Sunday, August 29, 2010

Traditions, Pepperoni, and Blessings

My undergraduate degree Alma Mater and current employer is an institution steeped in customs and traditions and not just in the form of the pomp and circumstances of an annual commencement ceremony.

Whether they realize it or not these newly arriving students are being folded into the Catholic Franciscan community that IS Briar Cliff University. Especially for the freshman, I hope this past week and the weeks to follow will embed many fond memories in the minds of these young adults.

The week, while it has not allowed for any Bubble time for me, has had it's moments of redemption. I love these early weeks of new and returning students.

This week has included traditional trips in school vans to ensure that every freshman dines in the home of the university president. I drove on Tuesday evening and again was entertained with random musings from my all male - all football playing - all freshmen - all hailing from St. Louis passengers.

Wednesday evening was the annual "Pizza with the President". This event was on campus and open to all fall athletes, all the Residence Assistants, and all the Peer Advising Leaders (essentially all the students who move in early). Seventy-eight pizzas were ordered for delivery to campus. The 'rule' is always, "take two pieces each and then return for seconds after everyone has been through the line'. You may think two pieces of pizza per football player, soccer player, and volleyball player doesn't sound like much - but serving begins at 8 pm. They finished with dinner at the campus all-you-can-eat cafeteria - one hour prior to the Pizza with the President!

I was in charge of the pepperoni end of the table. In less than 18 minutes all 32 large pepperoni pizzas were gone, two-pieces at a time - devoured - with nothing left but the empty boxes.

Yesterday was the official move-in day for freshman. These are the freshman who either don't play fall athletics, play spring athletics, or don't participate in any athletics. This is the day for some of the traditions I mentioned earlier in this post. We always have a family picnic on the green-space. It's interesting to see some families clumped together some with young siblings in tow, some with grandparents here to be a part of the send-off and some families expanding their personal community to embrace the parents and siblings of their own student's roommate. It is a lively dynamic!

Once the picnic has concluded everyone is 'herded' into the St. Francis Center for more words of welcome. There are conclusionary words of welcome with a very frank insertion that the parents will be given time to say their goodbyes and then they need to LEAVE. (Of course this is all said with kindness and diplomacy.)

Prior to the time families are given for farewells there is always a scripted blessing. The students turn to their parents and family members and read a blessing asking for safe travels, thanking them, asking for encouragement on their new path... The parents and families then read a blessing to their young adults asking to keep their child safe, praying that they make good decisions, asking for blessings as they begin this new journey...

It is a somewhat moving experience. Some families hold hands, some embrace, some seem embarrassed, many reach out to students who don't have family present, and ALL are tolerant of what is to be one of the first of MANY Briar Cliff traditions.

As I left the parking lot I caught a glimpse of some of the goodbyes. Hugs, slaps on the backs, handshakes, young siblings clinging to big brothers and big sisters, a few romantic kisses between student and girl friend or boy friend wondering if their long distance romance will last, laughter, tears, a mother with her "child's" face in her cupped hands looking directly into his eyes...

I just had to share some of the moments that I have the privilege of experiencing day to day. And now I will share the ONE card I had time to put together. I thought the image (Live Love Laugh Learn) was appropriate given what I'm around all day at work. I have to be back on campus today at noon until about 11 pm. MORE activities to assist with, and traditions to be maintained! The "RETURNING" students start their move in at Noon today! Gotta' DASH!!

Live, Laugh, Love, Learn
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink cardstock, edges distressed with Stampin' Up More Mustard
~Layer of navy blue cardstock
~Layer of lighter navy blue cardstock topped with polka dot blue background design paper that I distressed using Stampin' Up Not Quite Navy and Stampin' Up More Mustard
~Image (EK Success) Live Love Laugh Learn was stamped three times on Paper Temptress Cryogen White using Stampabilities Cotton Candy, Stampin' Up More Mustard and Not Quite Navy; image then smudged (distressed) using the same inks plus Versamark Sand~Image was layered onto three colors of Mulberry papers - navy, hot pink, and mustard
~Circle punch of a flower from The Paper Studio Country Random Flowers design paper and paper pieced 5 random flower petals attaching with tiny foam dimensionals
~Metal brad embellished with hot pink glitter for the flower center
Lord Have Mercy - sketch
Play Date Cafe - 'colour horribilis' inspiration: hot pink, navy, and mustard
Shabby Tea Room - use metal
Little Red Wagon - back to school (the sentiment is the piece that fits this challenge)

Here's to fond memories,


  1. What a wonderful card - unusual color choice, but you certainly made it work! Thanks so much for joining us this week at TSTR! :)

  2. Oh Nancy,you must be exhausted yet you still found the time to make a lovely card.TFS,Julie.x

  3. oh... I love the flower! Thanks for playing along with LRW!

  4. I am PURRING like a kitten! This card is WONDERFUL! You seem completely at ease with the unlikely color palette - I love the raw artistic-ness of this card! Best of luck with all that you have on your plate! Thanks for playing the the PDCC this week!

  5. You got the colour balance spot on with this card Nancy - love the splash of pink in there, just enough to bring out the blue and mustard! Love it. Thanks for playing at the Play Date Cafe :)

  6. So lovely, Nancy! Thanks for playing with the Play Date Cafe!

  7. Love the vintage effect. Very pretty! Thanks for joining us at the PDCC this week.

  8. Wonderful card to go along with your great story of move-in day! Glad to have you back in the cafe this week!

  9. Great work with our colour story this week, love the vintage look! Thanks for playing along with us at the PDCC this week!


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