There's somethin' about this school. These women. I think the thing about this job that I tell anyone who's crazy enough to be interested in this amazing gig is that right when the going gets so tough that you feel like you'll cry or crack or snap--BAM--you step off a plane. Everything changes. Weather, faces, voices, problems, accents.
Virginia Tech University
I knew I was gonna like it here when after claiming my 2-checked bags, the president and VP said we were gonna go look for some formal dresses real quick. And then while at the mall, we walked into the puppy store. I love the puppy store. (Sister Kristen, didn't you do this with your bf one time? If so tell mine one day to take me to the puppy store to hold and pet puppy dogs on a date. Kthanksss.) And then Brittany-the-pres told me I was scheduled to do P90x with my sisters in the chapter room. Things only got better from there...
1. Lane Stadium. I told y'all I hint to see the stadiums at most schools. KA-CHING! Jackpot: the chapter advisor has the hook. UP. at Virginia Tech. So what do I get to do? Oh, ya know. Tour Lane Stadium. And all the box suites. And the president's box. And ABC/ESPN's box. With the Associate Director of Development and his handy key chain. I was in hog-heaven. Love me some college football. And baller rooms where doners have pictures of their yacht on the wall. Under the pic of the personal jet that has maroon and orange stripes. Nbd.
My new friend Scott goes, "Show this picture to your Daddy and tell him you put him down to be a Hokie supporter and not for that Auburn-school." Scotts got jokes. Right, pops?
2. Blacksburg dining. I've been craving this Athens, Ga. resturant Beta Nu girls took me to (The Grit) for a while. Don't worry. Enter Gillies. Healthy ethnic food and a slightly-hippie vibe does this vegetarian, slightly-hippie (Okay fine: wannabe-hippie) girl well. Cabo Fish Taco? How 'bout Cabo Fish AWESOME. Tack on a trek to Mill Mountain Coffee--since like, I really need to feed my coffee addiction and everything--and I'm convinced: college towns rule at food.
3. Colleen's Caddy. So my (newly initiated! YEAH!) sister Colleen drives a Cadillac. What has she done? Pimp out the inside with speakers, black lights, rhinestones, and a disco ball. This girl is hysterical. Oh, and some of the rhinestones spell out crosses and "God is Love." Only a few people in life can get away with this. Girl rocks it. We laughed so hard.
"Ashlyn. Be gangster. Can you? No, that's an awful gangster face..."
4. Campus tour. When people adore their schools, I get pumped. And this school? Gah. They love it so much. The sense of community on this campus is palpable, and while 4/16 is mentioned some, you still feel how that pulled this community tighter than they already were. A sister led my tour, so another Eta Pi and I strolled behind the high school seniors runnin' our mouths. Gorgeous school.
In front of Burress Hall. EVERYTHING is made of Hokie-stone, limestone quaried locally.
5. Duck Pond. They say it's the cheapest date in Blacksburg, then you walk across the drill field to the chapel to get married (Did I get that right, Hokie fans?) I personally went more on running-dates with Jesus here, but it was glorious just the same.
6. Campus Crusade. Back to what I said in the first paragraph. I haven't "been to church" since January. Blame the job, blame the Sunday-travel-day, blame the 15-hour workdays. I am kinda up to the chapters I go to. "Ashlyn, I saw in your intro letter that you like to read your Bible. Do you want to come to Campus Crusade with us? A lot of sisters go..." I could have cried. What a sweet blessing, Lord. Singing to You alongside a bunch of girls I met Tuesday with a jam-packed room full of Your church? Having conversations about You all week? My heart could have burst. My soul was panting to be around a body of believers.
"I'll follow you into the homes of the broken /
I'll follow you into the world."
"Ash. It cracks me up how you fall in love with every school you visit," said Dad the other day. I know, I know. But this one was different. I LOVED it.
Meghan and Brittany: How about y'all live in my suitcase?