Tuesday, January 3, 2012

September the First

It's the start of a new semester and I am not going back to school.

Guys, it's so weird.

I was on-campus just yesterday helping my sister get textbooks from the Bookstore. We walked through the aisles, checking up and down to discover Elementary Linear Algebra's hiding place (I didn't want to find it, but my sister did), and searching in vain to find the Teachings of the Living Prophets manual.

But I didn't get any books. No Shakespeare, no Woolf, no American History textbooks.

And although my pocketbook was happy, it didn't feel quite right to me.

I mean, school is what I do. It's what I've done since Kindergarten, and I like it. And am quite good at it. It's so weird to not be going back when all of my friends are.

The only thing I can compare this with (and this is extremely nerdy, but I don't care. I've accepted and embraced the fact that I am a nerd.) is the seventh Harry Potter book. The part where the trio is hiding out in Number 12 Grimmauld Place, and Death Eaters are stalking the neighborhood, trying to find their hiding place. On September 1st--the day they would start their seventh year at Hogwarts under normal circumstances--Harry tells Ron and Hermione that:

“There are still a load of Death Eaters watching this house,” he told Ron as he ate, “more than usual. It’s like they’re hoping we’ll march out carrying our school trunks and head off for the Hogwarts Express.”

Ron glanced at his watch.

“I’ve been thinking about that all day. It left nearly six hours ago. Weird, not being on it, isn’t it?”

And it is weird not "being on it." I'm not back in Provo. I'm not going to class tomorrow. I'm not going to have my name called out in class. I'm not going to see my friends on campus.

It feels so surreal. To be completely honest and silly, I feel a tad rebellious, like I'm skipping class or something, because it doesn't feel real yet. 

But I'm also feeling a tad nostalgic, like Harry:

"In his mind’s eye Harry seemed to see the scarlet steam engine as he and Ron had once followed it by air, shimmering between fields and hills, a rippling scarlet caterpillar. He was sure Ginny, Neville, and Luna were sitting together at this moment, perhaps wondering where he, Ron, and Hermione were [. . .]"

I realized yesterday when I was on campus how much I love BYU. I'm going to miss it for 18 months. And although my situation is nothing like Harry's (or is it? . . . perhaps the fate of the wizarding and Muggle worlds does rest on my shoulders), I still feel that pang of homesickness, and that longing for familiarity.

and I still hope, just hope, that someone wonders where I am, too.

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