Friday, 25 April 2003
I don't expect this to get posted until we get home, but I'm writing it in Boone Tavern, a hotel in Berea, Kentucky. This is the last of our various stops before heading home.
Clarion classmate Thomas lives in the Atlanta area. When we knew we'd be in the vicinity, we arranged to meet him in Athens. That's what we did on Wednesday.
We met at Espresso Royale, a coffee shop in the campustown. We had lunch at Little Italy, a restaurant that claimed to serve "authentic New York style Italian food," which was a pretty accurate description. After that we went for a walk through the campus. We talked about our writing and gossiped about Clarion classmates. It was good.
Our walk through campus was aimless, we just tried to stay far enough in from the border to avoid the worst of the traffic noise. After an hour or so we'd walked about three quarters of the way around, and Thomas wanted to head back to feed the parking meter. Jackie checked on a campus map and figured out where we were, but stopped a student going the other way to ask, "Is Broad Street that way?" The student looked rather concerned. "Yeah... But it's a long way!" I guess we didn't look like an athletic bunch, but it's sad when three-quarters of a mile or so is considered a long way.
I asked Thomas about his graduate school plans. I've had vague thoughts of going to graduate school myself. The UofI has a fairly new MFA program in creative writing that I keep thinking about. I'm not sure if it makes any sense for me to do such a thing. I think it's that Clarion was so much fun, and an MFA program sounds a way to do something a little similar.
After our walk we sat in the quad and talked for another hour or so. Thomas told us about the various travels he's got planned for the summer. We invited him to visit us in Champaign.
After that we headed back to Royston.
Thursday we left in the mid-afternoon and drove as far as Ashville. That wasn't part of the original plan, but meant that we got to Berea earlier enough today to be able to see most of the arts and crafts shops and studios here today. That means that we won't have to wait around tomorrow until things open, so we'll be able to get an early start. With luck we'll be home by mid-afternoon.
My aspiration is to neither drive nor ride in car all day Sunday.