There’s something about me that not everybody on this campus knows. Although I am in my fourth year of college and my final year at Goshen, I have only been on campus for three years. This is because I was a transfer, and no, I did not transfer from Hesston. Before coming to Goshen, I spent one glorious year attending a community college in my hometown. I have loved many things about Goshen since arriving three years ago, but there are some empty places in my heart that have not been filled by my experience here.

That is why, when I learned I needed to take an online class through a community college this semester to complete my major, I was nothing short of thrilled. To be honest, I had never imagined I would return to the community college atmosphere from whence I came, and I have nothing but fond memories of my time there.

In my year at community college, I learned a lot. Few of them were of scholastic value, but I learned plenty nonetheless. I learned that if you befriend the man in the cowboy hat who sits behind you, he will give you candy on a daily basis. I learned how to spot chewing tobacco in somebody’s pocket a mile away. I learned that older people are not necessarily wiser, although I do miss being the youngest person in my class by roughly 40 years.  Most of all, after being taught exclusively by men with ponytails, including ones who were almost entirely bald, I learned that you can’t judge a male professor by his hairstyle. Since coming to Goshen I’ve missed these parts of my college experience, which I grew accustomed to during the time I refer to as “the best year of my life.”

As I eagerly looked over the course syllabus and schedule for my community college class this semester, these were the things that I fondly recalled and anticipated reliving. I read over our first online discussion board and was pleased to see mention of grandkids at the top of the list. Looking further into the syllabus, I couldn’t help but notice that due dates in 2011, 2012 and 2013 were all mentioned. I don’t have a lot of experience with time travel, so I was eager to see how that would unfold. And, although I have yet to see my professor’s head and am therefore uncertain whether he has a ponytail, I have a sneaking suspicion that he does. As I’ve always said, a man with a ponytail can be spotted through his written word.

Goshen has been a wonderful place to spend the last few years of my life, but it has left me wanting in some areas. That is why, on that first day of my online class, when I sat back in my chair and read an email from my professor that began, “Hi Erik,” I couldn’t help but grin, knowing that these empty places in my life are soon to be filled, courtesy of community college.