Corrin and I woke up on Friday morning to a slightly overcast, but perfectly lovely, day.
We both headed off to meetings with our respective professors – it felt so natural to start off up the hill towards the quad! That was the start of a jam-packed day full of “friend appointments” for me. I had so many people I was eager to see during my weekend in Geneseo that I had to start scheduling my reunions so I didn’t miss anybody or double-book myself! I seriously wished I’d thought to dig out my old college planner to keep it all straight. Here’s what my agenda looked like:
10:30am – Meeting with Dr. Judkins in Sturges
I had Dr. Judkins for a good handful of anthropology classes and honors seminars while I was at Geneseo, and he was also my advisor for my honors capstone thesis. He was one of the professors I was closest to during college and was always a source of advice, encouragement, and good reading material for me! It was fun to sit back down in the chair across from his desk, where I’d spent so many meetings during the thesis writing process. As always, he had nothing but kind thoughts and words of wisdom about the future to offer, and he’d even brought me a few books of old Outer Banks pirate lore that he’d come across – I can’t wait to dig into the stories with Townes!
On my way out of Sturges, I ran into Dr. Kirsh, my advanced psych research prof from senior year! Dr. Kirsh’s class was undoubtedly one of the most fun classes I had at Geneseo. Dr. Kirsh was also the one who nicknamed me Girl Brian and bought me the sweatshirt which has since become infamous in the Geneseo Psych department.
Tangent? Don’t mind if I do. See, PSYC 352 was a pretty small class – only about fifteen students. Even though Dr. Kirsh really knew us all personally, he constantly mixed up my name with another girl in the class named Julia. Understandable, really, but we still gave him a hard time about it. One day, he got so exasperated with us teasing him about messing up Julie and Julia that he blurted out his brilliant solution: “It’s not my fault your names are basically the same! Why couldn’t you just be named… Brian?” Yep, instead of having a totally unique name that wasn’t similar to anyone else’s, his idea was that I should instead have the same name as one of the boys in class. That way he wouldn’t mix us up so easily because, as he put it, he would be Boy Brian and I could just be Girl Brian. It stuck. He called me Girl Brian for the rest of the year and bought me a personalized Geneseo Psychology Department sweatshirt. It became sort of a thing around the psych building during finals of last year because we were all wearing our sweatshirts and people got used to seeing “Girl Brian” in the halls.
But back to the story at hand! Dr. Kirsh was such a fun professor, and it was great to get to catch up with him unexpectedly before I had to keep ramblin’ on to a very important lunch date.
12:00pm – Lunch with Katy on Main Street
I gasped and staggered my way up to Main Street (holy Toledo, I have completely lost my tolerance for the Geneseo hills!) to pick up one of my favorite people in the world, Katy, at her very professional job! She showed me her office and her projects and it was fun but so crazy to see one of my best friends from college being such a legit adult.
We parked ourselves at Bank Street for lunch and reminisced about all the times we’d had breakfast or lunch there over the years. We filled each other in on our lives, and had the very stereotypical revelation that even though we hadn’t seen each other in a year, absolutely nothing had changed. Not exactly an original concept, but it’s nice when it happens to you with your best friends (why oh why didn’t we take a picture, darling girl?).
2:30pm – Afternoon with Evie at Kelly’s
Next stop: the grungiest place in Geneseo: Kelly’s Saloon! Last time I had been there was with my dad, right after I officially graduated from college a year ago.
Kelly’s opens early and a lot of the salt miners head there after a day of work, but Genny students love it as somewhere to kill a few hours in the afternoon! It also happens to be the dirtiest place imaginable. Every inch of the walls is covered in writing, and it’s dark and cramped, but it’s just so endearing and such a Geneseo landmark that we all love it even more for its grodiness. Evan and I camped out front and center, laughed the afternoon away, and even found where my dad and I had signed the wall on graduation day last year.
4:30pm – GOLD reunion at Club 41
Continuing on! I should get a map of the village of Geneseo and draw the route of everywhere I went on Friday. Another tradition that I was taking part in just a year ago was the end-of-the-year get-together with the seniors of GOLD (the Geneseo leadership training program) and Dr. GOLD himself, Tom Matthews. Any alumni who are able to make it are welcome, too, so naturally I tagged along this year. We sat out on the back patio at Club 41 and Tom offered us Pearls of Wisdom, while the seniors caught me up on office hours shenanigans and whether or not Tom’s wife Betsy still makes her incredible cornbread casserole (she does). When it got a little crowded, we moseyed on down to the Vital.
Funny tidbit: on my way out, I ran into Dr. Kirsh again, with his current 352 class (he always takes them out after the final research paper is handed in), and they all yelled “Girl Brian!” when he introduced me. Awkward.
7:30pm – Dinner with Jordan at The Village Tavern
My pickup from the Vital came in the form of one of my lovely suitemates from last year: Jordan! I was actually lucky enough to see Jordan a couple of months ago when she and her friends came to the Outer Banks for spring break.
We went to dinner just up 20A at The Village Tavern… which was weird, because that place didn’t exist last time I’d been in Geneseo. One of the few things that DID make it seem like I’d been away for a year! We had a delicious meal, though we missed our other suitemates terribly. I feel so lucky to have had the suite I did during my senior year, especially since we all started out as randoms (enter as strangers, leave as friends, right, Meg?).
After dinner, I went over to my wonderful Niskaseo (Niskayuna AND Geneseo… we go way back) friend Katie’s house on Second Street and spent a while hanging out with her and wondering how she could possibly be graduating when we were definitely JUST watching Newsies in her dorm room during her freshman / my sophomore year. Time flies.
The rest of the evening was another opportunity to check more things off the ol’ Geneseo visit bucket list. Karaoke at the Idle? Check. There was a seventy-year-old man who selected “Bye Bye, Miss American Pie” and was about four seconds behind for THE ENTIRE SONG. Listening to that felt like holding in a sneeze – we just wanted him to catch up, already! Evie and I were cringing at first, but the guy was so darn enthusiastic that you couldn’t help cheering for him and helping out with the choruses. The night ended with an absolute Geneseo necessity: Mia’s pizza.
I think Joe was pressuring Mike to eat an eighteenth slice or something. Karen was surprised.
I stayed with my amazing friend Krista that night, and we spent the majority of the next day (Saturday) people-watching with our friends Nick and Mike from the window seats at Muddy Waters. We got up there pretty early before most of the town was awake, so it was fun to watch Main Street go from deserted to bustling throughout the course of the morning.
That afternoon, we met up with Evan and went to the gazebo to take in the classic picturesque view of the valley:
Best spot on campus. Everything is so green right now! Anyway, after a crazy hectic Friday, it was nice to just have a relaxing, leisurely Saturday. We took our time doing things and going places, and mostly just wandered around so I could appreciate simply being there. It was nice, and Geneseo is so lovely.
The day wound down, I said goodbye to my amazing staff members and friends, and Krista and I headed off to a fun dinner date at Ember before heading back to Rochester so I could enjoy a last night with Emaline at her apartment. Following the theme of Saturday, we took it easy and caught up on our favorite shows on Hulu while enjoying our favorite feast of seltzer and mint Oreos.
Emaline and I became friends during the first week of freshman year and have been watching The Office together nearly every week since! Four years and counting! We tried to watch SNL when it came on, but we fell asleep less than halfway through. Oops.
The next morning, we went out for delicious and wonderful bagels for brunch before sadly heading to the airport, where Emaline dropped me off for my flight. It was an uneventful (though irritatingly delayed) trip back to the Outer Banks, and though it was a relief to set my suitcase down and have no more air travel on the near horizon, it was so, so sad to have to leave Geneseo behind me all over again.
Love you, Genny. Hopefully it won’t be another year before we’re reunited once more!