Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wheaton College - The First Few Days

Well, I made it. I am sitting at my desk in my dorm room in Traber Residence Hall on the campus of Wheaton College. I just finished registering on the campus network, so it's the first chance I've had to use the Internet in my room. Fortunately, though, I wasn't completely cut off from the world, as Buswell Memorial Library has public Internet access.

It's been an exciting two days and a bit. My mom drove me out here Thursday around midday with a full carload of clothes, bedding, books, my trombone, piano, and personal possessions (well, okay, I guess everything in that list could qualify as a personal possession, but I wanted a more sophisticated term for "other stuff"). I checked in and got unloaded with no trouble. My roommate, Sam Ostransky of Iowa, arrived shortly after I did, and we got busy moving in. There were notices on the doors informing residents that the building was without air conditioning or hot water. In fact, the pipe that normally allowed us to have hot water had just burst this week.

Not too much later, the hot, sunny skies turned dark and stormy. We actually had a power outtage in my residence hall, and then a tornado warning forced us to take shelter in the basement. It could have been worse, though; Fischer Hall had a fire alarm concurrent with the storm and tornado warning, so they had to evacuate.

But, the weather cleared, although the area showed signs of some damage. Dr. Duane Litfin, our president, mentioned that his Wheaton-area home had some flooding. In the evening we had an orientation kick-off. The orientation committee (a very lively group) welcomed us, and then we broke up into "Big Sib" groups. My group has two sophomore "Big Sibs" and ten freshmen, evenly split between men and women (no more boys and girls at college!). The evening ended with time to relax in Beamer Student Center.

Yesterday, Friday, I attended an orientation meeting for all the new music majors (53 freshmen and six transfers). That meeting I really enjoyed. The Conservatory faculty and student leadership introduced themselves and presented some information pertinent to my tenure as a music major.

Friday afternoon was the orientation opening program. It differed from the kick-off in that the administration were there and it was a more formal official welcome to Wheaton. Dr. Liftin spoke to my class as a whole for the first time. I have to say, Dr. Liftin is an amazing speaker. I don't think he had speech notes with him at all! And besides that, I can tell that he has a heart for leading this amazing community of believers. We also had a presentation on academic life at Wheaton, with a panel of professors representing the four undergraduate division (Bible and theology, humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, and the Conservatory).

In the evening we had a presentation from student development on student life and the Community Covenant, our school's statement of how we live together. The RA's performed some humorous skits about dorm life, which did get their points across. Friday evening, too, concluded with time in the Beamer Center.

Today, Saturday, has been just as busy. We had an orientation to computing and the campus network this morning, followed by a presentation on the multicultural experience at Wheaton. Things calmed down a bit this afternoon, as evidenced by the time I have to write this.

Words cannot adequately describe how grateful I am to be here at Wheaton, and how much I love the school. Actually, I am still trying to get used to the fact that this is my school, and that I am here to stay. Being at Wheaton is a dream come true for me. And I am having a great time.

This is Rubio, over and out.

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