September 9, 2010 § 2 Comments

i am a few days late, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to blog about my college experience.  ouachita baptist university celebrated founder’s day on september 6, 2010.  i graduated from ouachita in 2008, and probably had a very different experience than most.

i was a senior in high school in 2002, and planned to go to davidson college in north carolina.  ouachita offered me a scholarship, which i politely ignored in favor of moving away from arkansas, where i’d been forced to relocate to just a few years before.  the short story is that davidson’s funding was not sufficient and all roads pointed to a small town in southern arkansas called arkadelphia.  i was taken by the beauty of the campus but prepared to be unhappy.  at that time in my life, i was struggling with my identity and need to belong.  so i attached myself to the black population at ouachita.  the thing that i failed to understand was that ouachita is what you make it.  the even shorter story is i ended up moving back to california suddenly.  after my “two years in the wilderness” (as i lovingly remember it), i felt the Lord calling me back to school for some sort of christian studies.  i tried to find every christian school other than ouachita, but i knew (and eventually gave into the fact that) God wanted me back where He put me in the first place.

i finally returned to ouachita in 2007.  my attitude was totally refreshed and i decided i was going to do any and everything to make the time positive, starting with joining  a social club.  when i was first at ouachita, i went through “rush” and was set on a social club that rejected me.  that was the beginning of a decline in my experience in arkansas, but coming back i decided to pick up where i left off.  rush is three days long, and after the first day in 2003, i quit.  if not for my heart being set on the other club, i knew i would have rushed EEE.  even the second time around, i was totally impressed by the oldest club on ouachita’s campus.  and so i became a member of one of the strongest traditions on ouachita’s campus: i became a woman of EEE.

you wouldn’t believe the stories if i told you, but i didn’t know ONE girl in this picture when we took it.  just one week later, a bond had been formed.  i know today that no matter how long or far away we are from one another, those girls became my sisters in january 2007. our letters are our bond.

first day of letters

eee haw

fifties night

last day as pledges!

kappa/EEE hybrids :-)

as if that were not enough, my SECOND semester at ouachita, i became part of another tradition that will always be a part of me.  i was given the incredible honor of wearing the letters of the men of kappa chi as a lil’ sis.

sistEEErs sharing two sets of letters!

those two things made my time at ouachita; they top the list for sure.  here are some other things that shaped my time in “the bubble”:

tiger tunes
most people get a maximum of four tiger tunes shows during their four years at ouachita.  in only two years, i got to be a part of four awesome shows.  both years, kappa won first place (because i sang a solo of course… just kidding!) first as golfers, then as miners.  you can see both shows on youtube.  and the lovely ladies of EEE won second place (which most of us bemoan, but if i’m second to anyone, it may as well be kappa!) with spies and then carhops.

it’s hard to describe the appeal of tiger tunes until you’ve actually put together a show.  i’ll be honest, when i saw tiger tunes as a freshman, i didn’t like it.  i came from a theater background and all the excited cheering felt all wrong to me.  most people love it when they first see it.  but once i got to be a part of the show, i began to understand the dynamic.  it’s such hard work, putting together 6-minute shows, including costumes, harmonies, and choreography in under a month!  what those students do is truly awesome.  pair that with all-nighter rehearsals, club feuds and the promise of bragging rights, and you’ve got a literally unforgettable fall semester.

berry bible building
my BA is in christian studies with an emphasis in biblical studies.  i also have a minor in speech communication.  most of my classes were in BBB.  this was the place where i had to face myself and how i felt about my faith; things which made me who i am today.  i’ve never met such knowledgeable and down to earth people of God.  i appreciate and have fond memories of each class (even the ones i didn’t appreciate so much at the time!), each exegetical, and each discussion i had during my many, many hours in this building.  more than anything, perhaps, was my trip is israel in the summer of 2008.  i won’t even start, but it was one of the turning points in my spiritual formation!

making life fun in a small town
i’m from the CITY.  the BIG city.  arkadelphia is not the city.  however, there’s a reason that people love the country.  there’s not a lot to do, but that forces you to be creative and to cultivate your relationships.  i have developed such a deep love for the country that i almost can’t describe it.  it’s about what you make it.  things i would have probably never done in a city became good times and even better memories.  kidnappings, late nights at walmart, just hanging out… even going to the movies became an outing (since the nearest theater was 30 miles away).  i really learned to value my friends and our time together as a result of living in arkadelphia.  i might as well admit that i love that place, and miss it at times.

and last but not least:

meeting the country. and here’s why:

and remember those letters i mentioned earlier?  EEE and KX?  Our wedding was full of them! :)

’nuff said.

i could go on and on about my time at ouachita.  there is so much adventure, headache and drama to recant from my short return.  the jury may still be out on my “heritage”, but at ouachita i found my family.  i will most certainly encourage my children to become a part of this rich legacy and tradition.  i am a part of a one hundred twenty-four year culture of faith, community, and excellence.  i would not trade my experience at ouachita for anything.  it was the place of both my greatest failure and my greatest victory; it’s memory is full of tears of both sadness and joy.

i am ouachita’s legacy.

…it seems criminal to sum up two years in so few pictures, but here are some more in case you’re interested!

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