By Madison Pettica ’15
There are some great moments in life that you await with much anticipation– 16thbirthdays, proms, graduations. And others seem to happen when you’re least expecting it. I experienced one of these moments just the other day.
Lying in our beds, casually talking through an episode of Gossip Girl, my roommate and I marveled at our new room. We had just moved into Marshall Hall and were juniors. Our nostalgic discussion of “Where in the world did the time go?” was halted by a knock at the door. We harmoniously cheered, “Come in!” to our unknown guest, giddy to show off our new décor.
We elatedly squealed at the sight of Penny—the maintenance worker from our building last year. Momentarily speechless, I hugged her tightly, only to relinquish the squeeze when she light-heartedly laughed, “You’re killin’ me, kiddo!” She had not only located our new room, but carried a cupcake in each hand for my roommate and me, leftovers from her daughter’s wedding shower a few days prior.
Whether she was wishing me luck on my Macroeconomics Exam that day, passing out homemade muffins to the students that lived in the dorm, or simply sharing a smile—Penny helped create sweet moments that added light to each of my days. The warmth and kinship I feel with her, while remarkable, is not rare in the W&J community. The compassion and closeness you feel to those around you are at times almost palpable.
To my dismay, Penny could not carry her work to our new building, but I find reassurance in knowing our friendship will last well beyond living arrangements. We hugged goodbye that day, but not before making plans at the end of the month to share her daughter’s wedding photos. Without the luxury of being able to travel back to my house at a whim’s notice, it’s these small, significant instances that helped build my second home—the home that I now fondly refer to as W&J.
Madison Peticca is a junior majoring in English and a member of the Pre-Law Program at Washington & Jefferson College.