Letters From An MBI Student – 9/16

Dear Family,

I do not, whatsover, understand CPO. I’ve heard it called “the last lonely frontier” of Moody, and [Freshman Opinion Alert!] I’m pretty sure that’s true.

I didn’t get my CPO until a week after I was here. I didn’t realize I could get it earlier and I didn’t even know where to find CPO, anyway. It’s down the stairs, past the SDR, past the murals, past the creepy boiler thingy that turns the tunnel into a sauna, past the first three walls of boxes you see, and around the corner from the door that’s always open so you can see the room that looks like the inside of our shed with better lighting and white floors.

Here’s how [not] successful my visits to the Wild West have been so far:

Visit Numero Uno: When I finally got my CPO number, I a) couldn’t find my box (thanks, non-consecutive numbering system!) b) had to have Campus Thor* open it for me because the combination locks are incomprehensible, and c) pulled out a whole ton of mail…none of which belonged to me.

Visit Numero Dos: Since I’d been incapable of working the combination, I visited CPO a few days later to try to work the combination myself. Six tries later, looking like a classic freshman with my blue card in one hand and those patented CPO-combination-squinty-eyes, I realized that there’s a little clear pane in the box that shows you if you actually have mail. Of course I’d been spending all that time trying to open an empty box. So I spun the combination on the off-chance that it’d magically open, which, of course, it didn’t. So I left.

Visit Numero Tres: I waited to go back for two weeks because I knew I wouldn’t be able to open the thing anyway. By then I knew I had a lot of Amazon stuff that’d come in that I needed. So I walked up to my box, ready to haggle that darn thing into submission. I barely turned the knob and the door popped open! I may or may not have tried to leave the box unlocked so in the future I didn’t have to figure out how that all happened. I turned in the two green slips and one pink slip, picked up my two boxes, started to walk out, and the postal dude said “Hey!” and handed me a third box while looking at me like I was crazy. How was I supposed to know that package notifications come in multiple colors and all mean the same thing?

So I walked back to my room with three large Amazon boxes in my arms and got random comments about how great a day I was having; which was completely true. I’d actually opened my CPO box!

Except I have no clue how I did. So next time I’ll either be standing there with my eyes shut and spinning that knob in hopes of that magic opening again, or I’ll be yelling at Heimdall to send Campus Thor back. I’m not sure which is more realistic.

Maybe missing you and a mailbox that doesn’t require magic to open,


*tall, long blond hair, super-friendly, but…a less-attractive Thor? Because, let’s face it, it’s a Bible college, and nobody here is Chris Hemsworth.


Letters From An MBI Student – 9/12

Dear Family,

It’s been a bit since I wrote to you, and there’s a lot to catch up on. The crazies just keep piling up on each other, and I’m still not sure if I attract the weirdness or cause it.

But there’s also some stuff I’d rather not tell you. The classes are great, and I still love ’em all. The kids I’m meeting are friendly and enthusiastic and even messier than Putt-Putt and Bubs combined. But I’m learning a lot more than just the stuff I catch between sniffles and snores in class. And most of it’s stuff about myself.

Take tonight, for example. Tonight we conspired up a car of floor-mates to go swing dancing. Four other girls who were excited and gorgeous and only one sucked her breath when I floored it at a yellow light. (Sometimes I think I could totally make it as an Uber driver, and sometimes I think my passengers would sue the minute they were able to sit upright again. )

We got there and it’d been cancelled for that night. Then was the classic what-do-you-want-to-do-i-don’t-know-what-do-you-want-to-do-let’s-do-something-crazy-yes-um-what-big-silence moment. So eventually Google found us another dance spot that didn’t cost and wasn’t a nightclub (SLG’ing like a boss), and we headed there. Detoured off Navy Pier, said “Christian-version-of-a-swear-word No!” to $25 parking, decided we were too tired to go dancing, and finally ended up back at school. Three of them walked out for fro-yo, and I pled off for old-lady reasons (homework, sleep, food, budget) and ran the stairs to my room.

Which was what I had wanted to do the minute the nice janitor had told us that no, he was sorry, but there wasn’t any event there that night.

When we were having that awkward stop and stare moment outside the hall, trying to figure out what to do, I just wanted pajamas and peppermint tea and Netflix. I wanted my car and miles of I-80 and a playlist that never ended. I wanted my sister and a puzzle and inappropriate pants. I wanted only one person other than myself. I didn’t want the people I had and their energy and conversation and all of it. You’ve probably know this for years, but I guess I’m massively selfish when it comes to spending time with others. I’m picky and irrational and tire out for reasons other than insomnia, and I use a lot of excuses to get my own sort of time.

Sigh. I’m working on it. Don’t tell me “I told you so,” but yeah, you probably did.

We’re going to try to go dancing again next week. They were all chill about not going tonight, they didn’t hate my driving, they no-hip-danced to my music in the car, and they thanked me. I swear I’m surrounded by the nicest human beings known to man, and just the sort of people they are reminds me not to be selfish.

I’ll add it to my list, right between “Read Chapter 8” and “Do Laundry.”

Maybe missing you, even if you say “I told you so,”


Letters From An MBI Student – 9/4

Dear Family,

You were right. I’m not old here!

(I’m also not sick anymore. Ha! Take that, annoyingly miserable fevercold that I successfully passed off to four other girls on my floor. Sorrynotsorry. I have Kleenex if you want some.)

I know I worried about it before I came. Being old [not really], leaving my job [I love my new one], not relating to others [I talk too much for that to be a problem], and regressing in maturity [uh, jury’s still out].

I’ve met a whole conglomerate of “old” “new” students here on campus, and we’ve officially named ourselves. Thanks for the suggestions, Dad, but FYSA, we’re not all single and not all women, so “The Moody Hags” isn’t apropos. Or accurate. My double chin is disappearing, after all.

But, the rest of the suggestions were great (except the ones in Italian, which were only helpful if I took the time to translate them, and you know everyone here would butcher the pronunciation anyway. They still say “FUR-ARE-EE”!). “Aged and Confused” was the runner-up, with “Many Moods Ago” winning Honorable Mention. But we all liked “Over The Arch.” It made us feel “hip” with this generation (haha) and we’ve got a cool abbreviation: OTA. Plus no one is quite sure what it’s all about, until they see the dentures, hair dye, and complimentary walkers we’ll offer at our regular meeting.

Said regular meeting hasn’t happened yet, actually. Mostly because we’re too busy being students to worry about being old. Just like everyone else. We’re here because God’s called us, and that’s true for all of us at Moody. So suddenly, being old doesn’t actually change anything. It’s just a number, after all. (Unless you care about your spouse being older than you, because then it does affect the dating pool.)

So excuse me while I go study with a fellow OTA’er. We might laugh about the young freshmen who have yet to learn how to properly do laundry (yes, red + white = pink!), but it’s those same freshmen who we’ll pray with, eat with, laugh with, and do life with here at MBI. They’re not so bad, if you can get past the pink shirts.

Maybe missing you,


Letters From An MBI Student – 9/2

Dear Family,

Please do not send chocolate. Send hot tea, slippers, a blanket, my bathrobe, that big green chair, a thermometer, and six boxes of Kleenex, please.

By my count, I’ve officially made it 13 days without getting sick. Hello, 14th day.

I felt really silly going to the health office. The other kid in my class who had been sniffling almost as badly as I was–I don’t think anyone else alive could have been sniffling like me–was there already. We saluted each other with Kleenex. I don’t know his name but we’re running buddies: running to the bathroom for more tissue.

I had to come back for an appointment, so I took a nap and pretended I wasn’t sick. It didn’t work very well, so I still felt stupid going to the nurses. I think that’s probably your fault, Mom. If we weren’t pouring blood, we didn’t go to the doctor; and even if we were gushing, that’s what we had the butterfly band-aids for. So going to the nurse felt like calling an ambulance for a zit. “I’m sorry, I have a runny nose and feel like I’m going to fall over. Can you please let me know how I am?”

Um, sick, that’s what.

The nurse was nice, though. She remembered me and my health forms, so that was cool. And she told me that it was normal to get sick like this. Coming to a campus where sickness spreads like Dean’s salutes and students from around the globe bring diseases packed between their sweaters and shoes. Darn you, international students. So that made me feel less like a baby when the one hour of sleep and six packages of Kleenex and one roll of toilet paper finally caught up to me and I did that thing that Kleenex is normally used for.

So the nurse told me I was sick, which I knew. And then she told me not to leave me room, which I didn’t want to hear. And then she gave me Kleenex, which I did need. And then cough drops, which I couldn’t have. And then a thermometer, so I could find out that I had a fever for real, since the hot/cold/Millenium Force ride of course couldn’t tell me that.

So I’ve skipped classes and pretended to do homework and felt mostly miserable. But Lady and The Roomie brought me more tissue, and I’ve got a shiny thermometer to tell me when I can go to class, and I’m finally going to drink all that hot tea I brought.

So maybe I just need the slippers, and the blanket, and the bathrobe, and that chair. Also, please add Mom and send it all overnight, yeah? Because I think you were right, Mom. Sometimes you don’t need the nurse.

Maybe missing you,