typical foodie day. started off at my favorite local creperie with one of my students. one of my students who graduated last year told me about this place. i went once and have been hooked ever since. i recommend the nutella hot chocolate in the fall/winter and its frozen counterpart in the summer.

before meeting one of my old college friends for dinner, i decided that i would bring her a treat.

what better than soft pumpkin chocolate chip cookies? this is one of my favorite cookie recipes. joy the baker really balances soft pillow cookies with yummy chocolateness. i always add a little bit more chocolate and switch up the ground cloves with ground ginger instead. i think it adds a bit more warmth and kick.

30 minutes later, i had two batches of cooled cookies on the dining room table waiting to be packed up and whisked off to see s’s new place across the street. when handing the cookies to s, her eyes smiled as she graciously thanked me for always bringing a treat when i come to see her.

our talks usually consist of rumblings about random life news and work-related life in higher education at small private institutions. without fail, our alma mater always comes up. i find that i have and always will compare my current experiences with what i had at my undergrad. nothing has ever compared to it. i don’t think anything will. our university has an identity that all of those in that coastal region know. we are the premier institution of its kind on the coast.

a college or university’s identity provides the framework of a student’s experience. s and i bleed the spirit of our alma mater, as many others. some students breathe the institution’s mission and values. you know what we stand for no matter how (un)involved you are. it challenges your current beliefs, what classes you decide to take, and how you interpret the world.

so, we ask ourselves where our current institutions fall in their regions. are their identities established and present? does the campus community live the mission and values in a way that brings meaning to a person’s life?

we went off in several other random tangents before finishing up our dinner and walking back to our homes.

after full day and a full belly, i curl up in bed here still marinading in the questions.


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