Pacific Magazine - Volume 19, Number 1

Educating for life

Capturing student life, and other impossible dreams

The easy way to write a story about student life is to go to the Student Life Office, talk to the dean for overall direction, get a copy of the goals/mission/vision statement, move on to the program directors to find out about implementation, generate a pile of notes and start writing.

Simple. Logical. Comprehensive.

Right up until I tried it.

Student life isn’t just a noun; it’s a verb and an adjective. It’s all over the map, geographically, organizationally and linguistically. Areas separate on an organizational chart smear in real life. Don Sparks sums it up: “I tell people I have three part-time jobs.”

Student life happens…
on the Green at noon
in the dorms past midnight
in praise during College Hour
at work in a campus office
comfortably with friends laughing in the lounge
lost and alone on page 5 of a 25-page paper
on a bus on choir tour
in a locker room after a game
backstage during a play
in classrooms in Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield
wherever in the world our students study and serve
in front of friends, relatives and the world at commencement.

Whatever else student life is, it’s impossible to confine in a story and cram into the pages of a magazine. So my apologies to Zenebe Abebe, our dean of students, who I interviewed but didn’t quote; to everyone who I quoted but didn’t do justice to; and to the folks who I didn’t speak to at all because it would have required talking to everyone, and there is neither the time nor the paper to capture the subject in all its variety at Fresno Pacific University.

Please accept this slice of student life in the hope that that a quick glance will invite a closer look.

Click on image to open a pdf of Pacific.