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There’s No Place Like Home

September 8, 2011

At one of the staff meetings I attended last week (I teach at 3 schools and we had a distract-wide meeting that day, too), the staff lined up in order from the most local to the least local staff members, as defined by the place we claim as our hometown. Now, I am hometownless. Always have been. I grew up moving every few years, and I generally just claimed the LAST place I lived as my “home,” although every time we moved, we knew we wouldn’t be there long. So I had to go with my birthplace, which really doesn’t feel like a home to me, either, but for the purposes of the activity, I had to decide something. I was nearer to the end of the line than I would have guessed. In fact, I was right next to the international faculty: the Germany, India, and Sri Lanka. That wasn’t a huge surprise. What DID surprise me was the number of locals. Our staff is not huge, but about 1/4th of them claimed Pittsford, the town where we work, as their hometown. More than half of the staff was from elsewhere in Rochester, and another quarter was from elsewhere in New York state, largely western NY (or “upstate” to you non-upstate New Yorkers). In total, there were maybe 10 of us from outside NY, and that includes the Sri Lankan! Wow.

I have never lived anywhere that people came back to, like they do in Rochester. I really like Rochester: it is a great small city with big city culture. Obviously, since I choose to live here, I like it. And that choice, for me, is not based on the comfort of home, or ignorance of other places–I’ve lived all over, and this was an informed choice. It continues, however, to be remarkable to me how people come back here. They grew up here and send their kids to their same schools and have extended family all around. I couldn’t believe how many people in graduate school were working full-time as substitute teachers because they didn’t even consider moving to an area that had less saturation in our field, of which, there are plenty. But people love it here.

Generally, I think it is a good sign when people move BACK to the place they are from. While the Rochester economy is not fantastic, that there are enough other good things about the area to make people come and stay means that there are LOTS of good things, right? Of course, I wonder if my children, who will have such a different childhood experience than me, will feel at home here, enough to arrange their lives to live here.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Deborah permalink
    September 8, 2011 9:55 pm

    I am one of a group of people who left and returned. I am not from here originally, but definitely by choice!

    • esodhiambo permalink
      September 8, 2011 10:42 pm

      So glad you did!

  2. joanna permalink
    September 9, 2011 9:07 pm

    I always thought I wouldn’t move away from home. Then when we moved away from home to Kentucky I couldn’t wait to move back home. We went back home and couldn’t wait to leave home. It wasn’t anything like the home we wanted. We found our HOME here. We love it!

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