Friday, September 02, 2005

A Note from the Other Side

I made it, and so far I LOVE it here.

The first three days were a little shakey in some respects; I felt very much like an intimidated-little-first-year being herded around like a sheep. It's a bit unnerving for me to feel so completely uprooted from who and what I knew myself to be. Suddenly I wasn't acting quite like myself - or the self that I'm so used to, at least - challenging questions came to mind. Is this the real me? If so, am I okay with that? What does it mean?

I've calmed down since then, though. Yesterday we had a "get to know your community" event within our residence halls, and a lot of it involved sharing parts of our own stories. It helped me remember who I am and where I've come from. (Oh yeah, we're individuals, not a homogenous group of first-years..)

[I'm sitting in the common room of my residence hall and just paused in writing this for at least and hour because someone walked in (who I didn't know) and started talking to me, and we had a lengthy conversation because we're both super-excited about organic chemistry (people like me who are super excited about orgo are often hard to find), and she also took it as a first-year (as I will be doing :) ). Then had a conversation with my first-year mentor and another first-year about Quakerism and Quakerism compared to the United Church of Christ (UCC)...]

There's another young Friend in my dorm a floor above me, and she went to World Gathering. I was so startled when I discovered this. We were walking in a group to some orientation event and she turned to someone as part of some conversation and said "well, I'm a Quaker.." and I immediately in my startled moment turned and said "NO WAY! I'm Quaker!" She's from CA, part of Pacific Yearly Meeting. This coming Sunday, this young Friend, my first-year mentor (who's UCC), and I are going to check out Wellesley Friends Meeting, which is 0.8 of a mile from my dorm room. It's so good to not be a single token Quaker around.

The campus here at Wellesley is absolutely fantastically beautiful, and my dorm is right near the lake. It's even more wonderful than I originally envisioned, and the fact that I find nature so grounding is only making it that much more amazing.

It's been busy so I haven't been online very much, but I suspect this will all change around once things settle down. Classes begin on Tuesday.

I could continue talking about all of this here, but I'm running out of energy and adjectives/adverbs. I just thought I'd give an update about how things are going.

Love and Light,


Blogger Jeffrey Hipp said...

Welcome to the Bay State! Cambridge Young Adult Friends will be having our September potluck next Sunday, Sept. 11 after evening meeting -- 6pm-ish. It's always a different crowd, with varying levels of Quakerphilia, but consitently fun. It would be great if you could make it.

I hope you find love and Spirit at Wellesley Meeting!

3/9/05 8:39 AM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Claire, oh YIPPEE for finding another young Friend among you! (Not that that guarantees you'll be best-buddies, of course). Glad to see Jeffrey's offer to you. All shall be well; and all IS well!

Liz, The Good Raised Up

3/9/05 6:05 PM  
Blogger Danny said...

i'll second the yippeee! i'm sure you'll tell us about your wellesly friends meeting experience, right?


4/9/05 3:43 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

So now I'm wracking my brains, trying to remember, which one of the PYM people who went to WGYF was going to Wellesley this year? Did I know this? If so, why didn't I make this connection before? Did she come to PYM this year or not, because she was going to WGYF? I can think of two young women it might have been, one of them might know who I am, (my full name is Robin Mohr) and I'm glad to hear you met up with her, whoever it is. And really glad to hear you're all going to Meeting soon.

5/9/05 11:31 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Jeffrey - thanks so much for letting me know! I'd love to go, but I don't think I can. I have a meeting I need to be at at 8pm, and while it may seem like I could drop by the potluck for a bit beforehand, transportation actually takes too long (the Senate bus to Harvard and MIT takes 40mins to an hour, and then there'd be travel from either of those places to the potluck..). Maybe some other time, though; definitely keep me updated!

Liz and Danny - thanks for sharing the excitement!

Robin - Eleni is the young Friend I spoke of; she's from Santa Cruz. Does this help?

Love and Light,

10/9/05 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Robin M. said...

Yes, I do know Eleni, from our Quarterly and Yearly Meeting. I didn't know she was going to Wellesley though. We will miss her next month.

29/9/05 11:23 PM  

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