Kim Johnson – So here it is, my first entry, of what I hope becomes many entries as a Wabash blogger. I started Monday in the Public Affairs Office and have spent much of my first week making my way around campus to meet new colleagues. The rest of my week has been an attempt to decipher how I fit into this unknown community within the community that I have known and been a part of nearly my entire life.
In a sense, I feel like a freshman starting over again at Purdue. I remember my mom’s advice after I came home from my math placement exam in tears feeling completely overwhelmed by the huge world that is Purdue University. “You only have five classes your first semester,” she said. “Learn where those five buildings are, then next semester learn the next five.”
Fortunately, I have been around the campus in the past enough to basically know which building is Baxter and which building is Detchon but as with anywhere Wabash has its own vernacular that makes me do a double take as I sit in meetings and think “what are they talking about?” And so, the “five buildings” that I am learning this week are more on a figurative level than literal.
It’s Thursday of my first week and I have not yet been dipped in a vat of hot oil until I turned golden brown so I would say it’s been a successful week but it isn’t over until the Homecoming Queen is crowned at half-time on Saturday. (I’d say until the “fat lady fraternity pledge sings” but from what I have been told, those may be one in the same – which scares me a little.)
All kidding aside, I must say for as long as I have lived in Crawfordsville (nearly 31 years minus the time spent at Purdue and one year in Michigan), I have overlooked how much Wabash is truly a gem in our community.
Every person I have met this week has been so welcoming and helpful but the thing the sticks in my mind the most is how much every single person here cares about the students. Whether he or she is a professor, a dean, an administrative assistant, a coach, a librarian or an IT expert, it’s not just about a job but it’s about being passionate about the students and their education.
It’s about pride in the heritage and tradition that have carried so many men through life. Most importantly it’s about grooming high school boys to become men who, as the mission states, “think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely”.
And that’s a really cool thing.