Going back to my alma mater – St. Olaf College – always feels a bit weird. There are so many changes since I graduated over 30 years ago. New buildings I can’t find my way around, all the roads on campus now have street signs, and the biggest change is that Ytterboe Residence Hall, rebuilt after the old one was torn down no longer smells like stale pot and fresh tobacco. However, there are things that will never change. Even after 35 years, Christiansen Hall of Music still has a familiar scent, probably from the wood of Urness Recital Hall, that brings back a wonderful feeling of coming home. Also, everyone I spoke with on campus is still gracious and incredibly kind.
After hearing about the tragic event during the fall semester where a student died by suicide on campus, I felt a tug to do what I could to help the campus heal, as well as give them some perspective on what to do if you or a friend are struggling with symptoms, emotions or behaviors that are beyond control. It really hit home when I found out the student was a junior female, the exact time I had my first ‘mini-breakdown.’
On Thursday, April 16, 11 am, I’ll be giving a chapel talk on campus titled “Mental Health…Help & Healing.” If you’d like to hear it sometime that day after the service you can go to this link. Later that evening at 7 pm, my fellow alum David Melbye and I will be in the Lion’s Pause Mane Stage in a cabaret performance. We ditched the repertoire of classical music we sang as music majors, and will be performing original pieces, songs written by earlier popular composers, and a few tunes from musical theater. I will be selling my latest book “I’m Not The Pastor’s Wife (I’m just married to him)” after the concert at a discounted price for students. David will also be selling his CD “In My Grandfather’s Day.”
On Saturday, April 18 from 10 am to noon, I’ll be at Content Bookstore for a book signing and sale for those who can’t attend the April 16 concert and would like to purchase one.
Lastly, the photo you see above is a taping of my interview with KYMN Radio 1080 Northfield. Teri Knight, KYMN’s news director sat with me and we covered the various topics of my new book. It airs this Monday, April 13 at 11:00 am, and if you can’t catch it live or stream it at that time, you can go to their website and listen to it after its broadcast.
Spread the word, and I hope to see some of you during the week!