Hmmm... it looks like all of this reunion talk fizzled before I was aware that it had started up again. I remain up for anything on the Eastern Seaboard, which could include western New York if that conversation is rejuvinated.
So, although the "big reunion" that has been threatened since approximately the time we all left Oxford still isn't happening (okay, it did once upon a time, not that I'm at all bitter that I couldn't make it), the little mini-reunions still manage to happen for me a couple times a year. Here are some pics from when I visited Nicole on the way back from South Africa. You can guess where we are by the whimsical brick pattern on the building behind us. I managed to chip out a blue brick while no one was looking, which I will present to the society of reactionary architectural saboteurs at Exeter College upon my next visit. Nicole is generally opposed to having her picture taken, so I was lucky to get this. While I'm at it, here's me in front of the building I spent perhaps the most time in while in Oxford (it might even beat out #10, since I only slept about 4-5 hours a night back in those days). We didn't even bother to walk down Canterbury Road, but we certainly visited all the old pubs, and some new ones, with Nicole's friend Rosie. Sadly, Mr. Hussein's cart had not pulled up before we left, so we had to get our chips at the other kebab stand.
London was good times as well. I helped out with a football tournament for the young people Nicole works with, and as usual we walked all over the place. I am always impressed by how well Nicole knows her way around London on foot, and how often I encounter places I have never seen. I guess living there for just one year didn't get me around as much as I thought. One very welcome addition to this visit was watching an entire season of "The Office" - the American version! I once thought it was blasphemous, since I think the British original is genius, but I have seen the light, and am glad that Steve Carrel and company have two more seasons on DVD that I can watch. Ryan Rich, you were right and I was wrong.
I then visited Missy when I was in DC the following week, just a wee coffee date on Pennsylvania Avenue. My girlfriend Kristina lives there, so I have a feeling that Missy and I will be seeing a lot more of each other over the next year (by the way Missy, since this is as quick and convenient a way to contact you as any, I'll be down all next week). Once again, evidence that squishing together and holding the camera directly in front of your faces usually does not result in the finest photography, at least of me.
In other news, my final year of Princeton Seminary is underway, and I am again asking the "what am I going to be when I grow up" questions. My current plan is to do a year-long residency as a hospital chaplain in the DC area next year, which would put me close to Kristina, and keep our options open when her two-year job commitment terminates at the end of that same year. I have different ideas about what I want to do after graduation every six months or so, and while I may or may not stick with chaplaincy long term, it would allow me to develop the skill set I would need to be a therapist or counselor or something like that further down the road. Not a pastor, however, as I just can't see myself as a minister of word and sacrament even if other aspects of the pastoral role appeal to me. While it would be great to just know what I want to do with my life already, I will probably keep trying new things for the foreseeable future, and probably trying them in a variety of interesting locations.
Hope the reunion planners can work something out. I am certainly game.