So… it’s over. The late night coffee and bubble tea runs, the movies, the “study” sessions (special emphasis on the quotation marks), the bible study lessons, the goofy dinners in the caf, the special events… it’s all done.

And here I sit, prepped and ready to go to Washington D.C.; and the question is, how far have I come, and how did I get there?

I must admit, it has been extremely hard in recent days to generate any enthusiasm for next semester. The benefits seem so small in comparison to the anchors that keep my heart here in Michigan… and yet I press on. Why? Because I can see that God has shaped events in such a way to prepare me for something. What this “something” is I know not, but I have to keep believing that God has good things in store for me, and I need to be prepared.

Still, I can’t help but feel a sense of loss as I think about the semester that I’m missing, because the last two years have taught me the unalterable truth… the fun never stops at CCF!

I have so many good memories… (yes, even Goldie can remember a few things)

The first time I met CCF on a skiing trip: The kindness of the people, their gutsiness in going down the “big” hills, and this kid with glasses who I thought was a cheerful, hyperactive nerd. (note: First impressions are clearly not my strong point… it was Jared!)

The endless USB trips: Teriyaki chicken. Beef noodle soup. Chocolate bubble tea (seriously, you guys, you’re missing out!). The Rubric cube. The golf ball in the water. The ESPN vs. Tom and Jerry debates. The chess matches. The Euchre games. The deep spiritual discussions. The bean sprouts. Learning top-notch chopstick skills (ok, ok… mediocre chopstick skills). Watching the winter Olympics. Making use of the massage chair. Building relationships that will last a lifetime.

The sports: Endless basketball games. Shooting 6 for 8 with 5 three pointers one night and 1 for 9 with one lay-up the next. Getting creamed but playing well in the three on three tournament. Showing up KFC (oh, I mean KCF ) at IM West. Playing tennis with my friends and trying to make it look like I’m not going easy. Epic Ultimate Frisbee matches. Placing last in my first ever tournament and second in my last one with SCF. Learning to throw forehand almost as well as backhand, and gaining a consistent “hammer”. Playing broomball with IV. Running with friends (climbing trees and almost falling in the river included). Running like crazy to steal the flag in paintball because I had run out of bullets anyways. Trying to keep up with Rachelle at the ice rink (which happened for all of 10 seconds). Trash talking like a madman on the volleyball court… with absolutely no game to back it up.

Large group: The first I ever came to about dating, where I established my reputation as arrogant and somewhat condescending (hm, maybe first impressions CAN be right…). The rabbits. The guy-girl lesson. The focus on God lesson (I think there are STILL some people unhappy with that one). The ice breakers (ever tried to play telephone with three FOBs, two ABCs, and a white guy?). The crazy introduction questions. The excellent worship. Bonnie’s lesson on forgiveness. The Night at the Oscars. Dealing with September 11. Forcing Christy and Cassie and Lindsay to teach (and having each of them do an excellent job). Getting terrific “Secret Jesus” gifts. Getting a sweatshirt for walking over from Case for all the leadership meetings.

The special events: Hot Pot. Movie nights, with Steak ‘n’ Shake runs after. Pinball Pete’s. Apple Picking. Broomball. Newspaper games. Barbecue at Bonnie’s. The comedians (Riiiiiiiiiicccoooolloooooooooo). The dances (my favorite). Girls’ Revenge. Singing to Christy on her Birthday. Going camping with the guys (Welcome to the Revolution!). Guys’ night out. Climbing the wall at Galyans. Games in the Time Out room. Sledding.

Just being friends: Dinner in the caf. Vermacelli (aka bean thread) with Sewa and Samantha. Movies in people’s rooms. Birthday parties. Picking songs for CCF with Joyce. Coffee runs. Tears. Getting past gossip. Getting past differences.

Random events: Turning on scoreboards and falling out of trees with Diana. Sitting with Ryan, waiting for him to get stiches. Taking Jared to the hospital after getting his teeth knocked in, literally. Climbing the fire escape instead of watching shooting stars on a cloudy night, and eating breakfast afterwards.

Small group: Simon and Garfunkel. I can’t believe you guys didn’t bring your bibles! Why are Asians always late? Ok, I have an outline! Creed. Xin, what are you talking about?
Since when does McGlobe get the lounge? They’ll only have 5 people anyways! Ok, ok… we’ll have more discussion. Evolution. Predestinatin. “God is like a rainbow.” We need to be ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED to God. Xin, what are you talking about?

Core: Meetings without end. Retreats. Sleeping at Bonnie’s church. Campfire on the beach. MTs. Arguments and debates. Spiritual growth. One-on-ones. Wheel of Morality.

Nicknames: Gazelle, The Monk, Willis, The Emperor, Goldie, Champ.


Jared: Loyalty and Credibility vs. Principle. The Cold War that I didn’t know about becoming a deep friendship. The 9 hour conversation. Rooming together at Twyckingham. Eating ridiculous amounts of eggs. The Ant War. Video Games. D&D and the Magic Dice. McDonald’s trips. The trip to Tennessee. Hypotheticals. Inside vs. Outside. Hot vs. Cold. Emotion and passion vs. discipline and objectivity. Girl issues. Chess wars. The single one-on-one basketball game. 6 hour arguments. Trying to rent movies. Barnes and Noble vs. 21st Century. Sleeping while driving. The HUGE cross. Theology and philosophy. War and political strategy. General grumpiness.

Rachelle: Long talks in Tennessee. Brutal honesty. Cleaning the carpet during talks. Eating breakfast at Yakely… and RACHELLE SKIPPED A CLASS? The tea party the night before a test. Doing the puzzle. Medical jokes; what are you talking about? Political jokes; what are you talking about? Discussion vs. Lecturing. Opinion vs. Absolutes. Authority of the few vs. Authority of the group. Movie similarities; While You Were Sleeping, Return to Me, Anne of Green Gables, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, etc. Skating fast at the Ice Rink. The letter. Misperceptions. Taking breaks from Core meetings to work out compromises. How to handle relationships discussions. Jared’s pink shirt. GLUTIUS MAXIMUS and the ghetto booty.

Samantha: Vermacelli. Running to Beaners. Debating the finer points of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Jogging to Sparty. IM arguments. Deep spiritual discussions. Nati? Yeah, that totally fits. Hating shopping together the first time, but learning to like it the second. “What do you mean I’m a pistol?” Walking to X lot. Tennis; “holding back? Me? Never!”. Tears. “I can help you with your grammars.” Eating “shrimps”. Serious displays of stubbornness on both sides. Dumb jokes. The basics of politics. The Health exam. “You are SO MUCH like my mom!” Absolute commitment to friendship no matter what. Ideas for Core. “The guys in CCF need more boldness.” Feeling like simultaneous failures but seeing the simultaneous successes. Short jokes. “My 12 year old brother is taller than you!” White jokes. Family differences. “Are you teachable?”

Christy: Stealing food of my plate. Ice cream. “But I don’t have any spoons!” Discussions about Marvin. Cells and Moving Vans. “They come from RATS?” The ethics of medicine. Tuesday and Thursday breakfasts. “Aw, you didn’t have to wake up for me!” “Don’t worry, I’m not awake yet.” Stories about old people. You got drunk on NYQUIL? “I’m hot.” “Oh yes you ARE!” Spiderman, 8 mile, and Lord of the Rings. CHRISTY! That’s DISGUSTING! Multivitamins. “What do you mean, I won’t be able to tell what they’re doing?” Rap vs. Opera. Hip-Hop vs. Classical. You can’t BURP? Constructive criticism. ::sniff:: You’re leaving me all alone? Let me get my camera and duct tape and I’ll make you famous.

Arthur: Dinners at Case. “Case is SO much better!” Playing pool… on the computer. “Hey, if you think you can pull of the paintball thing, go for it.” Basketball games, shooting threes from half court. What does it mean to be a Godly man? I don’t CARE how hot your physical therapist is. WHAT? Medal of Honor. “I was BORN to be a sniper!” Who’s skinnier? Sorry, man, what the girls want, the girls get. You walk so SLOW. “I can’t live with Asians.” Dude, NOBODY CARES. CBC history. You get to prove it the way I did… one long day at a time.

Joyce: Choosing songs for CCF. Two social people trying to get past just being social. (simultaneously) “I do 90% of the work around here!” All of a sudden, we’re realizing that we’re leaders. Trying to make small talk over the phone. “If you see chewy crème savers, that’s us!” “Well, if you see pharmacist legislation, that’s US!” Relax, Joyce, you’re gorgeous. I HATE singing. I’d much rather just listen to you guys. “I think I just like being the mediator.” So, you ready to be in charge of this one? You kicked BUTT on my quizzes! Where’d you get a name like Juice, anyways? A DOUBLE RAINBOW. This is one of those things we’ll always remember.

Cassie: Cassie or Casey? Oh, Casey? No wait, Cassie? How do you spell it? I’m so confused. Walks back from McDonel after prayer meeting. Hand motions! Batman Beyond; yeah, baby. “She didn’t shudder at MY PAW.” Disney songs in the caf. “Yeah right, you just want to laugh at me!” Judging the Bigger and Better game. Why are you a breadstick? Just hanging out… “Ok, I’m taking you to Jon’s house, even if he isn’t there.” Is it 33 or 133? I’m sure they’re the same thing. “Well, this is an adventure!” Fast walkers. Um, ok, no. Don’t invade the bubble!

Lindsay: Oh my goodness, what is up with your FEET? Little kids are so cute! Are you going to pay dues to the teacher’s union? How do you get a name like Brownie? Yes, I KNOW that Noah is incredibly cute. Are you ready to teach this week? Don’t compare yourself so much! You LIKE the idea of compartments? You were the one I was most worried about! A Walk to Remember? I CAN’T STAND THAT MOVIE. Ang? Yeah, that fits.

Diana: Turning the scoreboard on at the baseball field. Falling out of a tree. Discussing how to apply the Bible to our lives. “Oh, shut up, I’m gonna tell you anyways.” Do you think there are sub-groups? You’re weird. SMILE more! You and Stephanie are SO SHORT; I feel like you’re talking under me! Romans is a good book. You Jerk! You’re so cool. Hop on the sled, it’s fun! Trust me. The dress isn’t blue, it’s tan! What are YOU looking at? God loves me the way I am, right?

And so many more…

Ok, next blog will be a bit more normal. I’ll tell you what though, guys… I love each and every one of you. I’ll miss you guys. Don’t forget me.

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