To Evanston!

A Little Reflection.

So summer is definitely here, even if the weather doesn’t show it, the sheer desire to be idle is powerfully conflicting against my want of productivity. At least it’s making day to day activities interesting. It’s a battle, and so far, I’ve been wining. Each day for the past 5, I’ve spent an hour in front of the once foreign object in the living room called a piano, an hour learning Javascript and HTML, an hour at Lifetime, and around an hour reading.

I might as well be a hermit, but for once, I don’t mind not being social. Yes I know very well that these may be the last days that I’ll have the chance to see some people, but other than a select few (and yes, if you’re reading this, you’re probably on the unwritten list of VIPs), I really don’t have an urge. Realizing that it’s also probably the last time I’ll get this much free time to pursue unexplored interests and to realize some deferred dreams, I think I’ll devote my time to those ends.

University of Illinois orientation coming up in 2 days… with brotha Yonadan comin’ along, I’m sure it won’t be too bad. Not that it’s gonna be good. From what I’ve heard, the “good” time slots for classes have been filling up since mid-June, and since ours is in July… the prospects of getting even a “good” class is a tad slim. College already seems to be up for a cloudy start… but then again I love clouds. So with little else to say, I guess it’ll be “To battle once more”!

Right now though, I may be productive… but inside, I really feel like I’m missing something. And it’s not something that a trip to the Indiana Dunes or winning poker can fulfill. I guess I’m sorta envious of the people… over there… and soon to be over there. I want to go over there too, but… sadly current status doesn’t allow that.

So I must be getting old… I had this very sudden, strong urge to revisit my childhood roots for a day. Evanston that is. It’s so odd that a piece of my life is sitting so close across a few highways, yet I act as if it’s a totally forgotten past. I lived there longer than I have anywhere else—five years. I went through my preschool and first few years of elementary school there. Both of my brothers were born there. Northwestern and the nearby beaches were my backyard while we lived in the private university housing. Biking, burning old Christmas trees, burying dead fish…

Evanston 1993-ish – I think I was flying a kite with my dad

And I’m beginning to wonder… where did all that go? Adapting back to the U.S. was almost as hard as it was when we moved to Korea—I had almost forgotten that I’d lived for 8 years here before (half of it, in that suburb of Evanston). Yet search me for the impact of living there, and I find none. Perhaps my quirkiness, thanks to my 2nd grade Ms. Halverson, and compassion from wonderful Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Wall. And of course, I can’t forget Lydia.

Who is she? I don’t know anymore… my decade long search for her has turned quite fruitless. Whoever she is now, she’s not easily found. Who was she? Just an old friend… from… kindergarten to 2nd  grade. Some people are surprised by how much I remember from my early childhood. They weren’t the best of times, but they were certainly memorable. Certainly memorable were the ubiquitous teasing I always got for interacting with girls, but it taught me a thing or two about empathizing with others. I have a distinct memory of telling Mrs. B in 1st grade that I was happy to be in the advanced math class with her. Oh the things 6-year-olds say…

//UPDATE: (2005) Thanks to Facebook spreading across all universities, I’ve finally found her! She is alive and well, at Duke University!

During my time (ages 5-7) there I also experienced death second hand… twice. Once of a fellow student, and one of a close friend’s parent. Such things did indeed mold my fundamental values.

Presenting Korea Culture to Mrs. Wall’s Kindergarten ( 1991)

And I wonder how I’d see 2 nd grade myself. How would my life have been different had I not moved away from there at that very life-determining stage. And then, I wouldn’t mind making a story about it.

But back to the whole point of this, I have a huge urge to go revisit Evanston, not for the nice purple and white university on the side, but for the past that had been buried under. I wouldn’t mind, spending a day, walking through Michigan Avenue where I had once lived… or maybe swinging in Willard Elementary School’s playground… assuming it’s still there. How has that part of town changed since… 12 years ago? I want to know! Sometime soon… maybe right after I get back from orientation?

Yeah, sounds good. Okay okay, in the interests in maintaining my “productive routine” I think I’ll take my nap now.