Rewind and Return

I got to rewind the mixed tape of my life and hit “pause” for a moment this Fall.

I returned to Hanover, NH for my 20th Reunion with my Business School class.  Holy Cow!  Twenty years is a long time!  Suddenly I feel like a dinosaur when reminded that during our years at Tuck in the early ’90s flip phones were cutting edge, no one had a lap top, texting did not exist and twitter was a sound a bird made, face book was literally a crude paperback book of class head shots, bangs were in style, and REM’s Shiny Happy People was my go-to song on my mixed tape.

Fast-forward two decades later, several classmates have children who are now walking across the Dartmouth green as confident undergrads.  No doubt they are equipped with iphones upon which their fingers furiously text and tweet as their ears tune into JayZ.   Their bang-less, long hair obscures their eyes as they bend in front of their ubiquitous laptops and update their Facebook profiles.

Back in the day, we shared doubles and slept in single beds in dated dorms with small communal bathrooms.  Large bland public spaces were enclosed within four white unadorned walls and covered in sticky linoleum that emitted a constant stench of stale beer.

Two decades later, there are new dorms that look like high-end hotels offering amenities such as individual rooms, private baths, yoga studios, open fire places, study centers, spacious terraces, and overstuffed leather couches.

What hasn’t changed in twenty years is the connection to the friends who made the whole experience worthwhile despite the lack of technology, poor accommodations, and bad hairdos.




Another thing that hasn’t changed is the urge to party whenever we get together.  We returned to  Murphy’s on Friday night, and the gang was all in residence.  It was like our own little episode of Cheers with everyone bellying up to the bar much the same as we did twenty years ago.

They say you can never go back, but we gave it a good try.

After our official reunion dinner Saturday night, we all attended a party at the home of current students.  I was overwhelmed by déjà vu as we walked in the door. The last time I was at this particular house, I was dressed in a loud polyester pantsuit with a scarf tied around my head in an attempt to channel Rhoda for a ’70s party!

The current Second Years were playing beer pong, the keg was tapped, music was playing, and a fire roared in an outdoor fire pit.  One of our crew was brave enough to challenge the current students to a keg stand (don’t ask!)  You know you are older, wiser, and perhaps saner when this activity concerns you, and you feel compelled to check on all participants to make sure they are OK afterwards.  It did feel just like old times as the night wore on, the crowds departed, and our small group laughed and reminisced around the fire.

My inner marketer was rekindled back in my business school environment.

I think Visa/Mastercard got it right:  

Tuck Tuition: $90,000

50 Keg Parties: $3,750

Life Long Friendships:  Priceless

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