OK - things have slowed down enough I think I can finally write again! The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. And much of it spent sitting - in cars, airplanes, orientation meetings, meals and finally - back to work. Strange as it may sound, I am sore from head to toe from sitting!
Since I am at work, I don't have any La Vida pictures to post - if I think about it tonight I'll try to put some up. But suffice it to say that Carissa had a good, and exhausting, time at La Vida. 12 days in the Adirondack Mountains - 2 of them solo. She was assigned to the kayaking patrol. There were also a couple canoe patrols and also mountain patrols. Her group had 10 kids, including kids from Iowa, California, Georgia, New York - and ironically, three kids from the West Chicago area. Carissa met John in February - he is from Naperville. Carissa has known the other student, Jessica, since they were toddlers even tho their paths took different directions over the years. She is also from West Chicago. John and Jessica were both students at Wheaton Academy. As predicted, this group bonded. Really tightly. LOL. The other night after orientation stuff wore down they got together just to veg. And the next night Carissa said she had meetings to go to, and all she wanted to do was hang with Kayak One. Word is that La Vida patrols are pretty much bonded for life. I am beginning to see evidence of that even at this early stage.
Anyway, Kim and I flew to out Wenham, MA after LaVida and arrived at campus about a half hour before the kids returned. They got a major big welcome from orientation leaders (soph, jr and sr. students who came back early) - signs, posters, cheers; a great big welcome to Gordon College and a congratulations on surviving La Vida.
They were then able to move into their dorms - a day earlier than the general population. Which was nice. Carissa's roommate (Kaitlyn, see pic) was on a canoe patrol and also moved in Thursday night.
One of the girls from Carissa's kayak patrol lives directly across the hall from her.
Their dorm is the newest dorm on campus, Chase Hall. She is on the third floor right next to the kitchen and lounge. Also the stairs and elevator. The dorm even has front loader washers! Two rooms make up a suite and share a bathroom.
Named in honor of Trustee Don Chase and his wife Barbara, Chase Hall has 162 beds and is organized as a series of suites with every two rooms sharing a shower and restroom. In addition to the double suites, Chase Hall also has a kitchen on each floor, three classrooms and a spacious lounge area that overlooks the campus quadrangle. Chase is also designed for energy efficiency in accordance with Gordon's broader aim to promote renewable energy and resources on campus.
Again, we were very impressed with the campus, the faculty and the philosophy of Gordon. It's too involved to write here, but if you want to know more just ask me! Carissa and Gordon seem tailor made for each other.
Kim and I spent time with Jessica's parents - going out for a lobster dinner in Gloucester on Friday night, and then we spent time with Kaitlyn's parents (Carissa's roommate) going out for a seafood/lobster dinner with them in Essex after we left campus Saturday night. (The first pic is Ned, up close and personal with his lobster. The second pic is Kaitlyn's parents, Sandy and Bill.)
It was a good weekend, but stressful. I was so tired of meeting new people. I could feel myself curling up a little inside and retreating with each new person I had to meet. All were nice, and I felt frustrated with my inability to get past my introverted self. Batteries were dead, no chance to recharge. Fortunately we met Kaitlyn's parents the first night, as well as reconnected with Ned and Linda, so they got in early before I began to check out.....
I could understand Carissa's sentiments that she just wanted to chill with her Kayak patrol, it was becoming too overwhelming.
And, then, Kim and I returned home and we each started the school year. And it has been crazy.
I choose not to vent here, but suffice it to say I was ready to quit after the second day. And so my stress level increases. My neck is in knots, my head is aching, and I basically hurt all over. I'm looking forward to coffee with my friend Betsy in about 2 hours. Enjoy the pix!
Carissa in her room.
A section of the dining hall