Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Middle school memory stimulation

One of the benefits of being in the Peace Corps/broader foreigner community here in Honduras is that people will share the different items they have either brought or had sent. We swap around books pretty frequently, and if somebody has come back from a trip to the U.S. with a stack of New Yorkers or Economists, after they've processed them, they will usually pass them on to another sympathetic reader. Likewise with MP3s of podcasts and music and DVDs (the latter of which are just lent, not given away).

After our Thanksgiving get-together two weeks ago, I got a good amount of music, a lot of which I had not heard since circa 1998. Also, someone lent me a DVD of Pay It Forward which concerns the far-reaching effect of a seventh grade project.

Listening to this mid- to late 1990s music last night, I got the feeling that I am just now finally fully putting away the awkwardness which arises in many of us around the middle school years. I had moments where I was sure I had vanquished it intermittently in my last year at Rice but have felt it especially in the last year and a half, and again when I was talking to the "new kids" of Honduras 11, who were just finishing up their eighth week in site. Maybe it's just a matter of sticking around somewhere to hit my stride, which I haven't particularly done anywhere since middle school (starting anew at Schenley, detouring to London, then back to Pittsburgh, then to Rice, but then going to Spain and coming back, and now here in Honduras).

Anyway, nostalgia can be a powerful thing and I look forward to being more permanent (I don't know where, but somewhere) starting in September.



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