Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Northwestern College – revisited. (Dewitt Learning Commons)

On our road trip to Chicago for Pre-departure Orientation (PDO), we spent a weekend in Orange City, IA – home of Northwestern College, our alma mater. I lived there for five years, and Kameron for three. It is the town where we got married. Where we grew up. Where had the best & worst of times. Where we questioned & strengthened our faith. Where we learned the importance of getting uncomfortable for the glory of God. Where we lived in community for better or worse. Where we began to strive for something new.

It was great to be back.

We hadn’t been there for about 2.5 years, since our road trip to New Jersey back in summer 2012, right after our graduation. & you wouldn’t think much has changed in that small amount of time… but you’d be surprised!

We only spent an hour on campus giving ourselves a self-guided tour, but it was enough time to learn that it was a completely different place than when we had lived there only a few years before.

There was one new building. One dorm completely vanished. Another completely redesigned for another purpose. The cafeteria was remodeled. The student work-out gym was improved beyond any comparison. Plans were displayed for a new sports complex.

For most of my years at NWC, there was talk, preparations, & a lot of “hype” for the Dewitt Learning Commons. It would take the place of the library, tutor center, learning center, and some classrooms. It would have a coffee shop, plenty of study spaces, and be aesthetically pleasing. By the time we graduated, the Learning Commons was nothing but a big bit in the middle of campus.

*insert any Middle Earth/Mordor/Ork birthplace joke here*

But, oh my! What a building it is. Makes me a bit jealous that I am not a student using the space.

On the other hand.
The Learning Commons attracts a different kind of student than I or my classmates. It is fancy. We were not. It is clean. We were not. It is shiny. We were not. It is modern. We were not. – The drab aesthetic of the Ramaker Library fit the class of 2011 (& 2012) in a way that the Learning Commons does. I think we would have had the same reaction as we did with the RSC, the student center.

But it would be fun to send our kids there one day.

& come back for reunions and time of reminiscing.

And no trip back to NWC would be complete without a picture in front of Fern Fountain.

1 comment:

  1. I do hope to visit our alma mater with my husband again someday when we're back in the area--maybe take our future kids and show them all the momentous locations from our history there--it's kind of surreal to think about going back to somewhere where you used to spend so much time, and now you barely recognize it...


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