Sunday, October 21, 2007

I love Small Friendly College

I promise you this is not the last time you'll hear that if you're a regular reader of this blog. I was back at my Alma Mater this weekend and was reminded once again how grateful I am for my opportunity to spend four formative years in such a wonderful place.

Why do I love SFC? First and foremost, it was the environment I needed to develop into the person I always was but felt I couldn't be in high school. I positively flourished in the small, intentional, academic community at SFC. I met people who had completely unconventional childhoods and education compared to my suburban public school experience. My confidence blossomed in a community of collaborative instead of competitive learning. I was inspired by my classmates who had traveled the world to study abroad and it opened my eyes even further to the diversity of human experiences on our earth. SFC empowers students to work for change in this world. I studied Biology, but I learned at SFC that having a narrow, myopic view of issues my field is insufficient. If I want to see more equality, justice, peace, and sustainable practices then I need to be doing my part every day to make the change happen. I see myself as intimately connected to both the world's problems and solutions.

It's exciting to watch a new, younger student body continue to develop into fascinating, passionate, and articulate life-long learners and leaders. Watching the students makes me think of the song "It Happens Every Day" by Dar Williams. My cousin is a student there now and I hope that when she reaches the end of her time at SFC that she looks back on it with half as much love and gratitude as I do.

SFC is an intense experience of community. Now that I've been out for a few years I know only a handful of current students. The names and faces have changed but the sentiment hasn't. And most of my professors are still there. But I realized when I graduated that I had not only become attached to the people at SFC. I had become attached to the physical place. I loved the way it felt to walk back across campus in the middle of a spring night, the smell of each academic building, the autumn leaves falling on sidewalks, and the first dusting of snow. Never in my life had I been so aware of the changing of the seasons.

Going back this weekend was excellent. I got to enjoy the fall colors, talk to my professors, see friends, and feel the deep sense of peace and purpose that runs through SFC. It brings tears of happiness to my eyes to think about it.

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