Posted by: gdevi | June 9, 2015

Day 4

Today, in the morning our colleague Jodi from Slippery Rock spoke to the students about negotiating for salary and job preparedness. A good discussion. Then folks from PSECU–Jerry and Karen–Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union– spoke to them about budgeting, saving, planning for retirement etc. It is never too early to think of these things, because god knows our students are often saddled with crushing student loans and debts. Another good discussion. For lunch, Marge and company had made this incredible salad spread with roasted chicken and a plethora of vegetables and other things-I ate everything except the chicken. The students had a 2 hour break in the afternoon when they went hiking and exploring. Then, the evening sessions started with our colleague Alicia from Indiana speaking to them about how to stay healthy–physical and psychological well-being, and what that is. Wonderful discussion. This group of students are a really awesome group of young women. Dinner was turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, and pumpkin pie–I ate everything except the turkey. The students then did something very sweet; they had made a song for the divine chefs–Irma and Katie–and they sang that song for them; it was a song about great food sung to the tune of “We will We will rock you.” Irma and Katie were really touched. It was all very sweet. Then our colleague from Bloomsburg, Denise, did a presentation on happiness, and what that is. It was all good.

Sara and I had promised the students that we would get them smores today as well. So we all gathered at the central hall in the student dorms to make smores around 9pm. I made the fire, and one of the students helped me. It was a beautiful fire; people actually told me it was a beautiful fire. I told them I learned how to make fires because I grew up working in a kitchen with a wood stove. It is true; my family was one of the last families to transition from a wood burning stove to cooking gas and then electricity. So I grew up helping mother in our kitchen cook in the wood burning stove. I love making fires–how to layer wood and paper and twigs and wood chips and slowly build the fire from ground up, how to blow the embers to make them glow. It was a beautiful fire. And everyone made smores and ate them; I am not a fan of smores, so my contribution was the good fire. The student who helped me make the fire–a very sweet young woman–a very good photographer–told me that I reminded her of her mother’s friend; a Bible Study teacher. Then I could not resist making a very bad, corny joke; the students told me they could not believe that I would make such a corny joke because I look like such a polite and gentle person, they said. Here is the corny joke I made for them:

“What did the marshmallow tell the chocolate”?

“I am hot.”

Hee hee.

Everybody just about died laughing; it was such a bad joke! Well, one bad joke leads to another, and pretty soon, all the students were sharing the worst, corniest jokes ever! It was very sweet, actually. When Sara and I left them to go back to the Discovery building to clean things up, the students were singing show tunes–Grease and Hairspray. This year, the students have bonded so well; it is like they have discovered their tribe. They said several times today that they wished they didn’t have to leave tomorrow. I expect tearful goodbyes tomorrow, when the Institute is over. Keep in touch, dear students. Each of you will do wonderful things for the world.

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