joanna irl

Thinking — come back home

” … But sometimes when the springtime comes,
And the sifting moonlight falls —
They’ll think again of this night here
And of these old brown walls,
Of white old well, and of old South
With bell’s deep booming tone,
They’ll think again of Chapel Hill and —
Thinking — come back home.”
Thomas Wolfe, class of 1920


Today I received a phone call and an email from the Alumni Association, of which I have not been a member this year for the first time since I graduated. They’ve been sending me monthly letters inviting me to come back, but when we redid the budget this year, my membership was, sadly, one of the things that had to go. I miss getting my Alumni Review magazine and I miss having my calendar with scenes from around campus, but really it’s been okay.

Yesterday (or maybe Monday), I was looking at the current rates online and filled out the “Lifetime Membership” form… except for the payment bit. I wanted to see just how much it would cost to simply buy a lifetime membership (in comparison to paying every year, for instance), but I couldn’t afford it so I closed out the page.

It seems I forgot that I’d signed into my account first and clicked the “renewal” button, which I suppose triggered the system… and generated a message to the membership coordinator who wanted to let me know that there was a “problem” with my GAA lifetime membership payment and would I like to resubmit? This made me laugh, and I emailed her back to let her know that I simply cannot afford it right now and did not mean to trigger anything like that in the system.

But it got me thinking about Chapel Hill in the autumn, which is my favorite time of year there, with the cool breeze and the leaves crunching underfoot and the excitement of the football game on Saturday and the smell of basketball around the corner, of lying in a sunny spot on the Quad or falling asleep in the library, of the while columns of the Well flanked by the red and orange and brown of Old East and Old West.

And yes, of Thomas Wolfe, and of how thinking does bring us home, no matter the distance.



Two more UNC quotations that I like.

“What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well, or the bell, or the stone walls, or the crisp October nights or the memory of dogwoods blooming. Our loyalty is not only to William Richardson Davie though we are proud of what he did 200 years ago today. Nor even to Dean Smith, though we are proud of what he did last March. No, our love for this place is based on the fact that it is as it was meant to be, the University of the people.”
-Charles Kuralt, J-School alumnus, at the UNC Bicentennial in 1993.

“The biggest fallacy about this whole Carolina-Duke rivalry is the 8-mile thing, as if proximity somehow indicates similarity. It’s like assuming East and West Germany must be comparable since they were close to each other. Duke fans believe spending 196 hours in a tent indicates passion and devotion. Carolina fans believe 196 hours in a tent indicates a telling lack of other social engagements.”
-Adam Lucas, Tar Heel Blue columnist

joanna irl

Fall Habits Die Hard

It’s a funny thing that you go to school every fall for the first 18 plus years of your life and then you wake up one day and school is done. I mean, not for teachers and professors, but school is different for them, too. It’s a hard rhythm to break and it’s enough to give you a sort of strange feeling in the fall when other people are going back to school and you’re not.

Of course, it gets lessened every year, but I will say this is the first summer that I haven’t looked into grad school just so I could be going back to school. I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have a real reason to get another degree except that I really like going to school and learning things, but liking school isn’t enough justification for thousands of dollars of debt in the form of student loans when there’s no reason (career-wise) for it.

But still… Autumn means campuses and football (and eventually basketball) and reunions with people you haven’t seen all summer and I suspect there will always be a part of me that has an urge to pack up my car and drive to Chapel Hill. I understand now why “Homecoming” is always in the autumn.

joanna irl


We opened the last box yesterday, so I guess we’re officially unpacked. Of course, there are some things that are going to stay in storage for a while, but I don’t really count those. It’s been a long week, and I’m glad that I’ve gotten down to the organizing and cleaning and decorating stage. I may take all week on that, but it’s much less stressful.

Today I had to have a plumber come at 8am to scrape out all the caulking around the tub and shower because it got mold behind it, and then put fresh caulking on all of it. It took him a good hour and a half to do that, and it’ll be 24 hours until it’s dry, so I can’t shower again until tomorrow around lunch time. Fun fun. Then, about a minute after he left, the doorbell rang and he was back to tell me that I had a flat tire. Sure enough, the back right tire of my car is flat. It feels like another valve stem leak. At least it’s a different car this time, but I’m getting tired of tire issues. Wow, bad pun… Anyway, I’m heading over to the on-base auto shop in a little while to see if they have tires in stock. I hope they do, because I have to be able to take J to work in the morning.

Nothing else too exciting happened this weekend. We went to a divisional party with the people from J’s shop, so I met most of them. They seem nice enough, but most of their girlfriends weren’t overly friendly. It doesn’t help I’m a good deal older than most of them, I’m sure.

The weather has been hot lately, but it’s starting to rain more often now that we’re fast approaching rainy season. That means the sunsets have been very pretty with the clouds and there are rainbows on a regular basis. I love the ones that stretch across the entire sky. They come in all different heights and intensities. It’s beautiful. I’m also learning where to go to find certain wildlife, and sea turtles sunning on the beach is my next goal; apparently the Hawaiian green sea turtle is the only one that will come onto the shore to bask when not laying eggs. I also learned that the two turtles I saw on my birthday are a mated pair that live down in that little cove and that they’re always there. ^_^I’m loving the sea turtles. ^_^

Oh, and Late Night with Roy was Friday night and I’ve been itching for basketball ever since. I miss Late Night… At least the Daily Tar Heel posted a video online!