I've had a love-hate relationship with Hamilton College. There were times when it was the most wonderful place in the world, and there were times when I felt like I was as out of place as the second trombone in a string quartet.
But over time, I've mellowed in my appreciation for the college. Two years ago, I sat transfixed to the TV set as the Hamilton College women's lacrosse team beat Franklin & Marshall on the CBS College Sports network, winning the NCAA Div III lacrosse title, Hamilton's first NCAA championship award.
I've returned for the 5th, 15th and 20th reunions (missed the 10th for reasons that completely escape me right now), and for the 20th I even hosted an Alumni College event (when former students return to the campus and show what they've learned).
Sometimes on long drives through the New York State Thruway, I'll absent-mindedly switch my radio dial to 88.7 and listen for about half an hour to WHCL, the college radio station. And on occasion, I'll even stop at the college and pick up a souvenir shirt or watch a basketball game on campus.
Next year my 25th reunion at the college will take place. This is a significant milestone, without a doubt. I'm hoping to host another alumni college, I'm hoping to meet up with old friends, and I'm hoping that any painful memories I had from my time at old Ham Tech are completely erased by the positives out there.
The 2010 reunion is less than a year away. If I'm going to do an alumni college, I'd better get started on the project right now. As opposed to pulling an all-nighter and cramming like crazy - which is how I got through most of my classes at old Ham Tech.