Tag Archives: Reunions

Essay: Making a Comeback

Illustration by Ron Barrett

Illustration by Ron Barrett

Amir Parsa ’90 is associate professor and director of academic transdisciplinary initiatives at Pratt Institute. (Photo: Janett Parra)

Amir Parsa ’90 is associate professor and director of academic transdisciplinary initiatives at Pratt Institute.
(Photo: Janett Parra)

By Amir Parsa ’90

My 24th reunion turned out to be my first. I had not planned it so. Not senior year. Not after missing the first, the fifth, or even the 10th. As the years went by, though, a weekend at Reunions began to take on all the weight I’ve come to associate with all sorts of “returns.”

Ever since I can remember, the concept of The Return (capital T and R) has been central to my existence. I emigrated from Iran around the time of the 1979 Revolution, and at gatherings with other Iranians those first years, most conversations focused on returning. All along, the expatriates and the new exiles would profess: “Things will change, and we’ll go back.” That was the anthem. This glorious return, though, was endlessly delayed. Two months turned into two years, then 20. New lives. Settling in the suburbs of America. Children. Grandchildren, even.

What was deeply taking root in me, too, I realized, was the feeling that any return became saddled with anxiety and excessive philosophizing. Any return prompted extensive deliberation and soul-searching. Princeton Reunions would not be spared. Continue reading