The crisp crunch of the fall leaves in October, the glitter that seems to collect all over campus after Bid Day, the sweat stains in August after walking up the Myers hill to the third floor of Hollenbeck and the dank smell of hangovers and Natty Lite on a Sunday morning; these are the reasons why Wittenberg is my valentine.
Of course everyone chose to come to Wittenberg for different reasons; some have a long line of legacy at Witt, while others got an immense amount of scholarship money or simply liked the way Myers Hall looks as it’s being engulfed by all the burnt orange, red and yellow trees. But for me, I live for the hungover mornings and the closeness of the community.
I can remember my first visit to Wittenberg. My mom and I sat in our car in the student center parking lot sipping on our coffee, both of us anxious to enter such an expensive school.
“Remember,” my mother had said, “Witt is just to be used as something to compare other schools to, keep in mind the price tag around here.”
Oddly enough, I think what caught my eye the most about Wittenberg on that day wasn’t anything that I saw on campus or any of the questions I had answered on my tour. It was my experience in the classroom.
I had the option to sit in on a class during my visit and I can remember sitting in on one of professor Mike Mattison’s English classes. The students had appeared to have just turned in a lengthy paper. Everyone had rather impressive dark circles under their eyes and murmured anxiously to one another about what grade they think they’ll get. Once Mattison entered the room, the atmosphere immediately changed.
He took long strides into the room, carrying a massive Panera bag, full of bagels for the burned out students. For the remainder of the class period, the students happily ate their bagels and shared stories of their struggles and triumphs during their writing process. I sat there, completely silent. I couldn’t believe the classroom dynamic. In high school, we were lucky if our teachers didn’t decide to have the lengthy next reading also due on the day our final papers were due. But here? These students were getting bagels! I couldn’t believe the generosity and closeness of the students to their professor.
My mom and I walked back to our Ford Expedition blabbering about our days like giddy school girls. Once we got into the car, we sat there for a moment, silent in our own recollection of the days events.
“Mom, I hate to break it to ya,” I said. “But I love this school.”
Just like that, a few short weeks later and my parents came home to “Proud parents of a Wittenberg Tiger” signs that I had made on their dresser in the master bedroom of our house.
So, yes, the parties are fun and some of the boys aren’t too gross, but Wittenberg is my valentine for the smaller moments; my sorority sisters bringing me Dunkin’ Donuts coffee before a long night of homework or the banana bread that my advisor D’Arcy Fallon made my class on the first day of FYS freshmen year.
Wittenberg has become such an incredibly special place for me as well as for many students on campus. The faculty strive to help their students in every and any way possible and the friends I have made here will be friends for a lifetime.