Monday, August 18, 2008

Returning to Wheaton

This week Thursday, I return to Wheaton College.

The journey itself is not complicated. Sometime after breakfast, my mom will drive me (and a carload of luggage) out to the College. The chore of packing is also not complicated – two suitcases of clothes; two boxes or so with books, bedding, and miscellaneous items; hangers of dress clothes; my bookbag; and (incredibly, after a dozen trips back and forth between Oak Park and Wheaton in the last year I have yet to forget) my trombone. Oh, and a shopping bag full of snacks. Snacks are an absolute essential. I should have all my belongings moved from my bedroom in Oak Park to my dorm room in Wheaton before lunchtime.

In the space of a few hours, then, I will have moved back to Wheaton College. As early as that evening, I will be busy. This fall, I am serving as a Big Sib for freshman orientation. My Big Sib partner, A.J. Althoff, and I will have a small group of about eight freshmen with whom we will meet three times during orientation week. The first meeting is immediately following the orientation kick-off Thursday night. I am excited to be a Big Sib. The Big Sib meetings during my own freshman orientation last fall were really enjoyable for me, so I am looking forward to being able to give some of that back to the incoming freshman class.

When asked what about my return to Wheaton I am most looking forward to, some obvious answers come to mind: my girlfriend, my small group, my other friends, fun over meals in Saga, concerts, and things like that. But there are a few specific things that are not so obvious.

First, I am really looking forward to my private lessons starting again in a couple of weeks. The performance component of my curriculum is decidedly the most fun, and my lessons both semesters of my freshman year were extremely rewarding. I have really missed my private lessons and my instructor, Audrey Morrison, this summer, so I am really excited for that to start again. Also, the trombone studio will welcome three new freshmen this year, and having a studio almost twice the size of last year’s will be a treat.

Also, although I have not been out to the campus at all this summer, I know that some major changes have occurred. Major construction for capital projects in the Promise Campaign started just as the 2009 spring semester ended, and I have no doubt that crews have made significant progress in the intervening three months. The most exciting of these projects for most people (and probably the most exciting visually, I will allow) will be the new science center, on the southwest corner of Howard and University, but I am more excited for the extension to Edman Memorial Chapel. As a stage manager, my work regularly takes me into various parts of the building, and the sudden existence of new spaces (the extension is scheduled for use beginning in January) is really exciting for me.

Finally, I am just excited about the concept of being a returning student. As a freshman, almost everything is new when you go to college. (I say almost everything because of course I was already familiar with the campus and a handful of fellow students.) But as a returning student, you are coming back to the same classrooms, the same dining hall, most of the same friends, and (though it will undoubtedly still shock me when it turns nasty) the same weather. Not everything will be the same, of course, and I am interested to see what will be new about my life as a returning Wheaton College student this fall.

I definitely have a lot to look forward too. I do not for a moment believe that this semester will be without challenges, but I look forward to what God will teach me in the coming months and what invaluable experience I will gain. And I am sure that this semester will have a lot of fun times, too. All together, I cannot wait to get back to Wheaton College. It is from that amazing place that I shall next post to the Rubio Room.

This is Rubio, over and out.

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