My rental car has a normal automatic mode, and a different one where you have to change gears manually (but without using a clutch or any of that). I accidentally put it in manual mode at the beginning of my drive, and spent an hour and a half driving like that because I thought it was just how the car was. I learned about what gears to use at what speeds... challenging but interesting.
I got to my motel and boo__boo called me after midnight just as I was falling asleep, apparently to inform me that the band was small this year. We hung up, but then I was wide awake 20 minutes later so I called back and we chatted more.
I woke up this morning after 7 hours of sleep. The night before I had less than 4 hours of sleep, so I thought I would sleep really late, but nope. I knew that Baker Tower was just sitting there waiting for me to gaze upon it, and the whole campus was just sitting there waiting for me to idly wander it as I had planned. That, and I knew the free motel breakfast was only available until 10. Then through the curtains I caught a glimpse of the fall foliage, which I hadn't been able to see last night in the dark, and that was it, I got out of bed.
Took an accidental dog leg south on 91 and back up 5, but that just let me see more of the fall leaves and typical small town New England. Got to campus, parked, wandered towards Baker as I took some photos that I'll post next week. My sneakers still squeak like mad in the main lobby of Baker library. I wandered down to the Orozco murals (and somehow I remember a computer cluster there that has disappeared, or I'm nuts), then up to the Tower Room. It's just as silent in there as I remember. I felt guilty for breathing and walking, and didn't dare take a picture. Then I went up to the 4th floor of the Baker stacks to get on the computer and typed this up. Always used to love how old, dark, and empty it was yet how it had an interesting view. The power went out, and generators came on but did not power the computers. I was feeling anxious sitting down and typing anyway, so I took it as my sign to continue on.
Went to the Choates, after visually confirming that the shower towers are no more. I lived on the Choates my freshman year, so it really took me back. There were all sorts of hand-made dorm spirit posters up relating to the bonfire. I wandered across the cluster and it made me think of going over to hang out in Meghan's room. Then I went to Food Court and got a sandwich. I know that Thayer Dining Hall's days are numbered, so I wandered across to Homeplate and upstairs. Went by the chemistry buildings, saw the big dorm cluster where the life sciences parking lot once lay, and now I'm just killing time before I go to see my undergraduate thesis advisor.
I feel so happy and relaxed right now. Nothing else after my qualifying exam has chilled me out this much. And the real fun doesn't even start for three more hours...