Friend #6: Christi

I met up with my college friend Christi for dinner in Oakland.  She was actually my first college friend.  The University of Michigan does freshman orientation throughout the summer, but for a few straggling students, a Fall Orientation is held immediately before classes start.  I was one of these Fall Orientation students, as was Christi, as were the good majority of my freshman year friends.  I walked into Rackham Auditorium that early morning, trying to hide the fact that I was looking at a map to figure out how to get there, and chose a seat in the same row as another girl.  This girl started talking to me almost immediately, telling me about her summer and leaving to come to college.  I stuck out my hand and said, “Hi, I’m Ann.”  That girl was Christi, from small-town Buckley, Michigan.  We were pretty tight that first year. I went home with her and stayed with her family for a weekend that spring.  We “adopted” a child together through a child-sponsoring agency. She stayed my friend when I was a judgmental, high-horse know-it-all toward her. And we stayed good friends through college and after college when she went to teach high school in Detroit public schools, when she later went to Ethiopia for a year.

But sometime after she came back from Ethiopia, we lost touch.  Neither of us could remember the last time we saw each other.  So we caught up.  And I tell you, this small town girl has become a mighty world traveler.  And I remember that bright-eyed, vibrant 18-year-old girl who was so determined to be exposed to experiences of the world, and she’s done it.  I had forgotten how much I love to hear her tell stories because she gets so animated and passionate.  I’d forgotten how she would curiously and thoroughly pepper you with questions, sometimes to avoid talking about herself, sometimes because she’s just kind and thoughtful.  She now teaches in the public school system in Oakland.  She CARES.  Like a lot.  And I know she’s good at it.  And she still has every bit of zest and vibrancy of that 18-year-old girl from freshman orientation.

Christi at the BART station. We neglected to get a picture together.

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