The university that I adjunct for has graduation for the graduate students in December. We attend all the graduations to celebrate with our students. This year graduation was held in the chapel, “As I walked by the closet near the left door, I whispered to one of my adjunct friends…that is where I fell, in love, in that closet! “You are crazy, Nanc, just be quiet and keep walking. ”
It is a special time for me when I attend graduation as I attended Judson University when it was Judson College, over forty years age. It is a one of the hidden natural treasures of the midwest, nestled into the banks of the Fox River. When I attended we didn’t have a fitness center, fine arts building or even a chapel, even though it was a Baptist school. My father didn’t want me to attend because it wasn’t even accredited yet and there were less than three hundred students attending.
So, Judson must have heard my father’s complaint and they started building project after building project. The first one was the beautiful two-story hillside chapel. We had a place for our choir to practice and a beautiful pipe organ was put into place. As it was being built, many students would sneak in and sneak out, just to see the progress. Dave asked me one night if I wanted to sneak in with him. Most of the time I am pretty law-abiding, after all I was a Baptist.
He dared me when I said, “I don’t think I’m ready to sneak in with you anywhere.”
“Why, what do you think will happen? he responded. All we have to do is sit in the front coat closet and no one will even know we’re in there.”
It was something about the dare, something about the intrigue of it all, “Okay, tonight, I said – we will steal away in the cloak of darkness…don’t be late, I’ll meet you by the bushes, near the science building, 8 pm.”
I evaded my roommate, saying I was making a last stop at the library…I made my way to the science building, he was there hiding behind the bushes.
“Be on the look out for anyone coming down the path…just look normal and hold my hand.”
So I did; I don’t know why I did, because that wouldn’t be ‘normal’ for me….I disdained PDA of any sort.
When we got to the chapel be both scouted left, and then right. Dave opened the door. We found the closet, it was dark, our eyes hadn’t adjusted to the darkness. I guess he decided to sit down, so I sat down too, ‘elbows, elbows, knees, knees’ (EEKK, if you know the Sisters). And we talked, and we talked, and we talked- it was like I had known him my whole life…we fit together, our talk, like pancakes and syrup (okay, that’s maybe a bit sweet), salsa and chips that’s more like it. I knew it that night, I think, but I didn’t want to admit it. But I also knew that I didn’t want that night ever to end. And it hasn’t.
Snip snap…I’m out- the door to get my talkin’ partner, at O’Hare, at 6:15 , can’t wait…he’ll be there in the cloak of darkness standing on the curb; waiting for me.