Garon Goodspeed is a graduate student in the Masters of Accounting program.
Last week I ate at Vagabond. Yes, the pizza was great. Yes, the dessert was great.
But most importantly, Abilene is great.
My group was forced to sit at the bar of the bustling new eatery, and we became fast friends with the gentleman serving us. After the common courtesies, menu explanations, and comments about the weather, I took the leap of faith and asked him more about his story.
He’s well spoken and cheerful, in his late twenties, and he has a day job is at another downtown Abilene establishment. He would fall in that ambiguous category of “cool,” and he has a spirit about himself that somehow gives everyone around him energy. His story had him come to Abilene for college, graduating and getting married, moving to Austin, and then quickly leaving Austin to come back to Abilene.
I stopped him. “What do you mean?” He said, “What do you mean what do I mean?” And I said, “You chose to come back to Abilene ?” “Yeah,” he said, “we love it here. The people are so nice. We get to make our own fun. Abilene is the beautiful oasis of West Texas.” I wanted to ask what he meant again.
The important thing to note here is this: it wasn’t that I thought settling down and falling in love with Abilene was wrong intrinsically, I thought it was wrong out of habit . The common conversation heard around our campus is that what we have either isn’t enough or it isn’t as good as what our friends have across the state. We’ve told each other the same story over and over again, and now we can’t imagine a different narrative existing.
This week marks the 122nd week of classes here at ACU for me, and every week I become more and more certain that a different story is about to break through – a story that begs us to consider what our college experience would look like if we listened to the people that call Abilene an oasis instead of the people that call it a desert.