Laura Rooper (above right, with Thomas Robinson) graduated from Whitworth University in 2011 with a degree in Secondary Education and English. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is attending graduate school at Western Seminary pursing a master’s in counseling. She recently sent us this dispatch.
After leaving Whitworth’s English department, I took a position as a youth pastor in Pendleton, Oregon. It was a challenging and rewarding position. I ran youth group twice a week, once for junior high and once for high school, and led classes on Sunday mornings.
There were some fun moments. One time one of my youth group kids called me to come to her house and remove her pet lizard that had crawled on her face. We went on some cool trips too, such as an enormous youth conference in Denver (yes, the convention center with the gigantic blue bear peeking in the window). These were all meaningful experiences. I stayed there one year.
In August 2012 I packed all my belongings and drove west, to the Oregon coast, and unloaded half my life there. My time is now divided: I spend half of my week in Portland, where I live with two Whitworth alumni (Erica Hoffman ’10 and Lydia Chenoweth ’10) and where I am attending graduate school. For the other half of my week I’m in Cannon Beach, living with my boyfriend’s parents (Trina and David Robinson) and spending time with my boyfriend (Thomas Robinson ’09).
Living with my boyfriend’s family is fun. They are incredible people and have always made me feel welcome. Plus, they’ve got a stellar coffee machine. I live in an upstairs bedroom with a sign the family put over my door—“Writer’s Loft.” I must say, living there is inspiring. I have gotten plenty of writing done in my spare time. Graduate school, where I am pursuing my masters in counseling, is going well, too.
All in all, my time since Whitworth has been similar to that of any alumni: full of changes, challenges, and delights. I certainly miss Westminster and all who dwell there.