Memory Monday–on Tuesday
So look. It was a holiday yesterday, and also, it was not a holiday for me, as I was finishing up leading my 6th annual Conference with the Youth Group in Boondocks, New England. By the time I got home I really didn’t have any impetus to write a blog post, but I really do kind of want to finish up my window story that I started last week–and then I think we’re done with college stories for a while. So, here it is, a day late, but hopefully not an entire dollar short.
I climbed out the window at the Billy Graham Center for the first time during my sophomore year.
Yes. I said the first time. After TheBro outed my outing, as it were, I promised my parents I would never do such an insane thing again, but I might have conveniently forgotten that by the time Roommate-Jenne was ready to graduate the following year. The following year, trying hard not to think too hard about it, I suggested to our mutual friends we throw a surprise graduation party for her in the attic.
“But how will we get her up there?” someone asked.
“We can play in teams,” I said. “I’ll go up and prop the door, and then someone on her team can say, Hey, why don’t we run up and see if the attic’s open by some chance?’” I’m not sure why I thought that would work, or if that was really what her teammates said to get her up there, but everybody agreed to this plan for some reason, and so I climbed out the window the day before the party and opened the door so RA-Kathy could help me bring in party supplies. This time I went in the day time, which was risky in other ways than the nighttime window-departure was, but amazingly I did not get caught.
The next evening, I climbed out the window again to prop the door for my fellow conspirators and the guest of honour. The day after the party, which went off without a hitch–although I don’t really remember anything about it besides Jenne’s freaked-out astonishment when we turned the lights on in our section of the creepy dark attic–I climbed back out of the window to get my jacket which I had accidentally left in there.
All of a sudden I remembered I had promised I wouldn’t do that anymore. Plus, it occurred to me that according to the laws of probability, the more I climbed out a window onto a narrow ledge hundreds of feet above the ground, the more likely I was to fall out of it or off the ledge. It was decided then. No more climbing out of BGC windows.
Only . . . during my senior year, I had this group of underclassmen I met with regularly, and I told them the stories of my earlier college pranks. A week before I graduated, I decided I would climb out that window one more time for old time’s sake, and bring those younger students up there to see it. (Not much of a show-off, was I?)
We took the elevator as far as we could and trudged up the stairs the rest of the way. When we got to the top, I discovered to my dismay, and they discovered to their amusement, that an enormous iron grate had been installed over the window, and there was a quite obvious alarm system over the door. On second thought, even though I knew other students had tried that stunt both before I did and after, I felt a little smug that “my” actions had led to such drastic changes in the campus physical plant.
Now, apparently, the attic has been overhauled and there are classrooms and offices up there, too. Sometimes I’m happy to be middle aged. Things were more awesome when I was a kid.