Monday, November 1, 2010

Hope Sweet Hope

After only a week I was back at Hope College. My favorite author, Shauna Neiquest, was coming into town to read so I took the day off of school and drove up to Michigan with my mom and great friend Colleen. We woke up relatively early so we wouldn't waste any of our day and went straight to campus.

I love how familiar simple things like the sidewalks throught the Pine Grove, the stairs in Lubbers, and the offices of DeWitt are to me. We went to the Hope College Bookstore, one of mom's favorite spots, to find treasures like a new pink crewneck and a newly release book from one of my favorite professors ("You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know" Heather Sellers). We walked into the Kletz and right away I saw my friend Krissy studying at a booth. I turned around my friend Susan was ordering coffee and she pulled a collage out of her bag for me. I'm amazed that I have been away for two years but when I walk around campus I'm still running into people that I know.

We sat with the SIBs in chapel and as I sat their during the message I was incredibly grateful for the women squeezed into the pew on my left and right. My mom, Colleen, Susan, Krissy, Lauren, and Casey have helped shape me into who I am. I love that Hope has the type of community where when the service is over if you don't have to run off to an 11:00 class you stick around to talk for a little while. My friend Kaitlin is so much drive and forward motion to the square inch. The first time I met her at a Rush event years ago I learned that this girl never stops. She talks a mile a minute and her life is like that too- she's a Senior nursing student and after she graduates she's going to start working and go back to school to be a Nurse Practitioner at the same time.

Last week when I visited Ellen in her office I commented on how much I loved a piece of artwork on the wall. This woman doesn't waste any time-- when we came in today she gave me my own tissue paper art! I'm so thrilled to hang this haiku art, from this woman that means so much to me, in our apartment.

Maybe because I'm a teacher now, maybe because so many of my classes at Hope were so awesome, maybe because I love surprises I had to go try to touch base with some professors that I had missed last weekend. We actually signed up for an advising spot on Linda's door and came back to say Hello when we knew she would be there. This woman is a teacher that I want to grow up to be. She was so excited to see me and ask how I was doing and glad to hear that I love teaching.

I went to find my favorite writing prof, the one that just released a new book, but her office was dark. We found out she is still in New York after appearing on Good Morning America- huge deal. When I was her student we would have to drop off method writings every single day to her office, I miss that routine. Today I just left her a note saying hello and thank you.

Coffee dates are something I really miss about college. I had weekly ones with Lani and scheduled ones with a SIB or a Young Life girl the other days of the week at JPs. I miss having that regular time to just sit and talk and reconnect with a friend. Starbucks used to have posters I loved that said, "Life happens over coffee." Today we met Lauren Depree, aka LDP, for a coffee date. Lauren was one of my Holland Christian Young Life girls. I met her when she was a Freshmen and I was a Junior so we only had two years together in Holland to pack in Fall weekends at Timberwolf, YL clubs, breakfasts at Jackie's, dinners at the Brewery, drives to see the stoplights blink, a Hannah Montana movie/concert, and coffee dates at JPs. She is still such a part of my life and I'm thankful for letters, facebook, texts, blogs, and trips to Holland that have helped us stay connected.

Another great thing you can't really duplicate post-grad is seeing so many people you know all the time. Like running into Krissy and Susan in the morning I was thrilled to continue running into friends- Sara making my coffee in JPs, Biz working in Karla's, Melissa walking through Dewitt, familiar faces in the bookstore, Casey stopping to visit the coffee date after her class, conversations on the sidewalk with SIBs, Meg and Somma showing up to Shauna's talk.

And all of this before we even met Shauna Niequist.

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