Each UWC staff member briskly walked down the stairs into the dark basement and threw the door open to see what was inside. The smell of taco seasoning, beans, meat, and cheese filled the air. It was finally time for Christmas decorating in the UWC. If you haven’t visited our room during Christmastime (or anytime for that matter), you are really missing out. We compete each year with other offices on campus for the best decorations, so we take it very seriously.
This past year, one of our talented staff members created an Elf-themed room. It might not be easy to make dreams become a reality, but we were determined. One night, as per tradition, we entered our normal room and envisioned a new mystical world. Before jumping into all of the tasks, we took time to socialize and catch up with each other since we had just returned from a long Thanksgiving weekend. We ate some delicious taco soup and desserts to begin the festivities. In full disclosure, I ate approximately three bowls of taco soup with sour cream and cheese, but who is counting? Everyone, probably.
Anyways, everything was going extremely well until the clock struck midnight. I promise it really wasn’t midnight, but it sounded dramatic. As we started to place different decorations throughout the room, I decided it would be a great idea to clear off one of our director’s bookshelves to place new decorations in that spot. Jordan, the lead decorating coordinator, hesitated when I told her my plan and tried to stop me, but it was too late. As soon as I removed the first six books from the top shelf, the top tier collapsed. With my cat-like reflexes, I was able to grab a few of the toppling books. Unfortunately, a few was not enough. With the weight of the other books from the first tier, the second layer decided it was time for it to give way.
Hearing the commotion, my thoughtful co-workers rushed to my aid. The room was filled with shrieks due to the ever-collapsing shelves. Trying to prevent the last shelf from collapsing, Deneen decided to sit on the ground and help collect some of the books I was trying to grasp. Again, it was too late. More books started to crash to the floor, and Kenean came rushing over. She quickly tried to sweep the rubble off Deneen and me. In those moments, it felt as if we were in a movie with the walls coming down upon us, and all we could do was revel at the situation. The laughter grew louder as none of us knew what to do next. I wanted to book it out of there, but I was stuck. Pun intended.
“I think I broke all of my toes and both of my feet!” I screeched. Some say that I can be overdramatic. I agree. My cry for help was simply acknowledged with more laughter. As soon as we thought the books were finished toppling down, a few more fell to ensure my foot was indeed broken. In the midst of chaos, none of us could not stop laughing. In fact, we were laughing so hard that you could hear a few snorts. Okay, you are right, that was probably me too.
In these chaotic moments, it became apparent how close the UWC staff was and is. Not only does this story illustrate each of our personalities, it shows how much we care for each other and how quickly we run to each other in need. Whether it is a crumbling bookshelf or a chaotic personal situation, we are there for each other. In the midst of the current situation, we have banded together in prayer, encouragement, and genuine care. Because of the way this defines our office, this memory immediately became my favorite. When we say that we are family, I hope this points to the truth behind that statement. I could never imagine my life without my colleagues, past and present. Never take a moment for granted because it might just become your favorite memory.