I have purposefully prolonged making a public announcement on my return to Duke until now. Why now? Because I have just been attacked by a dozen questions of why I’m back at Duke, if London really sucked that much, and if I’m visiting. And I’ve given the same answers over and over again: London was great, LSE was good but Duke was better, and no I’m not visiting, I’m here to stay. Part of me wish that things could just be like they used to be, that I could just be like everyone else, coming back from a three week winter break, and not someone who’s stil suppose to be in London. The other part just wants to go quietly unnoticed and enjoy Duke on my own terms, not having to surprise people that knew me or be surprised by the people that I thought knew me but failed to notice me. I don’t want to offer the same explanation again and again, only to satisfy people’s curiosity, though few actually give a damn.
The campus has never felt so big or cloistered. It feels big for a campus because LSE was a claustrophobic cluster of buildings plopped in the middle of London, but it feels small because suddenly my world is no longer the entire city of London, but just this sprawling neo-gothic immitation campus protected by a thick forest. But I like being back, even if I feel like people always do when they have left for a while and then returned to what used to be familiar but no longer. Going down the elevator in Keohane, I forgot that the ground exit was on 2nd and not 1st, while also noticing the glaring absence of a ground floor. I don’t feel like a new student, nor as do I feel as I did before I left. I still know my way around, mostly (not central though). I feel happier than ever that I’m a dukie, but I don’t quite feel like every other dukie. Like they say, the place feels different, but that’s only because I’m different. (Although they have wireless for dorms now, and I have the evidence smacked in the middle of my room.)
Classes feel a bit intimidating, but I really have little choice in the matter. Have sacrificed a semester, there’s not much I can do but to limit my choices to the two dept. of econ and phil. Unfortunately, there aren’t many interesting, easy, classes that I haven’t already taken offered this semester. Oh well. At least they are interesting, and doable, though time consuming. My room is big, as I expected, but it also feel slike a jail cell (I kid you not). I’ve finally put up all my posters, but as Rui said, it’s still a jail cell, but a prettier jail cell. I’ll take that as a consolation. I keep telling myself it just need a bit more time to look more “lived-in”. And a single is still a single.
My inbox has already been filling up quickly, and I’ve already put half a dozen events on my calendar for the next two weeks. Oh the life of a Dukie.