The Dexter House (Take 2)

(*Disclaimer: I lost my original blog post, and thus wrote this rewrite before I fortunately found out that someone had saved a copy of the original one. Writing is all about editing and rewriting, so I welcomed this unintentional chance to try and better my work, but I still might like the original better [simply titled "The Dexter House"])

(of an atmosphere or event) friendly, lively, and enjoyable.
-A combination of the Latin con (with) and vivere (live), meaning fit for a feast; festive

Friday, August 23rd, 2013. I was so overwhelmed with the prospect of packing up all my things and movin
g them down three flights of stairs that I poured juice into my cereal. Despite the craziness and confusion of packing everything up and then unpacking it later that same day (as well as making a couple trips back and forth between Beverly and Hamilton), already I felt a change. All summer long I had to fight to be happy, and struggled to surround myself with a caring community. Suddenly I was living in a house with 12 other people that I cared for and loved, and quickly found that they loved me in return.
            Unlike this summer, where most mornings involved me forcing myself to get out of bed, this first morning in the Dexter House I woke at 6:00 am as the early sun shone soft rays through my window. I looked out at the tall pine trees lining the blue summer sky, and was filled with immense gratitude. How had I gotten to this place in my life, to be so blessed to live in this beautiful house with beautiful people? That first morning of waking in the Dexter House I was too excited to sleep.
EPIX (Photo Credit: M. Wong)
            Except that wasn’t the first time I had slept in the house. Three years ago, as a senior in high school, I had visited Gordon College for the first time. I experienced the typical tour, in which I heard about La Vida for the first time (which I was convinced I would not do), sat in the beautiful chapel admiring its many chandeliers, and met up with my friend from home, Melissa Sakow. At the time, she was a junior English major in the Elijah Project (sound familiar?) At the end of the day Melissa took me back to the Dexter house to hang out with the rest of her group. We considered grabbing blankets and thermoses of hot coco and walking to the beach to see the stars. But instead we gathered around in the living room and spent hours talking. Conversation ranged from lighthearted topics like celebrity look-alikes and weird things about ourselves, to deeper dialogues. We discussed thoughtful, relevant questions. I say we, but I mostly sat back and feasted on the good dialogue, soaking in the community. In addition to the nostalgic smell of the pine trees reminding me of camp days, and the overall convivial community I had experienced, that night convinced me that I wanted to go to Gordon.
            Now, here I am. The community I so admired back then and longed to experience in college surrounds my everyday interactions. It is the deep conversations, the questions we raise and discuss, and the shared laughter that I thrive off. I am so thankful for being able to enjoy this convivial community for the rest of the year, and for the promise of many more moments of lively enjoyment with friends.


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