Friday, December 17, 2010

Part the 2nd: Friends

As many of you know I am a very social person (in a weird way), and rely on my friends greatly. This is an interesting part about myself that I didn’t fully realize until late in to college. As many of my high school friends can attest (Im looking at you Drew…) I was very reserved, and rather anti-social. Even in to my freshman year at GU, I really only was friends with those immediately around me (or those people Alex knew...). As my life at GU progressed, I grew very close to a rather tight knit group of truly awesome people. These people were my everyday support; they were the people I spent all of my time with. These are the people I am going to start with.

It is amazing how the lack of someone’s presence can affect you more than them being around. But most of you know this; we have all dealt with this. We have all gotten rather comfortable and secure with a group of people, and then for whatever reason had to move on. This feeling was like a slap in the face for me in the Tri cities. There this concept was solidified. I was in a desert, and not just a literal one. Jamie and Alana can attest that I was rather sad; looking back I am grateful for technologies like Skype and cell phones, and my ability to visit Colorado, and Kansas, and Palo Alto. I missed, and I still do miss James’ serenades, Alana’s continuous awkward moments, debriefing the day will Bill as we cooked dinner, Jake’s random harassments, Dannica’s matronly presence (In a good way Dannica!!), and Jamie’s laughter. All of the things that made college awesome. All of the people who I love.

Being here in Pittsburgh, this affection is not gone. I still greatly miss my GU compadres, and I am super excited to see them all in the near future. I would say we were all very grateful for things like Bill and Dannica’s wedding, a time for all of us to come together. There has already been talk of the next gathering, something about a boat cruse… I don’t know. Jamie is in charge. My friends in college had a great effect on who I am. They were able to show me things about this world and about myself that I will not easily forget. And now being in this far away place, we continue to hold these friendships with Skype chats, more phone calls, and lots of typing. I just wish Bill would get on Skype more often!

So coming here to Pittsburgh, I was ready and aware of the struggles in making new friends. You may have noticed that my actions have been foreign to the high school aged me. At one point, Jeff commented as to my interactions at the YadGrad kick off barbeque in September, that he was thankful that I tried to interact with everyone there. When he said this, I was surprised, that is not something I do… I almost asked him what he meant. Then I realized that I did in fact try to communicate with everyone there. This still surprises me. Apparently I changed somewhere. In general the YadGrad group has allowed me to surround myself with good and very interesting people. The spectrum spans recent college graduates who are struggling to find a place in life, to Pittsburghers who are well established, both in their profession and life in general. There are grad students (obviously) and there are professionals; Artists to lawyers to Bio chemists to museum curators.
 There is a YadGrad list-serve that most people are a part of, which provides for a perfect avenue for communication. In the past year (other than Jeff) I have been the leading contributor to the list. You have heard about most of the events, things like the 5th of November night, and the failed attempts at culture. I am grateful for the YadGrad’s willingness to adventure, for their acceptance of random activities. There have been some great activities, and there are a load of plans for this next year (Pi day, Pancake day… you know… the usual). In other areas, and I have already mentioned this, Jeff has asked me to lead a series of Movie viewings that are going to look at the embedded spiritual messages in rather secular films. I am really excited about this. It is going to be awesome!

At school, I have also found some awesome people to surround myself with. Through many weekends working on Machine Learning, I have gotten to know Mitch and Cassidy, wonderful people. And many an hour has been spent sitting in the Wean hall cluster with Skanda; most of the time working on Computational Photography… but sometimes just shooting the breeze or playing silly flash games. Conversations with Skanda are always interesting, he is an Indian native, however he grew up in Oman;  two things that I previously knew nothing about. The cultural learning has been great. Also the fact that Skanda has been at CMU for 5 years helps with knowledge of the school, I am just now labeling him my official CMU tour guide.
Ah, to quell any rumors, and to inform my grandmother and some of my aunts who would ask otherwise: Nope, there is no ‘special girl.’ I learned in the Tri Cities that given a set amount of time in a certain place, it is a poor choice to enter a relationship that you know is going to end. I have taken this to heart here. And to be honest, it is a relief, I just don’t worry about that sort of thing, and so far it has not been an issue. On a separate, but very related note, my mother and sister forbid such action any way…

Looking back on my time here in Pittsburgh so far, it has been interesting to see the contrast between when I moved to the Tri Cities and moving here. I am grateful, and miss the friends I made in the Tri; however, the diversity and depth of friendships I have already made here is encouraging. So to those of you I miss: Alex, Drew, Ryan, Chris, Darren, Jessie, Holly, Jamie, Alana, Bill, Dannica, James, Jake, Ben, Brian, Alan, Kirsten, Bethany, Joe, Ted, Natalie, thank you for supporting me, thanks for the fun adventures, thanks for making me who I am. And, don’t worry, I look forward to many more trips, and visits. And for those of you who I have met here: Mitch, Cassidy, Skanda, Ricardo, Joe, Randy, Jeff, Matt, Lexi, Gwyn, Tracey, Sam, Andrew, Bart, Jackie, Jessica, Mike and Mike, Luke, thanks for accepting this weird guy who talks way too much about Spokane (apparently we say It funny) and who is far too excited about the little things, you all should be stoked about what is in store for next year. Now that I know what you are up for, be prepared.

No comments:

Post a Comment