Friday, April 27, 2007

Quakers and Coffee

I had a job interview today. It went really well. I am really excited to see what happens with this job. I know I need to look at other places, but I've been really excited about this school. I found a few other openings in the area right before we came out here, so when we get home I will keep searching.

The people here at the University have been great. They've been driving us everywhere (including to my interview and back), taking us to dinner (and paying for it), and have been extremely helpful and willing to answer questions and just get to know Michael and I.

We've had some funny experiences/conversations as we mention our affiliation with the Friends Church around here. Out here, everything is named Quaker. The first coffee shop we saw in the airport was called "Quaker Coffee." But, as many know, the Quakers out here are unprogrammed and not Christ-centered.

During my interview today, which is at a Christian school with a very strong spiritual emphasis, the principal noticed my home church was listed as "Newberg Friends Church." He asked me the name of the Christian camp I worked at (he went to college in the Northwest), and I said, "Twin Rocks Friends Camp." At this point he said, "I see you signed our Statement of Faith. Do you have any problems or concerns with it?" I realized he was extremely concerned with the Friends association, assuming that I was not a Christian. It ended up being a wonderful conversation in which I very clearly explained that I am a Christian, and that the Friends in the Northwest are much different than the ones he is familiar with.

We've had similar experiences with most of the people we've talked to, except one professor who had a really good understanding of Quaker-dom. It's been interesting having to explain and clarify as soon as we say "Friends" or "Quaker."

The other thing about this area: NO COFFEE SHOPS!

Actually, they do exist, but no one drinks it like in Oregon. Even the on-campus cafe didn't have any coffee options, not even plain old black coffee...on a college campus!! And we have been STRUGGLING, with the jet-lag and redeye flight. I asked some students and a professor where the closest coffee shop was to campus, and they had no clue. Amazing.

Tomorrow we are going into Philadelphia to do some site-seeing. First stop: Starbucks.

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