Perhaps I was a bit hard on Rochester in my last post. Overall, it really wasn’t too bad of a place to re-visit. It is amazing how much not being able to find something at a late hour can affect my judgment of a place.
On Wednesday, after a long day of recruiting at the job fair and running somewhat randomly into Favi and Nate, neither of whom I knew were still in Rochester (and were actually just there for the fair), I finally got to go do a few anticipated things.
First, Ben, one of the guys I was recruiting with from AMD, and I went over to the CE department to hand over a bunch of leftover t-shirts to the office for them to hand out to students. On our way into the new building, we actually bumped into Dr. Savakis, the CS department head. He quickly noticed our AMD shirts that we were wearing, and invited us in so that he could give us o tour us the new extension.
I must say, I wish that I had graduated High School in 2006 rather than college. I could have certainly enjoyed many of the new facilities that they have put in for new students. The CE department has moved from the Building 17 extension in all of its depressing darkness and into a much more friendly environment with plenty of natural light, space, collaboration areas, and fresh new laboratories. There is no way that Ben and I could not be jealous. RIT is certainly moving in the right direction, at least with the buildings.
As we were saying farewell to Dr. Savakis, one of the Intel recruiters walked up to the CE office. No, there was not bloodshed, and we actually had an interesting discussion. Dr. Savakis listened intently (or out of complete boredom, who knows) to our subtle digs at each other while maintaining professionalism. I thought the guy from Intel looked really familiar, and finally I realized that he was one of the guys who had interviewed me at Intel in Hudson, MA. He didn’t seem to remember me, though.
Ben and I headed out, and we stopped for a much-needed sub at Dibella’s. I had been longing for that gigantic NY-style brick-of-cheese on a bagel-crusted roll with delicious peppers and mustards for well over a year. Who would have thought that a simple sandwich could be so incredibly satisfying?
Later, I met up with Bill, a friend I had co-op’d with at Harris. It was good to see him again, and, apparently he had just proposed to his girlfriend the day prior. Luckily, I was there to celebrate with him a bit at Cibon, another much-missed restaurant of Rochester. We later headed over to Spot Coffee to meet up with some of my friends from La Hora de Español- Favi, Joe, and Jerry.
It was good to see them all again, though apparently the three of them had fallen out of touch pretty much since Favi and I went to Spain. We had a great time just chatting at the coffee shop (again, another place in Rochester which I dearly miss, and is in fact open late) and decided to go head over to Java’s down the street a bit later. I do really miss that group, and it was good to get all of us back together again. They even mentioned starting La Hora back up again, which would be great to have happen.
Six hours later, I was on a plane heading from home to home. With a connection through home. With a small amount of sleep and having just gotten accustomed to driving around Rochester again, it began to feel familiar and present. If I hadn’t met my friends, though, Rochester would have certainly felt void and foreign, and I like a ghost drifting along through a lost dream. But it was just enough exposure and intensity to remind me of how my life was there not too long ago.
Drifting in and out of sleep on the plane, I arrived in Cleveland. Home. Again. Where am I? Home? But I was just home? But neither of those are home now, right? I wander around the airport and grab a bagel, and remember many of the trips that I have taken from that Continental terminal. But my family was not there at the airport to receive me. I would never pass through the security gates and into the industrial Cleveland air, but would instead groggily board another plane to head home. To Austin, this time.
On the flight back, I woke up several times almost sick with confusion and disorientation of where I was and where I was going, and what parts were dream and what was real. Finally, after a clear bird’s-eye view of the downtown skyline and AMD, I was grounded. The plane landed. I was home. Really this time. I think.