For the past 2 years since I moved to Manhattan, and Morningside Heights near Columbia University, I’ve audited a class each semester.  Barnard College, my alma mater, has an extraordinarily generous policy allowing alumnae to audit any lecture class for free.   It’s been one of the most wonderful benefits of my move.

Not only does it give me the intellectual stimulation of sitting in on a college class again, but it’s refreshing to be among the students, and very interesting to compare being an undergraduate today as against the late 1960’s when I attended Barnard.

This blog, about “widowing on”,  is a story about finding metaphorical signposts as I make my way through the woods alone.  I’ve taken several classes in the past five years.  Some have been at NYU’s School of Continuing Education and at the 92nd Street Y, with other “boomers”,  and then there are these with the undergraduates.  The latter affords me the chance to compare the different cultural changes that have taken place in over 40 years and is a constant source of wonderment to me.  Even more interesting is the surreal movement back in time that seems to happen ever time I sit down in one of those seats in a familiar lecture room.  As in the last paragraph of The Great Gatsby, I am “borne back ceaselessly into the past”.