Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas from Massachusetts

Christmas this year has been great!  Yes, I know, it's not technically Christmas yet.  But I've already gotten the best Christmas present ever in the form of a young man flying back from Kyrgyzstan!  Therefore, I can safely conclude that this Christmas is the best yet.  (Besides, my Dad is actually wrapping his presents ON CHRISTMAS EVE instead of the morning of! That is record breaking!!!!!)

My family and I are cozily enjoying our first Christmas in Massachusetts.  We like it just fine, but mainly because we tend to prefer each other more than wherever we happen to be at the moment.  North Dakota, Washington, Idaho, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Massachusetts... It matters not.  We love each other.

Love to you all, especially you (bjh) ;)
Happy Christmas!

p.s. Sledding Picture!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The plastic bag filled with the remaining odds and ends from my dorm room slapped my leg as I made my last trek between my old room in Thatcher South and my new room in Thatcher.  It was just after 7:00 pm and graduation was happening over in the gym.  My thoughts wandered along the dim alleyways of nostalgia.

Alumni.  Alumnus.  What does that really mean, anyway?  Shoot, you know, I don't really like being an alumnus.  Being an alumnus means you don't really belong anymore.  You once did, but now you don't.  Alumni are the people who come back to remember the "good ol' days", walking along the hallways familiar hallways searching for your picture on the wall.  They see all current students and feel old, mature, and distant.  Being an alumnus meant you once were, but now are not.  How sad.  The thing is, alumni really DO belong.  They slept in my room, sat at the same spot as me in the cafeteria.  They walked our same hallways.  They belong - certainly they do!  Yet, once they drive/fly/ride away that one last time, everything changes.  Sure, for a few years, coming back will bring cheerful greetings from old friends and faculty.  But as the years tick by, as kids are born, as the grey hairs multiply, things will change.  They will return, only to be greeted by silent classrooms and cold sidewalks.  The people they once knew and loved will be gone.

It was then that the thought struck me.  The thought without which, I would have melted into a nostalgic  puddle of misery.

Hmmm.... the people.
Ok, so the place will not be the same.  I will come back, and it will just be cold and empty, despite the young life teeming all around.  Very few will know my place here and even fewer will care.
The people...
It's the people that make the years after school special.
Ashley - nursing friend, fellow beauty lover, boy discusser (yes Barry, she was completely in-the-know regarding last semester)
Marissa - nursing friend, fellow jokester, lover of purple, Assessment buddy

People.  Hundreds of them.  These are the people who I will remember.  The halls don't matter, my old room doesn't matter.  The road that now has a ridiculous circle on it really won't matter.  But the people do.  They are the ones who I will bump into later in life.  They will understand.  They will recognize the common ties and laugh as they remember the good times.  It won't matter whether we meet at Southern, or in Africa.  Because it's the people that matter.  People.

Maybe this thought-process truly marks my entryway into the realms of an alumnus, even though I'm still a semester away.  But surely I can put its principles into practice now, before I become "just another alumnus".

Monday, December 07, 2009

Silent Reverie

Tonight I sat alone at supper.  It's been a while since I've done that.  I wasn't in the back where people expect that if you're sitting alone, then you want to be left alone.  No, I was in the front.  Not that there weren't people I could have sat with, I just chose not to.

So I sat alone.  And as I sat in my silent reverie, I noticed a few things.
  1. Have I gotten old or has everyone else just gotten younger?  Spending 4 years in the dorm allows one to observe a full season's cycle of cafeteria goers.  Except for my small group of friends that still eats in the cafe, there are very few people that I know.  Most of those who were here when I began have either graduated or moved off campus.  I felt very old as I sat there, watching those youngn's come and go.
  2. The wrapped packages under the cafeteria Christmas tree are the same ones that were there when I first arrived at Southern.  I know this because every year I look at their pretty wrapping and think, "Man, wouldn't it be awesome if there really were presents in those large packages!?"
  3. I was tired.  Tired of schoolwork.  Tired of the cafe.  Tired of those chinsy Christmas trees that blink green, then white, then blue.  Green, white, blue.  Green, white, blue.  Tiring, very tiring.
  4. Next year, there won't be any chinsy Christmas tree lights turning from green to white to blue. with those same, familiar packages underneath.  And there will be days when I'll miss the cafe, miss the friends that I could have sat with, and miss those familiar old chairs that I've sat on day upon day.
Merry Christmas, Southern.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Happy is the family 
Whose members, being bound, 
Are also free;  

For in utter dependence 
One can never reach his best, 
And to be too free 
Is to be lonely and unhappy

But to be one's best self 
In a life shared with others 
Is like a lone musical note 
Finding its home in a symphony.  
-Leland Foster Wood

Thursday, December 03, 2009


I have many.
But I'm not completely sure what they all are.
Or how I would even go about asking them.