When I first decided to come to Rensselaer, my main concern was that I wouldn’t be able to make any friends. Those who know me would probably find that hard to believe due to my rather extroverted façade. But in actuality, I get homesick very often, and even back home in California, in the months leading up to my departure, I was missing my friends and family already. Fortunately for me, I found my niche, and as a “thank you,” I dedicate this notebook.
Have you ever taken a hard, critical eye to this newspaper in your hands? Do you pay attention to the fine details of that high-resolution picture on the sports page? That’s one of five hundred. Do you notice the evenly spaced margins and justified font in this article? That took nearly two hours to perfect. Do you take the time to read the names just to the bottom left? To me they’re more than just names. They are that family away from home I was looking for.
Upon walking into the Poly office, there is a distinct smell to the room. It is a smell borne from the carpet, chairs, computers, and the white board. It is a fragrance hard to describe, but I can recall it now, though as I write this, I am nowhere near that room. Chris and Jack are laughing at something that Rex is showing them on his computer. Chris looks up and says, “Yo, Liss!” Steph walks in behind me, hugs me around my shoulders, and asks me how I’m doing. Today, she has a bow in her hair, and patterned socks that come up to her knees. Tyler looks up from the paper in his hand that he’s first-reading (because he refuses to do second reads) and smiles faintly. Maria is talking to him about her plans for tomorrow, with her hands and arms gesticulating wildly. She smiles and waves at me. Michael is sitting calmly at his computer, turning around every now and again to ask a question or two. David stands up, announcing he has a paper for copy, and hands it to me. Sean is sitting on that aged couch, pen and clipboard in hand, asking a question. Nathan answers it. He’s standing by the whiteboard writing #OccupyTheUnion on it. Justin enters with his salutary “Shalom!” and then places the palm of his hand on the crown of my head in a blessing of sorts. Dan and Shane are close behind; Dan has changed out of his ambulance gear, but he still has his radio. Shane is wearing pajama flannels and tomato-red headphones. Kay and Sid are crowded around Jack’s shoulders as he makes witty jokes and shows them how to import files. We’re all munching on snacks that Rex has bought through shady online companies, such as Amazon.
These names don’t mean to you, dear reader, what they do to me. You don’t see in these snapshot descriptions the vibrant characters and hard-working individuals that I do. Never could I manage to do them justice in a short five hundred word essay. But I love them, so I have tried. Thank you, Poly Family, for carrying out the arduous and thankless task of producing this paper; for the hours of hard work you have invested; for the blood, sweat, and other miscellaneous bodily fluids; and most of all for adopting me. That was real chill of you guys.