Alone on a dark campus in Advent

An Essay By Ben // 12/20/2004

Dear Homeschooling Friends,

I am huddled in my office, here in this old house where the floors are wood and each nail that holds the boards in place is forged by hand. I am sheltered up here, like a sole star on a dark sky: the window from the outside where it snows is bright and the rest is dark, empty, quiet, people-less. It happened so quickly. Yesterday, the students of Thomas More College packed their bags, celebrated the dizzy end of a semester, vacuumed their dorm rooms (or forgot to), and set off for airports, bus stations, train stops, and home. But tonight I am still on this dark campus, still here five days before Christmas in this season of Advent and waiting.

So many things, big and little, have taken place since I began working in the Admissions Office in June. I find myself wanting somehow to assimilate, synthesize and place my experiences. These things have been given to me. I need to hibernate and let them trickle into my mind, like the slow dripping of honey!

I can hear the scuttle of mice (or are they rats or squirrels?) in-between the walls. I remember when I first heard them during the summer. I was so surprised! They usually become active at night, around 8pm. At first it worried me. Now I love it. It's the first house I've lived (or worked) in like it. I remember watching "Tom and Jerry" long ago and wishing we had a mouse hole in our house.

I won't try to talk, just yet, about how an institution won my love. I won't try to put into words what it means now to have a brother and a sister. I will, however, quote a simple line that may be helpful to us in this time of waiting:

"When you speak I listen as one who is in love, My poor little child" (He and I).

To listen "as one who is in love" means something entirely different than simply listening, doesn't it?

You should visit the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts website to see what I've been busy with at work. I designed it entirely, write for it, and am responsible for some of the photographs. I consider it my biggest project ever!

Merry Christmas!



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