Thursday, February 12, 2015

Call of the Wild

View of Sinks Canyon, near Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, WY
No, this is not a post about Jack London's sled dog adventure novel (although I did have a short obsession with that book when I was younger and could blog about it sometime). It's actually another ramble on my already-beloved school, Wyoming Catholic College.

Just over a year ago, I wrote the following in my journal:

How can I express my excitement reading the newsletters and brochures from Wyoming Catholic College? They speak of the Holy Spirit-filled joy of this community, the students challenging each other in their faith, their studies, and their adventures, the absolute immersion in beauty and sounds like a training ground for the Catholic equivalent of Marines, or maybe knights.

Shortly after this, in a burst of enthusiasm, I printed out an image of the College's gorgeous crest, which I taped to my closet door, bearing the caption, "Knight of Wyoming Catholic College". My heart was set.

Several months later found me and my journal on a grassy June hillside. I was "in training" for the mountain hiking I'd be doing at WCC's summer camp in just a few weeks. Sweating in the Midwestern humidity, I took refuge in daydreams, and then in reflection:
Sitting midst the clovers, looking at clouds, imagining mountains. The other day I re-watched WCC's latest video "Everything in Excellence." It moved me again.... Indeed the whole video reminded me again of the necessity of being both hardworking and joyful, if I want to be a part of WCC. And I think the fact that in this way the college is making me [want to be] a better person, even before I've enrolled or set foot on the place, is is not like other schools at all.
I carried a golden picture in my mind of Wyoming Catholic. And incredibly, my real experiences of the College did not dispel my idealism. They actually confirmed it.
Later on I discovered that the College had on its website a list of "attributes of the ideal WCC student". This I read, admired, and eventually taped up on either side of the eagle and shield on my closet, as a kind of knightly code. The list is a constant inspiration--and intimidation. You'll see what I mean.
The Ideal WCC Student
From Wyoming Catholic College's admissions webpage
"Wyoming Catholic College is focused on educating the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. Since our mission is different than the missions of other colleges, what we look for in an applicant is also different. While we expect certain levels of academic achievement on standardized tests and high school transcripts, we also look beyond scores to find the character of the student. Below is a list of intangible traits we are looking for in our students."
- Unwillingness to settle for the satisfactory, but always striving for excellence.
- More concerned with uncovering the truth than appearing right.
- Desire to know what is true for its own sake, not just to pass a test or get a job.
- Unafraid of the consequences of speaking out about what is true.
- Enjoys listening and asking questions, not just hearing oneself talk.
- Deep personal prayer life.
- Life aimed at becoming a saint.
- Desire to know our Lord through His marvelous creation.
- Willing to consistently break out of his or her comfort zone to grow as a person.
- Willing to work hard to improve in those areas where he or she is not naturally gifted.
- Willing to sacrifice to achieve greatness.
That's one heck of an admissions criteria. This is the call of the Wild, the divine adventure of sainthood. As an incoming freshman at Wyoming Catholic College this August, I am terrified--in absolutely the best way possible.