On Tuesdays I feature something orange, and for the A to Z Challenge, I also needed the letter B. I found this Northampton County Area Community College(NCACC) logo in my old papers from 1986. NCACC is located in Bethlehem, and it’s where I went my first two years of college. From far north in Canada, I had applied to Oberlin, Brown, and Vassar, because they were part of the guidance office’s small collection of college catalogs, but I had no idea of the competition. I was on two waiting lists, which disappointed me then, but now seems miraculous.
I also applied to several Canadian universities and was planning on attending University of Toronto, but imagining moving all the way across Canada from Alberta to a city I’d never seen was overwhelming. I decided to spend the summer with my mother and sister in Bethlehem. A friend from church suggested I look at going to community college until I figured out what I wanted to do. I loved NCACC, and it’s where I met Stratoz. B is for Bethlehem, the Christmas City, with a star on the hill made of lights.
I met Stratoz in the Fall of 1986, at Northampton County Community College, while we were both working at the Tutoring Center. He had transferred from NCC to East Stroudsburg, and once he graduated came back to tutor while figuring out what to do with his biology degree and his life. I was a student, tutoring Introduction to Philosophy. He heard me talking about Greek philosophers, and this gave him a way to introduce himself. He came up to me in the Library, and said there was a book he thought I should read–Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance–which has many references to Greek philosophers. I went on to become a librarian, so giving me a book to read was a sure way to catch my attention!
I read the book, still not catching on that he was interested in me. We started having long conversations in the cafeteria. In April of 1987, we attended a classical piano concert in NCC’s auditorium, and later that evening as he was driving me home, Stratoz confessed he was in love with me, and I was happy to be able to tell him I felt the same way.
A couple of years ago, we both reread Zen and the Art, and we decided it was quite amazing I was willing to give him a chance, since it was a mixture of intense existential angst and complicated excursions into Philosophy which led to insanity on the part of the narrator. But at the time, I was just glad to have found someone to talk to, who liked books, and who listened to what I had to say with intentness.
So we are pleased to be doing the NCC Alumni Association Spring Craft Show on March 12th, 2011, in Bethlehem, PA, and going back to where it all started!
**Note: When we went there, it was Northampton County Area Community College, abbreviated NCACC and pronounced Nack-Ack. The new name of N-C-C is quite sophisticated, but doesn’t have quite the same ring to our ears.