Monday, December 14, 2009

Going Home

Hal Pepinsky,,
December 14, 2009
In a blog before going back to my Bloomington home of the last 33 years, I wrote “on retirement.” I drove to Bloomington December 6, primarily to celebrate Vinod Krishnadas Thichempully’s dissertation defense, but also to get back in touch with the office staff I so treasure to this day, and to be with students in all three sections of a course on alternative social control systems designed by colleague Ellen Dwyer 34 years ago, which I picked up in 1977.
I can drive to Bloomington in fewer than four hours, and so I expect to pay more return visits. Jill and I closed on our Indiana home of 32 years July 20, and caravanned back to our Ohio home. I write here in holiday appreciation of the welcome I received on my first return, and of what it means to this old man to accommodate to changing homes. I must say I was surprised by my own reactions. On one hand, I felt truly loved and appreciated. On the other hand, I quickly recognized that Bloomington is no longer my home, let alone my business.
The highlight of my return was engaging with students in all three sections of the alternative social control systems class. Any single class is but an episode in anyone’s daily life. In my visits, conversations ranged from deferential, through exploratory, to confrontational: in all cases to me stimulating, both in learning what twenty-somethings are talking about, and in giving me chances to reflect on what I have learned about social control by telling stories to future generations without simply talking to myself. Bloomington, I will always love you. You bring me alive in retirement, just a few hours’ drive from Worthington. All best wishes as our region of mother earth emerges into spring.
Countless are the essays and poems on homecoming. For what it’s worth, this is how homecoming felt to me. Thanks to everyone for your hospitality. Love and peace--hal

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