I work with college students. A lot of college students. Over the past quarter century I’ve probably interacted directly and intensely with two or three thousand of them (and tens of thousands more indirectly and sporadically). But I get to know the main ones really well. These are the cream of the crop. Then among that cream you have the real standouts. I keep doing projects for them after Baylor, we attend their weddings, baby showers, have lunch periodically, and keep in touch with each others’ lives.
Then there is Stephanie.
I met Stephanie back in 2009/2010 and we worked together to put her organization’s Sing act together. There was just something special about this group of ladies. We had a ton of fun in our meetings, sometimes going completely off the rails and laughing ourselves silly. Wasting time in a way that I do not regret. There was an immediate sense-of-humor match that you only get with certain people. I loved working with those girls and I think the feeling was mutual. Just tons of fun. Stephanie kept in touch after graduation and Erin and I see her once or twice a year. She’s even spent work/vacation time and flown down from the east coast to stay with us for a few days to hang out, talk philosophy, art, and literature, and just generally be around. She’s become a good friend to both of us.
Stephanie is one of those rare individuals who gets it. As a fellow scanner, she’s interested in a hundred different things and wants to learn everything about everything. Her bookshelf is eclectic, her conversation wide-ranging, and her interests deep and well-connected. I count her among my most intelligent friends. I’d happily throw her in the mix with any group of people age 20 to 90 and she’d hold her own, listen intently, and have interesting things to say.
I’m proud to call her my friend.
All this to say that the other day Erin and I got this in our email. It’s a perfect illustration of who she is and why we like her so much.
Ever have one of those moments when you just love people?
I have had a few of those recently.
First there is this book I’ve been reading about the rising trend of orthodox christianity in America amongst Generation X and Y.
Then there was my first Toastmasters meeting where over 30 young adults spent their Friday night making impromptu speeches and discussing language and presentation skills.
Then there is the maker faire and the exponentially growing line that wrapped the block by 9:45 for a faire that opened at 10. And within, the fascinating ideas – both in progress and come to life – that are captivating and inspiring and brilliant.
Then there is this TV show I started watching about people who “invented” the portable personal computer.
Then there was the church service yesterday where our pastor integrated Aquinas, Aristotle, and Kafka into a discussion about the Ten Commandments being about how we love people and what God’s rest for us looks like.
Today there was the Space Exploration TED Talks with this man who wants to mine the moon to great a gas station en route to planetary exploration AND also today i learned that John Green and his brother have their own educational youtube channel for kids and adults on so far “only” 14 topics because they want to learn new things and have an output for proving to themselves they have learned them so they are making videos teaching them. (John Green- that guy does EVERYTHING!).
I get so caught up in the people around me who appear so one-dimensional and identify as only one thing, are interested in only one thing, shriek at the suggestion of a non-fiction book club, and generally lack curiosity about anything beyond where are the best happy hour deals or excuses to leave work early to watch TV.
I forget there are other people in the world. Ones I actually want to be like.
And when I find them, I fall in love with humanity again.
Right? Like I said: she gets it. Stephanie will live an interesting life.
There aren’t many people who stand out in our day-to-day lives. Most people will make a small dent and then move on. But Stephanie has made a big impact on us and we’re grateful to know her.
She has made a difference in our lives.