In this Issue: as I prepare to depart for a couple of days of PTO around Thanksgiving break, here are 26 reasons I am grateful to be a Wake Forester
A – Abroad. Studying abroad in France was the best semester I spent at Wake. Totally transformational.
B – Babcock. My favorite of all the residential communities I lived in.
C – Community. The Wake Forest community is like no other. It’s filled with brilliant, caring, interesting people – students, faculty, and staff alike.
D – Divisional requirements [bear with me here….] Left to my own devices, I would have skipped the sciences altogether, maybe humanities too. But being forced to take a sampling of courses in all the divisions has helped me be conversant in places I might not otherwise.
E – English department. My English degree got me my first job, and all subsequent jobs. Being able to read critically and write cogently has always been a recipe for job success.
F – Friends. The friends I met at Wake are still the people I am closest to and love most in the world. They aren’t my blood family, but they are my Family of Choice.
G – Grass on the Quad. Walking barefoot on it right before Commencement, when the grass is at its most lush, is one of my great pleasures.
H – Huffman Hall. Back in 1988 I sat on the fire escape and watched the dignitaries arrive for the Presidential Debate (we called it “The Grapple in the Chapel”). Still one of my favorite memories.
I – Individuality. I love that we have students who are preppy, and ones with tattoos, and ones with purple hair, and Republicans and Democrats, and people from all religions (or none at all), and international students, and Southern accents – all jumbled in one place. We all learn from each other.
J – Jeremy (aka Mr. Daily Deac). The greatest gift Wake Forest ever gave me was meeting my wonderful husband here when we were in grad school and later marrying him in Wait Chapel.
K – Krispy Kremes. The quintessential Winston-Salem treat.
L – the Lovefeast. It is the prettiest holiday service I have ever been to. And even now just the whiff of a beeswax candle transports me back to the first one I went to.
M – Move In Day. Every year it is a joy to watch 1,400+ new faces arrive and to imagine what wonderful things they might do while they are here (and beyond).
N – New ideas. College is a place to grapple with new ideas: new knowledge, new ways of looking at the world, new discoveries (personal or professional), new identities, new passions. As long as we keep learning new things and being open to the world, I believe we keep growing for the better.
O – Opportunities. There are so many opportunities on campus: to hear from renowned speakers, see great artists, or worship, volunteer, debate, or even travel. If you want to stretch yourself, you absolutely can.
P – Pool. This year, I have been learning to swim laps for fitness. I appreciate the pool in the Wellbeing Center and the strength I am gaining from it.
Q – Questions. Not the ones you ask in class, but the Big Questions students are hopefully chewing on late at night: what is love? what is the nature of God/the divine? what is important enough for me to fight for? how should we best live our lives?
R – Reynolda Gardens. I love walking the trail between campus and Reynolda Gardens. Beautiful in every season.
S – Staff. We have so many wonderful folks here in every area of campus: the faculty, administrators, support staff, everyone. I especially love when I see someone from the Pit greet a student by name or by saying “have a good day, baby!” I know someone cares about them 🙂
T – Tutoring. Whether that is in the Center for Learning, Access, and Student Success; Math and Stats Center; Writing Center; Chem Center – I am grateful that we have folks who give of their time and talent to help students learn those tougher subjects. I only passed biology because of the tutoring I got from one of my best friends.
U – the University Theatre. Some of my most beloved friends were from the Theatre department, and every production I go to today reminds me that we have amazing talent on campus.
V – Victories. Athletics has given us so many of them, but there are little victories every day: the lightbulb goes off in a student’s head and suddenly they understand something, or a faculty member gets funding for an important grant. All the victories.
W – Wait Chapel. It is our tallest building, a beacon of light at night, and the place where we celebrate together, and sometimes mourn together – it is the “together” that matters.
X – Xenon. Not the gas proper, but the Periodic Table bench outside of Salem Hall. It’s a great piece of student art, and one that my ’27 used to LOVE looking at when we’d bring him to campus as a child.
Y – YOU! I am grateful every day that so many of you read the Daily Deac and allow me to be part of your Wake Forest experience.
Z – Z Smith Reynolds Library. It has some of the most amazing, helpful librarians in the world (some of my best friends), plus the Rare Books Room, a beautiful space. And librarians are on the front line of helping students understand how to detect mis/disinformation, so they deserve all the thanks for that.
That’s the ABCs of my WFU gratitude.
And just a reminder for those staying on campus for Thanksgiving: the Wellbeing Center will again be hosting a free lunch for all WFU undergraduate and graduate students at 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. They just need to show their ID. The Wellbeing Ctr. will also be open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. with plenty of opportunities for casual recreation (e.g., basketball, pickleball, badminton, ping pong, foosball) and to sit around the living room with classmates and watch Thanksgiving Day parades and football.
I’ll be back to blogging next Monday. Until then…
wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!