I chased the sun
And caught it in my hand
I closed my fingers around it
And tried to keep it safe
The light trickled through
The spaces in between my fingers
And shone for all to see
I clapped my other hand
Over my closed fist
To fill the gaps
But the sun found
Another way to escape
I chased the sun
And caught it in my eyes
They glistened like crystals
And shone like gold
I closed my eyes
So no one would see
But the darkness closed in
And I was forced to open
My eyes once again
I chased the sun
And caught it in my heart
Where it has stayed
~ by Ruth Will, Walla Walla University alumna (att.)
My lovely old piano teacher plays
me graceful etudes in the key of A.
Whenever I’m in town, I visit him
and ask the doctor kindly how he’s been.
We each sit on a sofa, with a sea
of books and scores of music in between.
Our rhythmic conversation often seems
a little reminiscent of a scene
from last year’s call and ones preceding that.
He’s always so professionally clad,
with loafers and the collars he requires
despite the thirty years he’s been retired.
His need to flaunt sophisticated style
suggests he feels it’s terribly worthwhile
to seem as though he has a greater task
than instructing kids of mothers who have asked
for him to teach their darlings Bach and Liszt.
Instead he sits correcting notes they’ve missed
in children’s books that just use the right hand.
Is this really what the scientist had planned?
He’ll try to play a song for me by Grieg.
His right hand shakes. His body seems fatigued.
Apologizing for all his mistakes
he’ll blame it on his hurt right hand that shakes
and claim that once the song was so precise,
but now his rough rendition must suffice.
I think he hurt his hand in some past war.
I know that he has told me once before.
It hurts to watch him struggle through a song
and play so many pitches that are wrong.
He tells me the same stories every year.
We talk about the weather—his career.
He asks about my classes and my goals.
I tell him the same stories that I’ve told.
He’ll ask, “And could you say that one more time?”
Repeating louder, trying to be kind.
I’ll tell him of the classes that I took
and of the music and the theory books
that occupy my thoughts and excess time.
He smiles and tells me, “Oh, well that is fine,”
while reaching his hurt hand up to his ear
adjusting the device that helps him hear.
Eventually the conversation dies.
I offer giving some Mompou a try.
I slowly amble to his shiny grand
and steal a quick glance at the old white man.
His lovely eyes begin to softly close.
I often wonder where the old man goes.
by Abigail Higgins
2011 mathematics graduate of Walla Walla University
When a woman died today, Samedi told me to take
her pulse. I quietly felt her right wrist and said,
“None,” but then, with the anxiety of pronouncing
death being too much for me to do alone, I asked
Samedi to take it, too — because calling death almost
feels like killing. Who will be the one to say there’s
no hope for life here, to give up, to decide it’s over?
No one signs up for that and yet when someone
dies, pretending they didn’t won’t last long. You
think that maybe you’re just not finding the right
place on her wrist where the pulse might be felt.
But no, she’s really dead. At birth we announce
it and give the welcome, and at the end, we say
goodbye and say the benediction.
~ Emily Wilkens
2010 health science graduate of Walla Walla University
Read more in Emily’s book, “African Rice Heart,” which tells in first person of her experiences serving the people of Chad. The book is available on amazon.com in both paperback and for Kindle.
This video was put together by the Associated Students of Walla Walla University (ASWWU). Whether you graduated last month or will be starting college in the fall, know that being unsure of your future is normal, and you will make it through this period of uncertainty. And seriously: don’t panic.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
—~ Maya Angelou
Our goal at Walla Walla University is to make you feel as if walking onto our campus is like coming home. We consistently get good marks for friendliness from campus visitors, and even have a stretch of sidewalk we call “Hello Walk” in front of the administration building that reminds people to meet each other’s eyes and greet everyone they meet. Wanna check it out? Call 800-541-8900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit. (P.S. - We’ll even reimburse up to $250 of your travel costs!) Come see WWU for yourself.
Independence Day just isn’t the same without fireworks, and Walla Walla knows it! The city sets off a nice display every year from the fairgrounds, just a ten-minute drive from the campus of Walla Walla University. Photo by Chris Drake, 2001 mass communications graduate and current director of media services for WWU.
Walla Walla University has several campuses aside from the main one in College Place, Wash. The others are graduate social work campuses in Billings and Missoula, Mont., nursing in Portland, Ore., and biology marine laboratory near Anacortes, Wash. The above photo was taken at the latter, Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory, by Peter Kuhnlein. WWU biology students are required to spend some time here, and many non-biology students choose to spend a summer studying at Rosario, simply because they love it so much. With boating, hiking, camping, beach volleyball, and all the nature you can handle (and then some), who wouldn’t like this place? For information about how you can spend some time studying here, visit rosario.wallawalla.edu or email info[at]wallawalla[dot]edu.
I can not do all the good that the world needs, but the world needs all the good I can do.
—Jana Stanfield, recording artist
Every year, Walla Walla University’s associated students (ASWWU) tackle a large fundraising project. In past years they have raised tens of thousands of dollars for literacy/education in Central American countries, supporting an orphanage in Malawi, and more.