Over the last two days I’ve found myself returning to the past. Or, in the first case, more accurately, the past visited me. Yesterday the door of my office opened and my former professor Marie Freckleton walked through it. I haven’t seen Marie in a decade. And she revealed that she was at RIT to meet my mentor Archie Provan. Those from my time and before at the School of Print remember Archie as the cantankerous Scottish type professor. He was the man who taught me everything I know about type, and quite a bit about life. In addition to being my professor, I also worked as his lab assistant for nearly my entire time at RIT. And he also ran the Queen Elizabeth 2 Co-op, which I took part in. And he helped foster my love of puns, bad jokes (Horse walks into a bar. Bartender asks “Why the long face?”), and fruit gums (a bizarre English candy that is neither fruity or gummy… in fact they are kinda hard and hurt your teeth). I’m also pretty sure he tipped me off to DeBella’s before most people knew about them.
Sure enough a few hours later, I spotted Archie coming down the halls. Like Marie, I hadn’t seen him in a decade. And like Marie, he hasn’t changed. He even remembered me as “little grasshopper” (a reference to Caine on TV’s Kung Fu). We didn’t get to talk for too long. He had lots of questions for me (like “What the hell are you doing here?!”). And I mentioned to him that I’m planning to use a couple of his assignments in a class next year. His response was “Well it’s good to know they’re hiring people who know what they’re doing.” We didn’t get to talk for as long as I’d like. But I’ve already gotten a commitment out of him to guest lecture in my class this fall.
In other news, I’ve begun the process of migrating all of my old blogger posts across to WordPress. It’s an interesting process and forcing me to become more familiar with SQL. I now have a much better understanding the potential limitations of the WP content management system. I’m also more keenly aware of issues presented by transitioning data from one repository type to another.
Beyond the technical stuff, the migration also is an opportunity to revisit my past. I’ve reread a lot of blog posts that I had forgotten about. For as much as it’s interesting to revisit the entries regarding major events (from September 11th to learning I got into Chicago), returning to the small posts, the everyday, has been the most interesting for me. Beyond noting that I’ve written the phrase “sorry for not posting, things have been crazy” more times than I can count, the experience has reminded me how important this blog has been in helping me preserve a personal history. And while I’ve maintained journals throughout these years, the blog has been my most consistent documenting of my day to day life. I feel really lucky to have it.