Sunday, September 29, 2019

I found myself in a ghost town

My nephew goes to Western Illinois University, and I went down to visit him for his (gulp!) 20th birthday. I stayed at the university union hotel, right on campus.

This is what greeted me at 10:30 AM on a Saturday morning.

Apparently he's not alone in his love of sleeping in!

The hotel itself was no frills. It was also $20 cheaper than even the Super 8. So I'll excuse having to carry my bag up three flights of steep cement stairs, and the smell when I turned on the heat. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom was clean, and I knew I was home when I turned on the TV and the first words I heard -- literally -- were "WELCOME TO THE PARTY,  PAL!"

I LOVE John McClane.
My nephew and I had a good visit. We talked baseball -- LOTS of baseball. And politics -- he's working on Elizabeth Warren's campaign. And religion -- he's questioning his belief system, which is not unusual for a college sophomore; I suspect he'll come back.

He enjoyed his gifts. I have him a TYT cap, a book, and a giftcard to Burger King. We also had a hearty lunch of pizza, lots of pizza, at a buffet in his adopted hometown of Macomb.

And he does enjoy Macomb. In fact, he seems generally happy. He loves three of his classes this semester (creative writing, philosophy* and biology). He loves his time in Iowa, working for the Warren campaign, and can't wait to resume his poli/sci studies next semester.

I just wish he was making more friends. I never went away to school myself, so I harbor this perhaps unrealistic fantasy that everyone who does makes a Big Chill group of lifelong friends.

*It's the philosophy class that has inspired him to articulate his doubts about conventional religion.

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