Sunday, November 04, 2007

Rice Reunion: 10 years

I just got back from my 10 year Rice Reunion, and have a couple of observations:

1) I'm pretty pleased with myself and life right now -- which is a wonderful thing to discover. How could I tell? I wasn't nervous about this at all. For instance, my 10 year high school reunion involved a new clothing purchases and drinking copious amounts of wine once I got there. For this, I was throwing clothing into a suitcase 10 minutes before we left, hoping I would cover the vagaries of Houston weather, and drank moderate amounts of wine.

2) Geeks lacking social skills in college are *still* lacking social skills 10 years later. I like to think I've improved on that account (maybe I'm deluding myself), but I was surprised how often I had to just chalk it up to personality, and how less tolerant of it I am now. Turns out the self assured ones are the worst -- they have less perceived incentive for fixing their flaws. (Or don't realize they have them.) The ones that were just shy/awkward are (somewhat) easier to talk to now.

3) Rediscovering my freshman year roommates was the highlight of the weekend. We were best friends for first semester, and could hardly speak to each other second semester (putting 5 freshman in a suite built for 4 is one of the worst ideas Rice has ever had -- and our numbers show it, since only 3 of us stuck around Rice long enough to graduate).

4) Ben and I are "successful" -- both in that we are happy (see #1) and in that when we compare ourselves to our Rice peers, we don't find much jealousy. The only people I was even a little jealous of were 2 CS friends who have/are starting companies -- but I also feel that if I want it enough I can make that happen, too (maybe on a later or slower schedule, but that's OK, too). And, it turns out, many of our peers who aren't software/CS people were jealous of Ben and my projects -- if you are a chemical engineer or you work in oil, side projects are a lot harder to do. (The CS friends didn't even manage to get to our projects; see #2)

All in all a good experience. I'm glad we went.