Alma Mater

2009 July 15
by Elizabeth Damewood Gaucher

The old Library at Duke University
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lanana

Do you ever look around and wonder when the work environment became so hostile to your value system? There are several ways to take back the wheel of your own ship, despite the choppy waters. One way is as simple as revisiting your college or university.

I spent this past weekend with six good friends from college. We started an annual summer reunion about five years ago, and each reconnection is richer and deeper than the last. Every annual weekend is now like a seminar in life as we share personal challenges, strategies and solutions.

Not everyone is still in touch with friends from school; myself, I went through several years of being disconnected and wondering if all of those memories were but a dream. But one way I found my way back was by going to campus, simply to walk the grounds and to put my heart and mind back in the place of my 20 year old self.

It was rather astonishing, the immediate immersion back into a way of thinking about the world that was more open, more full of possibility, more idealistic in the very best sense of the word.

I found that by allowing myself back into the place where my highest ideals were first established, I was instantly stronger and more directed in my own thinking about my work. I had a clarity and a commitment that the middle-aged adult world, despite its picking away, could not claim.

When you are feeling separated from your highest ideals, try this — even if it’s been decades, find a way to touch your college community. I think you’ll find it’s not so hard to embrace again your own belief in the best of who you and others can be.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 July 18

    I’m kind of doing the same thing next weekend! It’s on a small scale to see how it works out, but I’m getting a few friends (and their new brides and a new baby) together for Saturday morning golf and then an evening BBQ. I’m really looking forward to re-connecting without phones and emails… but face-to-face.

    Maybe I’ll blog about it too!


  2. 2009 July 20

    Richard, thanks for the comment! Let us know how it goes!

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  1. The Friendly Weekend | Richard Dedor

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