Dear APU…

This was originally published as a Facebook note on December 16, 2010.

Dear APU,

After three and a half years here, I’m graduating on Saturday. That is so weird. I have such a jumble of emotions right now. I expected that I’d be both excited and freaked out, but I didn’t expect that I’d start missing APU so much. I certainly didn’t expect I’d start crying in Christmas chapel. There have been ups and downs, but this place has been good to me. So now, this is me taking the opportunity to say thank you for all of that.

To the general student population of APU: Thank you for falling asleep on the couches in Heritage during finals and midterms. Thank you for drawing in chalk all over the sidewalks for pi day. Thank for making the library light up with Facebook screens more than with Word documents. Thank you for usuallyputting your cell phones away in chapel when you see me coming in my card monitor shirt. Thank you for starting up the same debates like clockwork every year. Thank you for refusing to say the “B-word.” Thank you for making me feel like the responsible one if I start a 10-page paper a full 48 hours before it’s due. Thank you for teaching me to recognize the sound of a rapidly approaching skateboard. Thank you for inspiring me to march into the Clause office and proofread the blasted thing myself. Thank you for randomly giving me rides between campuses when the trolleys are slow. Thank you for wallpapering the prayer chapel with handwritten prayers. Thank you for letting me find soul sisters (and brothers!) in the most unexpected places. Thank you for asking big questions and listening to each other’s stories. Thank you for delighting and challenging me. Thank you for being a big, loud, passionate, apathetic, divided, united, servant-hearted, dysfunctional, striving, broken, beautiful, authentic community. This is my community.

To my professors:  Thank you for making me buy textbooks I barely read. Thank you for teaching me to write an exegetical. Thank you for making me practically memorize the book of Exodus. Thank you for 10-page papers, quizzes every week, and group projects that no one can ever meet for. Thank you for “modeling a Christian perspective of truth and life” so I can bubble in a 5 on the IDEA form. Thank you for making me an MLA expert and the sworn enemy of APA. Thank you for inviting discussion in class. Thank you for giving me 100s on papers I wrote that morning. Thank you for letting me watch movies and call it homework. Thank you for pretending not to know that everyone wrote your papers at 2 a.m. the night before. Thank you for teaching me to make strong arguments about anything so that my family can hate me. Thank you for making me form well thought out opinions on things I’d never even thought about before. Thank you for stretching me intellectually, creatively, and spiritually. Thank you for teaching the classes I hated while I was in them and treasured afterward.

To the leadership: Thank you for putting up with our ornery disfunctionalness. Thank you for being approachable. Thank you for sticking to your guns according to your beliefs even when students are crying “discrimination.” Thank you for introducing me to the beauty of liturgy. Thank you for making me go to chapel and later paying me for it. Thank you for believing in us.

To the theater students: Thank you for belting show tunes in the hallway. Thank you for awkward dressing room antics. Thank you for surviving Stage Craft and Scenic Design with me. Thank you for taking rehearsals seriously and working together to “find” a scene. Thank you for loving Beckett, suzuki, and improv. Thank you for being truthful on stage and in life. Thank you for seeing the world through the lens of an artist. Thank you for making me feel a part of something, even if I was the most uninvolved theater major in the history of the department. Thank you for being so diverse and yet so united. More than anyone else here, you are the ones who have changed me.

To my prayer chapel buddies: Thank you, thank you, thank you for being an answer to prayer. Thank you for contending for revival. Thank you for leaving Misty Edwards and Jesus Culture cds next to the boombox and that Lou Engle booklet on the benches. Thank you for coming in with your guitars and worshipping before an audience of one. Thank you for sensing the darkness and going after it. Thank you for going on Treasure Hunts. Thank you for knowing what Treasure Hunts are! Thank you for talking about IHOPU all over campus; it’s a very exciting thing to overhear over and over and over. Thank you for going above and beyond ordinary expectations and never being satisfied. Thank you for living lives dedicated to one thing. Thank you for being faithful; you are the reason I know this campus is in good hands.

Most of these are with gratitude, some are with tongue firmly embedded in the cheek, but all are with deep fondness and love. These past three and a half years have been both more and less than what I hoped for, but they have been good. I am a deeper person because of all of you. Thank you.

Grace and peace.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Pasadena Ministry Trip part 3: Return to Azusa | Fragrance Arise

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