The school year's gloaming

Pat Maxwell


The best part of a day is the gloaming. Sunsets are a close second, especially after a Midwest rainstorm with its mix of lingering dark and light clouds, colors of brilliant orange and red splashed across the horizon. The gloaming though—that time at end of day when the sun drops below the skyline and night’s shadows lengthen—is always the best. The trees and houses begin to look like paper cut outs. During the summer, at least in Lincoln, fireflies are seen darting here and there across backyards and open spaces. The furrowed brows of friends and loved ones, evidence of days filled with work, soften in the fading light. The day is done.

The end of the semester and school year is a bit like the gloaming. All of the days and nights of hard work transition into a celebration for some and for others there’s the anticipation of a short change of pace and place with summer adventures.

The gloaming lasts for maybe a half hour, it’s just a dot in time—a moment to reflect.

As first year faculty at Union College, there is much for me to contemplate. As I think back to this year, Moodle rises to the top of the list as my primary nemesis. Conversations with my two Heart Scan students also rise to the top—of a different list—with our positive and meaningful discussions about life. And, oh so much more! The summary? Moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, was absolutely the right decision.

Jesse Evert, a sophomore at Union College, said that when she reflects on the year she knows that she “made the right decision” also. This time last year she was headed to Disney College. She was one out of 50,000 applicants chosen for this unique opportunity to learn the business of Disney. All along she had asked if her religious convictions, to keep the Sabbath, would be an issue and was assured that they would work with her. At the very last conversation she was told otherwise. Without hesitation she declined the offer and made plans to attend Union College.

“It was the best decision that I ever made,” Evert said. She went on to speak about the experiences she has gained by working with Campus Ministries. “That I love!” she added enthusiastically. “I have had great opportunities in my major also, and made some great friends.”

Natalie Bruzon, a senior and editor-in-chief of the Clocktower, said that when she reflects on her time at Union College she recalls the Young Adult Summit as a highlight of her experiences—the student newspaper a close second. The Young Adult Summit was convened by students, with students, to talk about and explore retention of youth in the Seventh-day Adventist church. “So many ideas came together, everyone contributed,” she said. “It was really special to watch that happen.”

Courtney Kreuger, also a senior, agreed with Bruzon’s assessment of community at Union College. “Some might have the idea that college is cut-throat, everyone for themselves,” she said. “That’s not the case. Everyone here wants you to grow and succeed.”

Armed with gratefulness and gratitude, the new day is welcomed.