Thursday, March 15, 2012

because we can dream

First, I'll apologize for my lack of posting ... if busy-ness were an actual excuse for anything, I'd be starving and my hair would be very dirty. I've been doing other things rather than posting.

More on those things later, there's something really important to talk about:

I graduated from a small school in Southwestern New York state called
St. Bonaventure University. 

There is no football, no big city, no big shopping district, no great lakes, not much of anything there, except
St. Bonaventure. And for many of us, that's all we needed.

When I was a student at St. Bonaventure, I didn't go to basketball games. In fact, I often found myself annoyed when there was a game because it meant I couldn't 'run the stairs' in the Reilly Center
(yes, there was a time when I could and did do that, voluntarily).
They gave away game tickets, literally.

Later, when I worked there coordinating media relations, we went to the games. Though I don't remember the circumstances of how or why we had tickets, we did.
It was an outing, something to do, a chance to be with friends.

In 2000, the Bonnies made the NCAA tournament as a 16-seed, maybe. They took Kentucky to overtime (I think it was triple overtime) and lost. It was awesome.
Nine years ago, the school suffered a huge basketball scandal that stung for a long time. It still does.

Last week, the Bonnies won the Atlantic 10 and made the NCAA tournament. It's a huge deal.

For a school of 2,000 students, making the NCAA Tournament is more than huge. Trust me, they can't afford the budget it would cost to get this type of publicity. And double it. The Bonaventure women's basketball team made the Tournament too. They're ranked. How cool is that?

This week has been a mash of facebook posts and likes, smiles, memories, laughs and yes, even a few tears (okay, maybe the tears just for me) for my husband and me.
We met at St. Bonaventure, so it's a special place to us. 

All week, we've been talking Bonnies with family and friends. Dusting off our gear to wear on Friday, when they play. Getting ready to cheer on our Bonnies. Telling our kids about St. Bonaventure memories
(insert teenage and pre-teen eye roll here).
St. Bonaventure a special place to lots of people but not because they made the tournament,
or they won the A-10. It's special because deep down, we all knew this could happen.
And that's what is so special about St. Bonaventure. 

It's a place where everyone can. If you can dream it, you can do it. 

It might be naive. It might be pie-in-the-sky, but for a kid like me, it was just the type of place I needed. It was the place where you could try and fail. And there was someone there who could show you the way. Though comparatively speaking, my career pales next to those of my classmates and colleagues,
I know that I'm doing exactly what I need to be doing.

Those are the lessons St. Bonaventure teaches outside of the classroom.
The lessons of hard work, service, acceptance, a positive attitude, laughter and love, above all else.
The lesson that it's the people who make this world the wonderful place it is.
In some ways, Friday can't get here soon enough. In another way, it's too close.

It doesn't matter whether the Bonnies win or lose.
(I picked them to get out of the weekend.)

What does matter is that the lessons learned at St. Bonaventure don't end
when the last second click off the clock. They're etched in our hearts forever.

Go Bonnies!


amy said...

Love it Eileen . . . many wonderful memories and so very glad I lived next to you your senior year and got to know you! We will be cheering here and hoping they make it though the weekend!

Carol Sc said...

So very nicely said (written)! --- I attended an even smaller (all girls) college and I wouldn't trade my four years spent there. In a faith surrounded stmosphere, it instilled in me the value of me, as a person, --- in this world and the next. Thanks for saying it so well --- and, while I am cheering for the Green and White, I join you in cheering for the Bonnies, too.

Beth Donaldson: Quiltmaker said...

Sorry about the Bonnies, but they played a hellavua game. My blog address and name has changed. I'm now at Beth Donaldson: Quiltmaker at So please change me in your blog list. Thanks, Beth