Graduation: Part I

On Sunday, May 17, 2009, I can officially call myself a graduate of Whitworth University. After four years of hard work, experiencing dorm life, eating campus food, and hanging out with the best of friends, everything will come to an end very shortly.

And what a ride it has been.

High school graduation was not very dramatic because I knew what was coming next: college. I knew I would be attending Whitworth in the fall while my fellow colleagues had similar fates. So why bother with the dramatics?

Granted, there were many people I would never see again. Some of them friends of mine, others people I am glad to never see again. By the time senior year in high school rolled around, I was ready to move on with my life. I was ready to live on my own and participate in higher education. Spokane may not be too far away from Federal Way, but it’s far enough. I couldn’t come home every weekend.

And why would I want to come home all the time? Everything I possibly need is here on campus: friends, a place to live, a place to learn, etc. My only regret was the fact that Whitworth is located in Spokane, Washington. Not everything can be perfect.

But what can be perfect is my experience here at Whitworth. Here is what I have accomplished from fall of 2005 to the spring of 2009:

I’ve roughed four long and snowy winters, endured eight finals weeks, eight midterm weeks, enjoyed three summers where I eagerly anticipated returning to school, and four very different Jan Terms. I’ve traveled to Washington D.C., South Africa, and New York City during my time here. I’ve actively participated in the theatre program; appearing in four mainstage productions, “frosh on stage” (the annual freshmen show), I’ve directed a one act, performed in five of them (one being a pre-recorded voice over), went to Broadway and saw eight wonderful shows there, participated in three different theatre projects (one for Core 350, one for World Vision, and the other for a Christian camp), and took several classes in the department. I’ve earned a theatre minor and an honorary theatre major in my four years here.

I’ve been on The Whitworthian staff for four years. Two years I wrote for News, one year I was the Circulation Manager, and this year I wrote for Opinions. I completed an internship at “Inland NW Homes & Lifestyles,” a magazine that covers arts, culture, and life in the Spokane and Coeur D’Alene area. I’ve earned a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications and minors in theatre and speech communication. The month I spent in South Africa was life-changing. The two weeks I spent in New York were some of the most fun I’ve had in my lifetime. I’ve made some life-long friends (Alex and Luis, you know who you are!) and have been dubbed the nick name “Tech Nine” by a certain Mr. Smith. That name has spread wider than I had ever expected.

I feel I have improved as a writer here at Whitworth and am now equipped to pursue a job in the journalism field. I also feel I have learned enough about the theatrical arts to at least be a part time actor/director/playwright/techie. My understanding of Christianity has also deepened and I feel I understand Jesus more than I ever have. I’ve had to endure Sodexo cooking for four years (though we Whitworth folk call it “Saga”) and working out at the ridiculously small gym called the Scotsford Fitness Center. I have never caught a virgin pinecone (defined as a pinecone that has fallen from a tree but never hit the ground), been hit by a Frisbee (though last week I was very bloody close), dropped a tray in Saga (back when we had trays) or got engaged to someone by spring. The thought of marrying someone scares me.

I’ve seen the election of America’s first African American president, witnessed a vicious hurricane that devastated the gulf coast, seen Iraq spin out of control, seen Afghanistan spin out of control, saw a bloodless coup in Thailand, two wars in Israel, rouge missile launches by North Korea, anti-Semitic remarks by an Iranian president, a devastating shooting at Virginia Tech University, the most unpopular American presidency since Richard Nixon, a Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl loss, allegations of torture at the hands of the CIA, a continuing genocide in Darfur, lawlessness in Somalia, terrorist attacks in London, Madrid, & Mumbai, the execution of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Ken Lay, Slobodan Milosevic, & Augusto Pinochet, five states legalizing same-sex marriage, the closure of many newspapers across the country, a strong economy going down the drain at the hands of greedy Wall Street executives, a deep economic recession, television going digital, the swine flu, powerful automobile companies like Chrysler and GM bordering on bankruptcy, congressional and executive bailouts, two new Supreme Court justices, Facebook becoming mainstream, MySpace becoming outdated, YouTube rising to superpower status, Google expanding, Twitter tweeting, and the launch of the iPhone. This only scratches the surface of what has happened in America and around the world in the four years that I have been a student at Whitworth.

At school I have had one roommate, lived in a single for three years, taken a wide variety of classes from departments ranging from history to theology to theatre to natural sciences to political science to communications. I’ve attended lectures by Middle Eastern scholars, a South African preacher, and crazy speakers ranging from a hippie Presbyterian minister to a wacky socialist. I’ve taken classes from many brilliant professors and been in classes with countless brilliant young minds. I’ve spent countless numbers of hours in rehearsal, studying for tests, reading for class, doing homework, and goofing off. I’ve had lots of late night chats, pun offs (where you get a group of people together and all you do is tell random puns till you can’t think of any more), Safeway runs at midnight, random YouTube videos shown to me by friends, and coffee dates with friends. I’ve been asked out by a few young women over the years, and even rejected an offer to start a serious relationship with one. I won’t dare reveal who that is.

And what about those four mainstage theatre shows? “Our Town,” “Tartuffe,” “The Cradle Will Rock,” and “Museum” were all a blast. I would never trade a single hour of lost sleep for the world. The cast and crews of all those shows were ones of the best I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. And the directors of those shows were fantastic as well. I will most likely dedicate a whole blog post to my theatre experience at Whitworth.

Whitworth itself has changed a lot. We’ve expanded in student body size, torn down two Village buildings (the building I have lived in my junior and senior year, Keola, is next on the chopping block), seen the construction of Duvall Hall and the new East Residence Hall (lame name, huh?), saw the destruction and construction of a new fine arts building, said good bye to Beyond Hall, said hello to a new and improved Westminster Hall, and plenty of other changes that are two numerous to mention. The “small school” vibe I felt my freshmen year is slowly evolving into a “medium school” feeling. Also, our radio station, KWRS, went under this year. It is now known as “Whitworth FM.” Totally not the same.

Too much has happened in these four years. It boggles the mind to just think about it. But that’s what the future is for. You remember the past once you live in the present. And I plan to live in the present. I do not know what the future holds exactly, but I am sure it will be a happy one. But for now, I should really go to sleep because tomorrow is a big day.


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2 Comments on “Graduation: Part I”

  1. you'll never guess Says:

    what a wild ride, eh?. I know, however, that we’d not have given it up for all the world. love the blog, comrade. been reading it on my lunchbreaks! great stuff, my machine-pistol friend.

  2. you'll never guess Says:

    girls?! you never–hat?!

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