Kevin Ricafort guest writer
The banner flies unashamedly in front of the school. The balloons flutter from strings. The student dining room prepares to captivate students with extravagant aromas. Professors assemble extra handouts for the esteemed guests. The buzz of such preparation can only mean one thing: Day One.
There are many emotions, languages, and meanings awakened by Day One, and there tend to be two divided groups of students trying to express their thoughts: the perplexed and the exuberant.
The perplexed cry out for clarity as the hollering students overshadow the purpose of Day One. Meanwhile, the exuberant cheer fervently while the confused students remain lost in the vagueness of it all.
Both groups have concrete concerns and legitimate perspectives. And both contrasting views stem from their understanding of Day One. But what exactly is lost between the goal of Day One and its conveyed meaning? I believe that both groups would say genuineness.
Consider the perplexed. As a second semester freshman, I cannot remember a time Day One was clearly explained to me, and I am not alone in this struggle. A second semester sophomore in the Biblical studies major describes Day One as lacking purpose, disturbing, and not an accurate depiction of Moody life. Comments like these lead to our next question: what is the goal of Day One?
According to the campus visit coordinator, the goal of Day One is “to give [future students] a feel for what the Moody campus and culture is like with the hopes of showing them what a day at Moody is like. Ultimately, the goal is to help applicants or potential applicants decide whether or not Moody is the right fit for them.” With this in mind, does Day One accurately show our visitors a day at Moody?
Now hear the exuberant group. Two seniors, one theology major and the other a youth ministry major, describe Day One in this way: fun, energetic and crazy. Furthermore, both would claim that Day One is intentionally inaccurate but the difference is “not big enough of a problem.” However, their claims suggest that there is a difference between Day One and a day at Moody. And this difference fuels the battle cry of disingenuousness from the perplexed.
However, what the perplexed group tends to miss is that Day One is essentially this: one day at Moody. All the people I interviewed had a resounding plea: Moody cannot be grasped in one day. As a freshman in applied linguistics said, “you would be a fool to think that Day One is everyday at Moody.” And we are fools if we think that we can accurately depict Moody culture in a day.
If we can’t depict Moody in one day, so what? The answer is simple: give our visitors more than Day One. How can the perplexed and the exuberant do this? And how can we restore what is missing in the gap between the goal and meaning of Day One? For the perplexed: do not let the vagueness of the goal avert your desire to build a relationship with a “Day-Oner.” As for the exuberant: examine the cause of your hollering. Is your excitement genuinely depicting Moody culture day by day?
As both groups work toward embodying genuineness, I believe Day One will, rather than merely depict a day at Moody, accurately present the Moody students and culture.