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The Weekend That Keeps On Giving

Chloe Stegeman

Hello folks! I apologize for my long-term absence. The bar is higher this semester all around—so I had to make sure my FIRST BLOG POST OF 2013 is/was the best thing you have ever read, which means I had to step up my game in the “living life” department. And it goes a little something like this….

This weekend has been one of the most incredible spans of time between 10AM on Friday and 8:27PM on Sunday that is possible of existing.

Friday around 11AM (after spending TOO much time cleaning my slightly/really messy room) I set out towards the homeland: Gwinnett County, GA. 4.5 hours of shameless singing and hunger delirium later, I pulled into the Stegeman abode to enjoy a quite evening with the family.

For someone who wasn’t particularly homesick my freshman year, I really cherish and appreciate the time I get to spend with my family now. On this visit, I was privileged to witness my dad and brother’s new airsoft addiction, as they casually waltzed around the kitchen before dinner outfitted in strappy black gun holsters and vests with no where to go. Casual Fridays.

Saturday afternoon after a bridal shower I found myself in Athens, GA celebrating and supporting at UGA Miracle’s Dance Marathon! Dance Marathon is a fundraising branch of the larger Children’s Miracle Network that raises money for area hospitals. Vanderbilt’s Dance Marathon was the weekend of February 2nd—and let me tell you, it was a MIND BLOWING experience. Kids, dancing, food, more kids. What more could you ask for? Already being in town for the weekend (and experiencing a healthy dose of DM withdrawal), I happily swung by the event in Athens to get my DM on.

After a long day of dancing, I met with a couple of my closest friends for dinner in downtown Athens at DePalma’s and ended a long day (turning into an early morning at this point) stopping in to visit a few friends from high school near by.

The ride back to Nashville proved less riveting: I drank my weight in PowerAde slushies and listened to a compelling audiobook recitation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (I had to get my reading done somehow!). Before landing safely back at Branscomb, I stopped in at church for the good word and good company, teaching a lesson to my favorite Nashville youth group.

So. I’ve listed out what I’ve done in the past 72 hours, but so what?

This weekend has been a weekend of movement: not necessarily physical movement, but a movement of the mind and soul. My heart warmed listening to the miracle stories of families and children being helped near my hometown. I witnessed my friends take action for a cause they cherish—and the permanent smile that never left their faces while doing it. I watched the crinkled faces of high schoolers in deep thought as they pondered what they stood for and the action that would help get them there. I laughed too hard, ate too much, stayed out too late, slept too little—but the love, passion, and selflessness I have been apart of this weekend has been AWESOME, in the truest essence of the world. It has re-kindled the fire in my heart to keep the faith strong, the stress low, and keep fighting the good fight against apathy, laziness, and selfishness for one more day.

At any other school, in any other state, on any other weekend, these past few days might have been just that—another few days. After weekends like these, I can’t help but think I am right where I am supposed to be: in a place that cultivates, in a place of opportunity, in a place of community—Vanderbilt, ALL HAIL.

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