Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Last weekend, Jeff, Charlotte, and I headed to Chicago. Technically we spent a majority of our time in Palos Heights, at Trinity Christian College, from which Jeff and I graduated. I was invited back to participate in the Dan Diephouse Graduate Studies Conference, as a panelist and presenter. I had a great time doing so, in part because I realized that I've become a real self-educated expert on the process of applying to graduate school. It was also amazing to be back on Trinity's campus with my daughter. Only eleven (!) years ago, her father and I were sneaking off to the baseball dugouts to neck or holding hands surreptitiously in chapel. Now we were taking turns chasing our rambunctious toddler around the cafeteria or chapel or new cafe (of which I am extremely jealous).

I have two favorite memories from the weekend. The first was after the breakfast panel discussion on Saturday. Students, alumni and faculty were mingling after the panel adjourned, talking casually and catching up. I walked back into the meeting room at one point and found my former undergraduate advisor, who is now the department chair, and a new English faculty member crouching on the floor, coloring pictures with Charlotte.

The second was at Shedd Aquarium later that same day. My parents and brother plus Mindi joined Jeff, Charlotte and I for a trek downtown. I had decided weeks ago that gray, slushy February would be the perfect time to check out one of Chicago's indoor attractions; the rest of the city and tri-state area apparently felt the same way, as the museum was packed. But we forgot the crowds as we witnessed Charlotte's awe and excitement over the fishies, turtles, penguins, and octopi. I got choked up when she was sitting on my lap, watching the dolphin show. I kept pointing out the dolphins as they jumped out of the water or flipped their tails. "Do you see him?" I'd ask. In response, Charlotte would nod, too entranced to respond. Later that night, she recounted to all of us in the van what she'd seen. "A-dolphins...ina POND! What doing? Dolphins JUMPING! A-dancing! Ina water!"

1 comment:

Dale Deur said...

It was a GREAT weekend, Shedd Aquarium was lots of fun. Especially showing Charlotte the penguins, and watching her intently study them as they swam, walked, and ate.
By the way, TMI on the college day distractions...