Amanda and I planned to take a little vacation up to Northern California recently, for we haven’t been back in literally years. We both originally met at Sonoma State University in our Newspaper class, and would later go on to work side-by-side with the paper’s Online duties. I was the Online Editor and Arts & Entertainment Editor, and Amanda first started as Assistant Online Editor and would later become Features Editor. Having both come out of horrible relationships, we clicked almost immediately. To quote the poet Rihanna, “We found love in a hopeless place.” To further quote Rihanna, we then got to “Work, work, work, work, work,” to help revamp the Sonoma State Star into the award-winning student newspaper it remains today.
It’s always weird revisiting your college campus. Everyone looks like they’re 12-years-old, and you definitely reminisce for that simpler time, when you only had to worry about getting your degree, and not life and the many horrors that plague you daily. We walked around the campus, seeing the new buildings and facilities that were erected after we graduated, and revisited old classrooms, dorms, and one place that holds a special place in my heart, Nichols Hall. The school’s English Department is in Nichols, and that’s where some of my first short stories in Morsels of Delight began to form and evolve over the two years I attended. I still have one or two stories from my school days I haven’t yet edited or rewritten, but perhaps I’ll salvage the parts I’m proud of for future tales. Honestly, they weren’t the best.
There’s this massive new Student Center that’s 3-stories tall and has everything from the campus bookstore to fine dining located inside. Amanda and I got to use it our last semester there, but it’s incredible to see how they’ve improved it since. Downstairs is this giant lounge room with a fire place and massive pictures of different printings of Jack London novels on the walls. Our mascot is the Seawolf, even though in London’s novel The Sea-Wolf, there’s no such blue aquatic wolf creature, but rather a haggard sea captain named Wolf Larsen. Personally, I would have loved to see a marauding mariner as our mascot at sporting events, drunk off his ass and cursing at the visiting team, but alas, the school thought a blue wolf named “Lobo” was a better choice.
Unfortunately we had to cut the trip short, because Amanda’s cat of 17-years, Moo, was dying and had to be helped across the Rainbow Bridge. She went peacefully after we had a chance to say our goodbyes to her. I only knew her for 5 years, but she was such a marvelous kitty. She’ll definitely be missed by all.
We’ll need to resume our trip up north at a later date, but this time much sooner than several years. I learned much about storytelling while attending Sonoma State, including things I haven’t shared yet (memoir, vignettes) which are piling up for a later collection. I was already a bit of a comics journalist before joining the newspaper, but with that skill combined with my fiction and non-fiction works, I feel that I had a well-rounded English education. And when you throw in the copywriting I’m working on here and there at the creative ad agency I’m currently working at, I have all the tools in my arsenal to take over the world! Thanks, Sonoma State. But I’m still not donating to the Alumni Association at this time.