The Life of Two True Commuters

We, like most first-year students, couldn’t wait to start our graduate school experience. We spent all summer friending SDA continuing students on Facebook, planning happy hours and trips to Mt. Rainier, and even attending days of service (just to meet people). This type of anticipation and enthusiasm is what people LOVE about first-year students. Now as continuing students and SUSDA e-board members, we could not be more thrilled to see the same enthusiasm and sparkle shine in the incoming SDA Class of 2013. We are so looking forward to meeting all of you in the coming weeks

We met in Theory class. Sarah had seen Courtney from afar at Preview Days. Sarah discovered on the first night of class that Courtney also lived in Tacoma. When it takes 2+ hours to drive round trip to school and back, finding a carpool person is like discovering gold. Both of us were a little tentative about the first carpool, but decided to go for it anyway.  No one is ever a stranger, right?! Courtney arranged for she and Sarah and to meet at “Johnny’s” in Fife. Little did Sarah know, that Courtney had arranged for a third carpool person, Eva Johnson (Dean of Student Development at Pacific Lutheran University, a doctoral student at the time, and now one of Sarah’s internship supervisors at PLU). While Sarah didn’t expect to also carpool with Eva, it turned out to be one of the most memorable and entertaining car rides ever. Unfortunately, we can’t disclose what we discussed because Eva gave us some coveted advice about professors in the College of Education which cannot be shared on the blog at this time.  You’ll have to come on the SUSDA retreat and we’ll tell you

Spending our commute time sharing our highs, lows, dreams, ideas, and advice has been such a memorable part of our first year experience. A few of our first-year highlights include:

10) Late night hockey games in Kent (after class)

9) Discovering the Federal Way I-5 overpass speed trap and one-upping the cops

8) SUSDA intramural basketball games and fans. Represent!

7) Dick’s burgers after class and Auto Battery gatherings

6) Weekend study sessions in Lemieux Library. Yes, we even drive up again for this.

5) Driving 20 mph in the snow on the way home wondering if we’d have to sleep in the car

4) Jen Nakagaki, Ethan DeCoster and Sarah’s culminating Foundations presentation and special video of Mike Segawa

3) The NASPA regional conference in Portland where Sarah scored her PLU internship

2) Happy hours spent “not reflecting” with our most excellent and fun loving classmates

1) Sarah calling Dr. Stringer “Jer-Bear” to his face. He loved it. Thanks for this one James Spaan.

A piece of advice we would give to incoming students in the SDA program is to reach out to others.  Notice who needs to be invited and do some inviting.  Make a diverse group of friends. Say “yes” to lounging in the McGoldrick Collegium before class and joining classmates at the Auto Battery. You’ll be a better shuffleboard player for it. We could not imagine better friends to share our graduate school experience with.  SDA people are quality.

Tacoma Pride!

Courtney Stringer and Sarah Thomson


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