What’s Not Wrong With Southwestern?

Michael von Maltitz

I originally started this article with the intention of finding something wrong at Southwestern so that I could in some small way right this injustice. I tried to find something wrong, maybe even looked a little harder than most.

It was like I was struck with writer’s block and couldn’t think of anything that was wrong with the place. I was a little perplexed, even upset, that for all my complaining when given the opportunity to put it on paper, nothing came to mind.

As I took a mental time machine back through my time at Southwestern, I remember the good times. I remembered my first day in the DFW area after I had gotten off the plane; a smiling staff member was there to greet me. I sure was grateful for this ride, as I didn’t know the area and never even heard of the small town of Keene that I have now begun to call home.

The realization came to me that to achieve the goals I had set out for myself I would need to get a U.S. driver’s license and a car. Doing the written part of the exam seemed easy enough, but I had never driven a vehicle in the U.S. on my own and they drive on the other side of the road from what I was used to in my original home of South Africa.

I ventured to ask the same staff member that picked me up to teach me to drive. He was a little hesitant, but as he had made a promise to my mom to keep an eye out for her only son, he agreed to help me learn how to drive.

I appreciate the gift of independence that this staff member gave me, and that he never gave up on me in spite of a couple of close calls. Another of the staff had put down a deposit on my apartment and helped me move in and even helped me get supplies I needed from the local grocery store.

I remember when I had a cancer scare with my arm that was not healing, how both the staff and the students prayed for me. I remember how a staff member used his own gas to take me to and from hospital for my surgery, and looked in on me to make sure I was ok and had enough food.

I remembered during my surgery and my long painful recovery how my professors worked with me as best they could.  I remember the religion department especially, that they not only met my physical needs by giving me a loaf of bread, but more importantly gave me the spiritual bread I needed more.

I am especially appreciative of the new digital TV station that we are able to access in Keene, which is manned by employees of Southwestern. This is really wonderful for those of us that are less mobile, so we can receive the blessing from the church service.

In closing, I would like to say that when someone like me with a glass-half-full approach to life struggles to find something wrong, it must be a pretty great place.

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