During move-in week ’19, we asked UI faculty members to tell us a story about their own experience of leaving home for the first time. Here’s Bob Rauber, director of the School of Earth, Society and Environment, who earned two degrees from Penn State and two more from Colorado State.
“I grew up in a working class mill neighborhood on the south side of Pittsburgh. The hippie culture sweeping the U.S. in 1969 when I graduated high school had never reached my neighborhood.
“When I arrived at Penn State, I landed in a completely new culture. My roommate was the best artist I have ever met in my life. I might have well landed on Mars.
“And I absolutely loved it.
“Eight weeks later, a newly minted Martian landed back on Earth when I went home to visit my parents. I was never an Earthling again.”