Friday, July 25, 2008

Cooking Out

Last night I joined two Admissions Counselors and another student assistant as we drove the two and a half hours to Schererville, IN, just outside Chicago, to host a cookout for prospective students and their families.  The idea was that if someone was perhaps mildly interested in Calvin, they might be more likely to come hear about us at a cookout in their neighborhood than to drive all the way to see Calvin for themselves.  Hopefully we convinced some of them that Calvin is worth a look.

We left the Admissions Office at 2 pm, which was, of course, 1 pm Central time.  Plenty of lee-way so that if the highway was backed up at all we’d still make it on time.  Good thing because it took us an hour to get to where I-196 meets Interstate 94…typically this is a 15 minute trip.  We concluded that there had been an oil spill (or something along those lines) that was being cleaned up, but not until we spent a good 45 minutes wondering why traffic was at a standstill.  Heidi, who was driving, did a very good job of being assertive and blocking other drivers from cheating and driving up the to-be-closed lane only to nose into the line of law-abiding citizens at the last minute.  We had a great time discussing our academic futures, politics, the economy, and Admissions Office news, though, and the drive to Schererville went by quickly. 
Upon arrival we stopped at the local Meijer, picked up cookout fixings, and headed to Stephen Park, where we had a pavilion reserved.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous: upper 70s, the slightest breeze, and nary a cloud to be seen.  We had high hopes of having a handful of families show up to keep us occupied over supper, and were pleased to have four turn up.  There were only minor snafus, such as when we went to light the charcoal grills and realized we had not thought to bring a lighter or matches, and then when a lighter was retrieved from a nearby gas station, stumbling on the reality of having also forgotten any sort of utensil for flipping the burgers.  We were able to overcome our oopses gracefully, and the families were wonderfully gracious about the wait for their supper. 
Because of the time difference we did not get on the road to return home until almost 10 pm Eastern time, but we were in high spirits after a good turnout and an enjoyable evening.  We chatted our way through about 70 miles before realizing that we had no more gas!  The search for a gas station ensued in the Douglas/Saugatuck, MI vicinity.  Gas station #1 was closed, so we went in search of another one.  Gas station #2 appeared closed but had lights on around the gas pumps, so we decided to try it.  Things looked promising until we realized that the pump had stopped after giving us a measly .021 gallons of gas…for a whopping total of $0.08.  We had a good laugh when we considered what that would look like to the first person to use the pump in the morning, and then hoped that the third time would be the charm.  Indeed, it was, and we put enough gas in our rented minivan to get us back to Grand Rapids.  We pulled onto Calvin’s campus a little before 1 a.m., tired but surprisingly cheerful. 

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 07/25 at 05:08 PM

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