The days leading up to ECLA week were full of preparations: late night essay writing, the purchasing of book making and gardening supplies, sign-up lists for special workshops and concerts, debate and choir rehearsals, campaigning for student-delegate candidates and Annual Conference themes and football practice.
The faculty/student football/soccer showdown received special attention and inspiration from both sides of the field. ‘We’ve been training for some time’, states student Jeff Marshall, ‘nearly every day we are out on the field shooting goals, and now we are running laps, too. It goes without saying, we are younger and stronger. We are going to win’. Rob Boddice, faculty member, counters him with, ‘legendary football manager Bill Shankly said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I’m very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” The ECLA faculty approach to the beautiful game is that football should be considered a liberal art. In the Socratic tradition, Wednesday’s clash will concern the soul: an enlightened disposition for the victors and infinity in the cave for the losers.’ Regardless of the results of the disputed game, both sides played courageously and enjoyed themselves.
While some students enjoyed the outdoors during the football match, others celebrated autumn while looking toward spring. Students and administration planted hundreds of tulip, daffodil, and crocus bulbs on the ECLA campus in the 2006 beautification project. Sheroz Negmatov explained, ‘I haven’t gardened since I was young at my grandfather’s house. I’m happy about this opportunity. It was so much fun to work together and dig in the ground’. Lily Philipose, one of the many beneficiaries of the Beautification Project is already awaiting its results, ‘A slew of admissions inquiries for next year kept me from helping with bulb-planting this Fall, but come Spring I’ll be anxiously watching the flower bed outside my window for the first signs of budding tulips’.
As members of the ECLA community hang up their cleats, retire their shovels, and go back to business as usual, they hold a week’s worth of fond memories together and hope for Spring as they approach the next four weeks of hard work leading up to Winter Break.