The Best I Ever Had

You know, when you think about the past, every event has some degree of significance.  All the things past combine to bring the present.  Maybe the past has been less than memorable; maybe it’s been quite the contrary.  Certainly for most, the past contains quite a bit of both.

I have to admit that the past four years for me have been incredible.  I have no regrets.  Baker has been the best thing to ever happen to me and I wouldn’t change a thing.  I’ve accomplished a lot, experienced a lot and matured a lot.  I’m not the same person I was when I came in as a shy little freshman.  To keep this post from becoming a novel, I’ll only give you all my top five memories and experiences from Baker.

The group standing in front of the Habitat Shelter we helped finish!

5. Habitat for Humanity Trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama

For spring break my freshman year, I chose to go on a trip to Gulf Shores, AL.  The trip is an annual occurrence for our University Minister, Rev. Dr. Ira DeSpain.  First off, we stayed in a beachfront condo right on the Gulf of Mexico.  We went for 6 days – half the days we spent on the beach enjoying a stereotypical spring break experience filled fun in the sun and the sand; the other half of the days we went inland to work on a Habitat for Humanity shelter.  It was a truly rewarding trip.  I created new friendships and strengthened old ones.  It’s an experience that I’ll never forget.

The group atop the Hancock Building in the Observatory -- such a sweet view of the city!!!

4. The Real World of Business Interterm Trip to Chicago

Another memory from freshman year, I opted to enroll in the “Real World of Business” class for the January interterm session.  This class essentially consisted of a lot of field trips, or to be more “professional,” site visits.  We visited Kansas City area companies including Harley Davidson, Huhtamaki, and Perceptive Software.  But probably the most memorable part of this interterm trip was the 2-day, 1-night trip to Chicago.  I’d been to Chicago before, but I was younger and didn’t really remember or appreciate it as much as I did this time around.  We visited a Garmin retail store on Michigan Ave., Leo Burnett, and the Chicago Board of Trade.  We even got to be tourists for an afternoon before we left on the second day.  Again, I created new friendships and strengthened existing ones – this trip and the Gulf Shores trip were really important because they broadened my friendship base, something that’s necessary for students during their freshman year.

3. 2008 Karnea in Pittsburgh

Over the past four years, I’ve arguably put forth more effort into my fraternity than into my schoolwork.  No one really knows how much attention goes into holding positions in fraternities until you actually hold the position.  In August of 2008, I had the fortunate pleasure of going to my fraternity’s national convention – Karnea.  It was the sesquicentennial edition and it was quite a spectacle.  I played in a golf tournament with alums of all ages, participated in Adopt-A-School at a Pittsburgh elementary school, tried Primanti Bros. for the first time, and connected with brothers from all around the nation.  Furthermore, I witnessed a Baker Delt be elected to the highest office in the fraternity – International President (Jim Selzer ’70).

2. Business Policy in the Library

This one may be a bit of an oddity in comparison to the others.  However, seeing as how I’m a business major, all the coursework I’ve done in the business curriculum has led to the course known as “Business Policy.”  As you can imagine, a lot of people have sort of “dreaded” this class as it drew nearer…I’m no exception.  But for whatever reason, during the two weeks straight of being in the library deep into the night with my group mates, I sort of miss it now that it’s gone – weird, right?  I know I talked about how glad I was to be done in my previous blog post, but it’s amazing how quickly you can get used to a routine and now that it’s over, it seems like something just isn’t right.  The sense of accomplishment was great and the means to get to that end are some that I’ll certainly never forget.

The view of the altar from inside of the chapel -- arguably my most favorite part of campus!

1. Thursday Morning Chapel Services

This past Thursday, it started to set in… I won’t have a chapel service to go to after graduation day on May 23.  As it turns out, Thursday morning chapel services have been the single most enjoyable memory and experience of my four years at Baker.  A constant supply of the right messages, undeniably passionate worship songs, and the ability to put all the stressors of college at ease for an hour – that’s what chapel services did for me.  Ira has been one of my closest friends on campus.  As is in his job description, he’s there for students if they need him.  Well, I haven’t had many, if any, traumatic events that warrant Ira’s professional capabilities, but he’s always been there as a friendly face and a quality conversation.  In his words, it’s been “unbelievable!”

So there you have it.  It actually did turn out to be a novel, but those are five of my most memorable experiences here at Baker.  In all honesty, I probably could have done a top-25 list… but for y’all’s sake, I keep it as short as possible (ha…).  I hope that during your college experience, you can amass a similar list of memorable experiences; for me, these last four years at Baker have truly been the best I ever had.

¡Salud!

2 responses

  1. Great points! I will be checking back here often!

    May 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm

  2. Thank you for this moving tribute. I also know what you mean about the intensity of a project and missing it when it is over – nothing beats being in the trenches together and sharing those experiences.

    May 10, 2010 at 9:04 am

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