In My Absence

It has been a few weeks since I’ve been able to write a post for this blog. I am sorry. I have missed the conversation and the chance to reflect on things from my study on Saturday mornings. Actually, my Saturday mornings have been full of writing on speeches and such to open the academic year at Seattle Pacific University, where I work. And so I’ve been hard at work, just not writing for the blog.

For those of you who know what this opening time on the university campus is like, you know it is huge and wild and wonderful. If you are in my business and don’t appreciate the excitement of these openings, you need to find another line of work. The air is expectant, full of new energy. This is a season of anticipation, a season of new beginnings. Wipe the slate clear and begin again — that’s part of the feeling, part of the joy of academic seasons.

But it is also the excitement, the anxiety, even the fear of new students entering our community for the first time. You can see it in the eyes. They try to be cool and hip, but mostly they are nervous. I heard a sophomore, so wise and experienced, giving advice to a new freshman: “Oh, man, it will be awkward. Once you’ve asked where the other person is coming from and what residence hall he or she is living in, everyone goes awkwardly silent. There isn’t anything more to say. . . . But you’ll get through it.”

But of course I am always so deeply impressed with the opportunity and the responsibility we have to help shape these lives. It’s scary. It’s huge. I truly believe they come asking for bread, and we must constantly make sure we are not handing them a stone. We’ve got to get this right. As you look into those eyes, and into the eyes of their parents, you realize the stakes are very high. We’ve got to share with them a story of what is true and good and beautiful so that they can imagine for themselves that they can change the world. That’s got to be our focus. That’s a big deal, isn’t it?

Well, you will be seeing a number of new posts on the blog very soon. I’ll be back to it immediately. I am eager to share some new thoughts I have. I’m eager to get your thoughts as well.

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Categories: Seattle Pacific University

2 replies

  1. Glad to see you’re back at the blog, Dr. Eaton. Now as a graduate student I’m having to relive many of the nervous and awkward experiences I had as a freshman at SPU. However, I must say that SPU does a good job of acclimating new students to the community. Blessings on a new year.

  2. Hey Phil,
    We miss you. Whitworth is looking for a new president. Can we lure you back? The college is now a university! Does that help?
    Connie Winegarden Walters
    Whitworth Class of ’73

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