Today marked the last day of the 2008 Earlham College Senior Disorientation event, which helps soon-to-graduate college seniors to transition to the "real world" more smoothly. I've been participating in the event as a speaker/workshop facilitator since it began, and it's always an interesting experience to interact with "the Earlham kids" with an ever-increasing temporal distance between my era at the school and theirs. On one hand, I envy them for the newness and possibility that life holds at this particular time, but on the other, I find myself cringing at how seemingly unaware they are of just how many choices they get to make, and how important those choices are. And then I find myself thinking those thoughts and suddenly feel quite old. And then I tell the Earlham administrators who put on the program that it makes me feel old, and then I realize that I've just essentially called them ancient, and I feel them glaring at me a bit. And then I digress in a blog entry about it.
But what I really meant to say was that I appreciate very much that Earlham puts this event on - I imagine that I would have found it incredibly useful and impressive during my last semester there, and part of the reason I participate year after year is to try to make up for that sense of lost time that I experienced learning some of these things (from how to eat properly at a nice restaurant to how to be a young leader in your post-grad destination community) on my own. And of course, I also carry out my super-secret secondary agenda of showing at least some of the students that there are scenarios in which one can graduate from Earlham, stay in Richmond, make a living here, and really love it.