Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Every Little Thing is Gonna be Alright

I had a roller coaster week.  It started with a funeral for one of my favorite professors.  Then I was elated to see Jimmy Buffett with my girlfriend.  (Easily the best concert experience I have ever had.) Then I was brought back down the following day by having class-but without my beloved professor because he is in heaven.  The new professors did a wonderful job, but it still stings to walk in there.  Then on Saturday I went north with many of my fraternity brothers, for another funeral.  The father of one our senior members, who is also my housemate, passed away.  At the end of all this tumult, I ended up on the porch with many of them Saturday evening.  There was a fairly steady rain.  As the sun started to set, a break appeared in the clouds.  I grabbed my camera, a rain jacket, and sprinted towards campus which produced the following:
(My first Residence Hall-Morehouse)

Old Main and Cole Hall-Where I was employed for a year and a half)

Old Main, our country's flag, and a rainbow ending in Drake Diner-which explains why the shakes a so darn good.  

Old Main after the storm

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rest In Peace, Jack

The news hit me like a freight train. I had just seen him 24 hours ago. We had one of our best classes yet, capped off with a run of his famous puns. His smile and wit brought groans but also immense appreciation.

We were talking about organizations and the culture around them. He had assigned homework due after the weekend. Time and time again his class provided me with actual insights and useful tidbits for when I lead. This leadership class was one which thrived on his knowledge but most importantly his passions for us and the subject.

I went and talked to the program head, Dr. Westbrook the moment I found out. He helped clear up some stuff, and I originally told myself to go check to see how he was doing. Maybe I needed it more than he did.

After our conversation, I got into my car, and just opened up. I haven’t had an intense cry of this caliber in probably a decade. So I called my dad. It did not seem fair. A 53 year old man, leaving behind a wife, a six year old daughter and sons aged eleven and thirteen? What kind of world is this?

A lot of strange things can happen in college, most of which lead to something good. The loss of one of my favorite professors, mid semester is not anything we can prepare for. And at times it is hard to find how this is a gift. What Drake does give us though, is Professors who lead lives worth celebrating and from which we can learn lessons to carry with us forever. It gives us friends who can put a comforting hand on our shoulder. It gives us other professors who open their doors to talk. It gives me a girlfriend who rushed home from her teaching position to comfort me and just be with me. In a time of utter darkness, Drake gives us hope. And it is with hope and blessings that I know Dr. Jack Fellers will be reunited with his Beloved Jesus.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sitting waiting wishing

“I can’t believe you are moving that. It is really winding down,” my roommate mentioned last week as he inspected my disassembled futon and helped me load it on the roof of my van. This has been one more reminder of what is quickly approaching: the end of my undergraduate experience. That futon has been in my possession since sophomore year. I have had residents sitting on it telling me about their deepest fears, I have had sports parties where we spilled beer. I have fallen asleep on it to the sun of an afternoon nap, and enjoyed late nights that ended with a sunrise (and started with a tequila version of said sunrise.) Now it will be passed down to my younger brother as he makes his way through college.

(Side note: if you are going to buy a futon, get a nice one. I got this from Golde’s in Madison, WI. Much more comfortable than the $80.00 box store brands, and holds up.

I also got my cap and gown yesterday. It is weird thinking that 4 years ago, I was trying on my purple cap and gown and walking across the stage. College graduation, seems much more low key. There aren’t the huge parties roaming from house to house for weekends on end. I am even more certain than I was in high school that I won’t see many folks again for a long time. Some of our porch conversations have consisted of whom we will try to stay in touch with, or would invite to our weddings. Drake has Relays, which continuously calls folks back. I intend to not have to come back to Drake itself until a 5 year reunion, but doubt that will happen. The place always draws me back, even when I swear I will see it in the rearview mirror for the last time.

Only a few of my friends have positions yet which is scary, but I talked to a woman I graduated from high school with, and she said she wont even be looking until this summer for employment, even though we head out at the same time. I am eternally delighted to have my Navy position.

Drake Blue Magazine Article

Drake asked me to write a piece for the Alumni magazine on leadership and my experiences. Here it is: http://www.drake.edu/magazine/?p=5117
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