So today was a longish day. I wrote an 11 page paper today in 5.5 hours. I sat at my computer and wrote until that paper was done. It was ugly, it was not fun, but now I am done with one of my classes instead of having to write a massive paper this weekend when I’ll want to be studying for finals and having a good time.
The end of the quarter is likely going to try and kill me. There are so many things to keep track of, it’d be easier if the day was longer or if I just slept less. Neither of those seem like good things to hope for…sleep is key. I have to check out residents, do paperwork, and get all my crap together in time for me to be able to check out of Emerson on Monday morning and get to West Seattle to start a medical interpreter course. Did I tell you? I passed the test. That’s right. I didn’t think it went well, but I suppose that in reality it actually went well enough for me to pass. Anyhow, I get to take that. It’s 40 hours of class. But it also means an extra week in Seattle being able to see people at night and spend time with them.
We “welcomed” all the new young ones today. By that I mean the new Peer Advisors. We passed down things and spent time with the people who are destined to become our replacements. It was very very strange. I was in their place almost exactly a year ago. It was a bit surreal. I tried to make sense of it all. We prayed to commission them in this great adventure that they’re starting and I really felt like it was us passing the torch onto them. We are fading out of leadership as we speak with less and less time to spend with our residents while they are just starting to see how that can look. In some ways I envy them. I remember what it felt like to be ready for something new and scary…it was terrifying and fun at the same time. These days I find myself a bit more melancholy than usual as things come to an end. I’ll get to that.
We threw a surprise party for JJ Kissinger and Susie Becker tonight. They’re leaving at the end of this year. JJ to Seminary and Susie to new opportunities. We went out to a late burger run with them beforehand after “welcoming” and told funny stories about first impressions. I didn’t think that I’d get along well with my staff at first, but then I did. Things like that. We then took them back to Emerson and met them in the SUB where they were duped into thinking that some shenanegins were going down. SURPRISE! There were no drunk rascals! There were cupcakes!…and punch, and fun people, and a photo slideshow…and michael Jackson music. It was really neat. I had a blast celebrating the impact of people I love with other people that I love. Good things.
FYI. If you don’t know who JJ and Susie are, then I’ll tell you. They’re the Residence Life Coordinators in Emerson Hall. Essentially they are my bosses.
JJ Kissinger is one of the most insightful men I know. He shoots it straight. He has an incredible amount of wisdom that is coupled with an incredible sense of humor. These two things allow him to be simultaneously wise and hilarious. A gift I tell you. I have had few opportunities to spend as much time with someone as awesome as he is and I swear it has been one of the best things about this year. He is a blessing. I have benefitted time and time again from his presence in my life. I got to pretend to be JJ at a staff meeting this year…it was really fun. Needless to say, he will be missed.
Susie Becker is wonderful. She is incredibly gifted at making people feel comfortable enough to share about their lives.She really cares about people, you know? I went to Indiana with her this year. We went to this thing called NCMSLC (National christian multicultural student leadership convention)…anyhow, it wasn’t quite as great as I’d hoped…but Susie was wicked tight. Her sense of humor is always impressive and I think each of us secretly hope for the staff meeting where Susie is really silly. We don’t get as much done, but we have a massive amount of fun. She’ll be missed too.
All this to say, I find myself on the brink of new things in life. Waterfront director at camp. Costa Rica. Then 2 quarters as a student and then real life? Hmmm. Anyhow, I find myself in a place where I am starting to be wistful. I have loved this year. I especially have loved the people. The residents I have are frikkin’ sweet. My bosses as you may know by now are beyond any description of cool I could give them. My staff is a constant source of support. My friends have been there for me.
Now, at the end of this year I find so many of these things changing. My bosses are both likely to leave the state (for sure JJ), my staff is going to be less of a staff and more of a few friendships that remain after the fact, my residents and I won’t live on the same floor anymore, and many of my friends are graduating and going to places that make it likely for me to never see them again.
I really dislike saying goodbye (as I’ve mentioned before) and I still don’t like it. I wish I had more time to spend with these amazing people I know. I am blessed to know so many. I guess that I just wish I had more of an opportunity to share life with them. Sometimes I get so caught up in living that I forget the blessing that other people are. Each person you meet makes your life different. Each one is a blessing, even if they piss you off. Then all of a sudden, they’re on the brink of saying goodbye to you and you realize how much you value them. How much they matter to you, and how much more empty your life will seem without them in years to come.
I suppose I may be a tad melodramatic right now, but really. For some of these graduating types…I have known them every year of college. They have been here. They are some of my most trusted and appreciated friends. You don’t just get to replace people like these. You just have to let go and in many cases give the “see you in the next life” line. That’s so unsatisfying though. Eternity seems so far away to a 21 year old. Maybe it seems closer the older you get. I’m going to bed now. Last night I dreamed about arguing with someone to not drop an atom bomb on Nagasaki again…Maybe tonight I can dream about something a touch nicer.