Well, here I am. One week of classes, one week of finals. A 20 page paper, a debate, two tests, two one acts, a feature of some mysterious kind, and a presentation stand between me and graduation. I am graduating college. This is a thing that is happening. With all the talk about the wedding and plans for the summer I kind of forgot this was going to be a thing. And now it’s two weeks away. A little less at this point. I’ve spent three years of my life at Geneva. I’ve evolved from a lonely commuter transfer student to a full on Genevite, complete with on campus family. How things have changed.
I came to Geneva in the fall of 2011. That’s weird to think about. I managed to transfer as a sophomore with a hodgepodge of core and elective credits and absolutely nothing for my major. I chose writing because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and Geneva was a Christian college that happened to offer it, and happened to be within easy driving distance of my house. Thus I commuted. I transferred with three wonderful women, Danielle, Dakota and Natalie, who became my closest friends sophomore year. Dakota and I watched movies every Friday after class. I spent lots of nights sleeping in Danielle’s apartment, where I met my now fiance. Natalie and I had countless lunches together, commiserating about commuter life.
Spring 2012, I was supposed to go to Ireland. You all remember this, I’m sure. I built it up enough on here and in my heart. Dakota and Jess and I were to go together. I would have met Grace a semester earlier, probably befriended Lindsey that much sooner too, but instead I spent the first part of my first spring break at Geneva in bed with a bucket and a bottle of white tea. I was heart broken, but Geneva was there to support me still. The rest of my spring break was spent working in the library to keep my mind off my disappointment. When we came back to class my friends sympathized as much as they could and Dr. Copeland was kind enough to excuse me from class, basing my grade solely on the paper, which he gave me an A on. Geneva reminded me that even in sad times God is good.
Later that semester I started Contra dancing. I knew absolutely no one, but Kate and I went anyway. And then Kate dropped off and I was alone. Until Logan. You all know the story by now. He took pity on my once and God railroaded him into dating me. I am so very thankful He did.
For only going to Geneva for three years, I feel like I made up that lost year with the summers I spent working at the library. I was so excited my first summer to work in the library for six hours a day, four days a week. So much time spent in the library! The first month wasn’t so bad, sitting at the desk, shelving, the usual library duties. Then Maymester ended and inventory began. I thought it would be great. I was looking forward to scanning all the books with the super cool scanny thing. And then we started it… and then the dusting… and the cleaning projects… And I still loved it. It tedious and messy and a pain in the butt, but I enjoyed the time in the library and working with the staff. I ate lunch with Natalie sometimes. The only thing I didn’t like was opening. Every morning, getting up at 6:30 to be at the library to open at 8. Not a fun time, man, not fun. The following summer I had seniority, though, so I didn’t have to open. It was lovely.
Junior year I attached myself to Twirls and started a Bible study with my transfer girls. I broke into the theater as an ensemble member in The Little Prince, my first production with Mindy. I found a family in the theater. I also claimed Twirly’s couch as my own. I met spent my first weekend with Logan’s family over fall break, and freaked out about what to pack. I was introduced to the RP church. I joined Midsummer because Mindy wanted me as a fairy, and I wanted to see if I could get into a Kuhns play. I claimed the tree as my own. I cried at the theater banquet.
In the spring I lost my Grani, the best car I ever could have hoped for. I then spent a week, where else, but on Twirly’s couch, during which time I ran from all the zombies, got turned into a zombie, then back into a human again just in time for the final mission in which there was more running from zombies, much shooting, several socks were thrown and Alex led us to victory at safe point. We didn’t lose so much as one member of our team. All of us made it. The other group was not so lucky. It’s funny how HvZ week takes on a sort of epic movie-like quality when you look back at it. Nothing but nurf darts were fired, but I can hear the bullets in my head as we ran for the square of safety. I can hear the soft music playing as I stood in the rain as a human after being a zombie. Hearts pounding, heavy guitar playing, the whole bit. It was an intense week. It’s something you only get once. I didn’t play this year.
I guess this is the part of the show where I confess something about myself. I won’t say that I came to Geneva to find a man… but that’s kind of why I came to Geneva. There, I said it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I wanted the “ring by spring” but I was hoping to find a good Christian man, since looking else were was not a thing that was happening. I was alienated by the size of my church and CCBC is not a place to find men who love Jesus. So, while the main appeal of Geneva was it’s writing program and the proximity to my house, there was that thought, as always, that maybe here I would find the one. And I did. It wasn’t until I decided to stop looking at God brought him to me, but it was here. It was Geneva. This brings us to the summer between Junior and Senior year. Twirly can attest, I was ring crazy. And our plan was vaguely the summer after I graduated. At some point it was just a matter of when the ring would appear. And again, you all know the story. He gave me his great-grandmother’s ring. It is perfect and antique and memorable and perfect and I love it.
So with the date set, I entered into my senior year with half my eye on the wedding and half of it on graduation. This brought on the Dan Williams year. Dr. Dan Williams, as I would learn somewhere around the middle of the semester and have yet to bring myself to call him in public. This year has been interesting, if nothing else. The only writing teach at Geneva now is quite crazy and I’m not convinced he knows where the line is between reality and fiction. He likes fiction, a lot.
My wonderful fiance got me a PS2 for Christmas. Which, in hind-sight, might have been better left at home. Twirly and I spent the entire semester playing through Kingdom Hearts I and II. I am still quite in love with those games. My fiance is probably quite confused by this as the plot is not really a thing. You wander from Disney movie to Disney movie, looking for your friends and killing heartless to save the worlds. There’s a bunch of other stuff that goes on too, and Twirly will never forgive Sora for not kissing Kairi after she saved him with her heart. I can’t explain my love for this game, I guess, but I enjoy it entirely too much. I also defeated Sephiroth. So there.
Spoon River and The Odyssey, were the plays of the year, both draining in their own way, but both beautiful too. Spoon River was heavy, The Odyssey was long and filled with Kuhns but we made it through and they both turned out great. I missed out on the one acts this year. It was a little disappointing not to get to act for my last chance at Geneva. But I wrote a script that Haley took and made a beautiful play out of. I got the best cast I could have ever wished for made up entirely of some of my favorite people. They were brilliant and beautiful and I have so much love and admiration for them.
And that brings back to now, to my final weeks as a Geneva student. MGN is fast approaching, the theater banquet will soon be here. Before I know it, I’ll be scribbling furiously in my blue test book for poli sci and slipping a very thick packet of paper into Morton’s mailbox and then I’ll be done. I will graduate. This is a thing that is happening, guys. And I am so very thankful that it’s happening here. Geneva has been a huge blessing to me. It has brought on some of the harder moments of my life and some of the most brilliant. I would not trade my time here for anything in the world.