Dear Professor Pieper,
I know it’s been ten years since I was in your class and by now I can call you Chris, but in this instance Professor Pieper feels right.
A decade ago, I was learning about the sociology of religion in your class while also enjoying spring semester of my senior year. Also in your class was my friend Margaret and her friend, Maitreyi. One of my favorite things about senior year was the surprising abundance of new friends. Similar to the first year, senior year bonds you with people you’ve never met before who are experiencing the same big transition. Maitreyi became one of those lovely senior year friend additions. While learning about religious traditions, the three of us created inside jokes about Cape Cod, the elevator in Morton, and our classmate who always brought a tumbler full of cereal to class.
Margaret, Casey (trivia instigator), and I celebrating my birthday in 2019.
After graduation life happened, and Maitreyi and I lost touch. Margaret and I kept connected through phone calls and occasional friend reunions.
And then the pandemic began. Thanks to another alumni friend, Margaret and I were invited to create a team for his weekly online pandemic trivia. That’s how Margaret, Maitreyi, and I began hanging out together again.
Official pandemic trivia ended months ago, but our team continues to meet every week. Friends, significant others, pets, and even parents have joined some of our virtual gatherings. We’ve played trivia, Spyfall, Pictionary, Codenames, Sporcle, Scruples, and much more. And we’ve built new inside jokes and relationships. Wednesday nights have become a major source of comfort and continuity in my life. We were together the evening of the insurrection and again on inauguration night. Thanks to our reconnection during trivia, I even got to virtually attend Maitreyi’s wedding this fall.
I wanted to share this with you since this small but powerful pocket of joy in the pandemic wouldn’t have been possible without the friendship forged in your class a decade ago. This pandemic sucks. Having people to share the hardships and a bit of laughter with makes it a little easier.
I hope you and your family are well,