In February, I got a text message from a member of the Campus Events Council notifying me that I was selected to represent the Junior Class in Golden Goose, the students’ annual comedy and talent show. Each year, the classes nominate three of their year’s “funniest” peers to represent them in competition for the “Golden Goose” (literally a gold, spray-painted, plastic lawn-decoration goose – figuratively, bragging rights of being the funniest and most talented class for the year).
The next week, I joined the ranks of the other chosen-eleven and our two dance coaches to begin practicing choreography for the dance portions of the competition. What followed was two months of tiring practices and meticulous choreography, but also of an amorphous cloud of creative energy and love that filled the room of those late-night practices. Out of the other eleven, I knew only one person. Soon however, we became a dynamic unit of students from all majors and campus communities who found a strong, empowering, and collective identity in our group-self. These other “geese” quickly became more than friends, but a vital part of myself – my Junior Self; my Sunday night from 5pm to 9pm Self; my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at midnight Self; my “Goose” Self: he who was so joyously alive, and in full expression of himself in the presence these others.
I find that this happens often at Gordon, a reorganization of the Self in light of community. The Self adopts, incorporates, absorbs the Selves of his others – those who become such an integral part of him so that if he casts them off, he loses in some sense, his whole Self. I have grown into this giant, super-human Self time and time again at Gordon. I have been part of so many life-giving communities, so many creative groups, and have grown into a Self bigger than my(own)self. One thing I’ve learned throughout my years at Gordon is that you can’t remain yourself here; your peers won’t let you get away with that. Community is meant to grow you. Community is Gordon’s bread and butter, its mashed potatoes, its numero uno institutional ethos concerning the growth and development of the Student Self.
So, on Thursday, April 25th, when we twelve geese gathered backstage to 2,000 cheering students and community members anticipating the show of our work, my heart was alight with the buzz of something bigger – Glory. To God. By His people. We were expressive creatures expressing creation, together. That Thursday night, was the best of my year, but the two months preceding made it so. It was an event for much more than bragging rights and a gold-painted lawn fixture, it was an emotional display of Gordon at its best: creation, play, teamwork, practice, diligence, and freedom as expressed by a community on fire with love.
Golden Goose, Schmolden Schmoose. Bring on the lovers, the givers, the saints – the students. We’ll put on one heck of a show.
Check out the CEC blog for more pictures, and watch my individual video and our Junior stage act below:
“Ladies Love It”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRp9jhxOlnY
The Junior Stage Act: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZcLvM9FW60