By Frances George
Years ago on our family farm, one of my nephews, Little David as we called him, was fishing with his granddaddy (my father) on the pond in one of our pastures. My young nephew caught a fish and handed it back to Granddaddy and while Daddy was taking out the hook and putting the fish on the string, he heard his little grandson whispering something. Granddaddy leaned in closer and listened carefully, “I can’t believe I caught a fish. I can’t believe I caught a fish.” David was in awe of this amazing feat and was simply whispering it to himself over and over in utter delight and joy. As my daddy was recounting that incident today, he said, “David was so proud of his accomplishment. It was one of the happiest days of his young life and one of the sweetest of mine.”
My father recounted this story to me on the heels of a phone call I had just received from my Baylor freshman daughter, Catherine. Dad and I were enjoying our last cup of coffee after a delightful spring day of visiting on the farm before I headed back to my house in town. Just before I rose to leave, Catherine called me on my cell, so I stayed a few more minutes to take the call before telling Daddy goodbye. Catherine was happily walking across campus on this spring day, following a very busy week of quizzes and papers and late nights. Just 24 hours earlier she had called, exhausted by seemingly endless assignments and longing for Easter break. But now she was all smiles and as she face-timed me, she said, “Just look at this beautiful campus of mine” and proceeded to pan her phone around the campus where the sky above was cloudless and blue, where trees were in full bloom, the grass was green, and students were happily greeting each other as paths crossed.
She said, “It has been such a great day Mom. I was sitting in my Sociology class and we were discussing college admissions. And all of a sudden, I looked around the room and thought, ‘This is my school. I was accepted to Baylor University! This is my college. This is my home. I am so happy to be here!’” She continued, “Mom, while I sat there, I just started smiling thinking about how fortunate I am to be at Baylor and how happy it makes me to be here more than any other place in the country. I just wanted you to know that!”
When I hung up the phone and recounted to Daddy this story of Catherine, he immediately told me the story of my nephew and the fish…. “I can’t believe I caught a fish. I can’t believe I caught a fish.” He said my story of Catherine reminded him of his story of Little David. We both smiled.
This is a simple story but sometimes simple stories are the best stories.
So, as your student considers where he or she will spend the next four years of their life, I hope that in the spring of 2018, you will receive a phone call as I did today. I hope that your student will pan the Baylor campus on his or her phone, having just left “Soc” and a discussion on college admissions and like Catherine, will have the wonderfully happy thought, “I can’t believe I caught a fish, a fish named Baylor” and then you will realize, as I did today, that “Baylor has now happily captured not only my daughter, but Baylor has also captured me”.
Caught by Baylor. Captured by joy.
And that, as I always say, is the Baylor difference.