Showing posts from March, 2018

Deepest Fears: in their own words

Each year, I've asked students to spend a little time writing about what they are afraid of.  For freshmen, this comes during a week when we're focused on loneliness.   I want to share a few of their answers, because they always touch my heart and remind me that there are indeed deeper things going on in the hearts of the goofball students who I spend time with every week.  I hope that they'll also prompt you as you think of these students and the many more who they could represent! (And in defense of grammar mistakes... they had less than ten minutes to write!) What is your deepest fear? I know the one I loved will leave me one day And I can do nothing I’m afraid that I will die before they die Because I don’t want they sad for me. I had many close friends ever, but I lost them finally. What strange to me is that I even don’t know why this happened, and I don’t know what can I do to fix it. When I entered this college,   I feel lonely

Adventures with Skye

You may remember my student Skye. Today, as I was headed to the office (early), I walked past the track (aka "the playground") and I heard my name being yelled.  I looked over to see Skye and her roommate Susan, and since I was in no rush and I'm friends with both of them, I went over to say hi.  They were basking in the warmth and enjoying their last few minutes of free time before afternoon study sessions... and eating snacks. "Potatoes!" Susan offered me. "Chicken!" Skye said, holding out the bag and a long toothpick for me.  "Well, maybe it's pork." I ate some of the meat, whatever it was, and a potato, and we stood there chatting for a minute.  And then Skye, being excited about something (imagine that), successfully dumped most of the meat out of bag onto the track.  With great lamentation about her broken heart (it's very fragile; I break her heart on a routine basis by doing such horrible things as giving their clas


It’s no joke to say that I’ve been planning to write this blog post for more than two years.   Back in January 2016, I wrote about Dagorhir as one of the things from college that stands out in my memories as having shaped me far more deeply than I would have predicted at the time.   The other is Aliquippa. Every year, about this time in the spring — during our spring break — I headed out with a team of other students (and fearless leaders) on our trip to Aliquippa.   Geographically, it was barely even leaving Beaver Falls, just half an hour down the road.   Aliquippa was always hard.   Every year, I was stretched beyond my comfort zone.   We worked hard — serving food in the coffee shop, building artificial banks for a creek that was washing away a trailer park, scraping paint off walls for a new bike shop, turning a basement into a comfortable living area for an old man.   We listened to stories and painted and scraped paint and washed dishes and exp

Walking Thoughts

Walking and writing are the two activities that seem to most lend themselves to my mind actually untangling thoughts and processing them.   Today has been a very grey and sleepy sort of Sunday, and by this evening (actually, by late this morning) I was feeling more than a touch of cabin fever and finally worked up the motivation to go for a walk.   It’s amazing what half an hour of walking outside does for getting my brain out of a rut.   Random thoughts and observations from my brief excursion. As I walk out of the teachers’ complex, I pass the dean of the Tourism department (Shark) who is engaged in fake sneezing to make his coworker’s baby giggle. My mental jukebox really doesn’t believe in stopping, except for maybe when I’m asleep, and I find myself singing The Seven Joys of Mary (although I’m a little fuzzy on a couple of the verses).   This leads to thinking about a conversation that Rebekah and I had four years ago on a drive between Ohio and Pennsylv