A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the aspiring reporter C. Jennings Breakey flipped his new tape recorder on and scanned the room for his next victim. Aha! He noticed the unsuspecting Jillian Hazel curled up on a couch in the Syre Student Center, trying to get her homework done for her next class.
"Jillian!" he said in his best reportorial tone of voice. "What do you like the most about Whatcom Community College?"
She looked up, startled to see the recorder pointed menacingly at her mouth. "Um..." she began stammering, "...I don't know."
"Come on, there's got to something," he persisted.
"Well..." her eyes fell on the walls of the Student Center, "the bricks."
"The bricks!" He seemed shocked, befuddled.
"Yes, the bricks," she replied and went back to her math book, signaling that the interview was over. The reporter left, in search of the next victim.
This conversation happened somewhere during the first weeks of our life at Whatcom Community College. I grin to think of myself back then--terrified of the horrors that would await me at a public school yet thrilled by the challenges it presented. I think of the timid girl who pushed the doors of Kelly Hall open with much trepidation that first morning, and the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach as she found her class and then had to figure out where to sit. God was so very gracious to me! That very first day, He sent me my first friend. A girl named Nancy sat next to me that morning and began talking away like we were old friends. By the end of the class, I had a study partner and someone to share my hour-long break with. Then I got another pleasant surprise when I found out that Caleb and Jake, two of the three people I knew on a campus of 7000, also had a break at the same time. It was during one of those times that Caleb sprung The Brick Interview on me.
I'm not exactly sure why I responded as I did, but I know I've always had an odd affinity for brick buildings. Whatcom does have a beautiful campus, and the bricks are very nice, but were I given the chance to respond to that question again, "the bricks" would not be the first thing to pop out of my mouth. It would be "the people."
Beginning that first morning, and continuing every day even through now, God has placed in my life both amazing Christian people and non-Christians who have challenged me to be bold in my stands, firm in my convictions, and sure of what I believe. I've gone from the girl who knew three people on the campus to the girl who cannot walk across campus without greeting at least two or three acquaintances, and never a day goes past where I do not see a dear friend.
In exactly a week, I will take my last final exam. In a week and a day, I will put on a maroon robe and walk across a stage in the gym to receive my diploma. And there will be others there, both on the stage and in the crowd, that have gone through this journey with me. They, not the bricks or the grass or the fountains, will be the reason that I am sad to see this chapter end.