I'm actually thankful that many of my friends are more sentimental than I (or at least they let it seep through occasionally, TL!); it reminds me not to take these dear people for granted.
And in honor of these "lasts," I'm remembering a whole bunch of WTS "firsts," at least several of them as they occurred to me last night:
- My first "all-nighter." It was for Ancient Church. It was my last final my first semester, and I had been so swamped with other studying that I had not touched my notes until the day before the exam. And at about midnight, it occurred to me that I was in no way ready for that exam. I was so tired and shaky when I walked into the classroom that it took me about half an hour to be able to write properly. Since then, I've made it a practice to always put in at least one day of the reading week studying for my last final.
- My first liking for donuts. I grew up being indoctrinated that donuts were gross. But then I discovered the joys of the Bosten Cremes on Wednesdays after chapel. In a certain (sad?) way, I look forward to that every week.
- My first liking for coffee. Coffee, particularly the caffeine-induced alertness that it conveys, is my new good - and probably lifelong - friend.
- The first time I met Beth. Sorry, Beth, you'll never live it down -- she arrived on campus right after I'd gotten out of the shower, and my hair was up in a towel. I took it out, and remarked, "Wow, your hair's long" (or something like that). I responded, "Yup." The first time her sister saw my hair down (months later), she made the same comment ... it must be in the genes.
- The first time I felt smart here. Yeah, except for doing well on the Greek placement exam (thanks to 3 strenuous years of classical Greek in undergrad, lest ye think it was of my own 'smarts'), I spent my first year here feeling COMPLETELY in over my head. I had no idea what hermeneutics, exegesis or eschatology were. I only knew WSC #1, thanks to John Piper. I think I still thought Paul wrote Hebrews. And I basically thought the three options for the "last times" were pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib ("What do you MEAN people don't believe in the rapture???") . Needless to say, I've come a long way. But I digress. ANYWAY, writing my OTHT 1 paper was the first time that I felt the thrill of doing decent scholarship, and not just regurgitating what I had read. (And if that professor is reading this, I'm not just trying to flatter you!) My favorite paper-writing experiences have been for my OT classes, though the professorial verdict is still out on my final one!
- My first fall here was the first time I learned how to play ultimate frisbee.
- My first fall here was also the first time I've lived somewhere where it will actually rain every.single.weekend. of both autumn and spring.
- The first time I've had school cancelled for 4 inches of snow (my first final - Hebrew!).
- The first time I had kimchee. And the last. Actually, it was possibly the first time I met somebody Korean. Not the last!
- First time I saw azaleas in all their glory.
- First time I had Ritas ... tragically, it wasn't until I'd been here for almost a year -- I can't believe I missed out on a good 3 months of Rita's-eating!
- First time really learning how to trust other people academically. I never imagined that I would be seeking out other people to give me a summary of their reading. But, as many people have said, it's virtually impossible to do all the reading here ... and so you must lean on your brothers and sisters, in a bit more sanctified version of "you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours."