains, just the dreaded bus.)

I felt a little giddly living their drill tonight. Rushing up to New Haven. Class in the morning.

Mostly, I'm happy, because I'm back in real life again. I've been huddled in my little cave for two weeks straight, redoing my website and instructor guide. (Almost there on both.) I literally only left about three times in 14 days, only for food, and yesterday for the haircut. I couldn't do a speaking gig looking like that.

Didn't sleep much either.

That was on top of a couple weeks sick, and I've really been in a cave. But in an odd way, I enjoyed it. I do things in spurts, and I was on a maniacal run.

And now . . .

Humans again. And students, my favorite kind.

I'm sure they think I'm just kissing their asses when I tell them that, but they really are. I seem to leave every campus invigorated.

Their attitudes are completely alien to my normal life. Everyone around me rushes to get their crap done, and these people are rushing too, but rushing about to absorb. They just want to understand things. It's their job. And they're really into their jobs, even when they think they're not.

We're kindred spirits, I think, because that's how I like to live my whole life--when I don't forget. Haha.

And I'm especially in that mode when I'm interacting with them. I basically pause my regular life for a day or two or a week depending on the trip, and I blab like crazy, but I also soak up a ton.

It's really interesting to meet people as fascinated by the same things as me--Columbine, or writing, or journalism, or human nature, or when I'm really blessed everyone of those things--but coming at it from a completely different place. They're 30 years younger, for the most part: they've seen less, worked on these subjects less, but worn down less, too.

They help me see it all with new eyes. And their readers, too. I write for a living, and damn, it's important to remember how the world looks to the people I'm writing for. I like hearing how the book affected them.

So. Yale. I'm expecting a smart crowd. And fiesty, hopefully, too. See you guys tomorrow,

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