Somewhere to Be

Today one of my students invites the entire class to get a burrito with him for lunch. Apparently, there’s a Thursday $4.00 Burrito Special on campus. I love it when a single student builds community and cares for other students in the class. And I love knowing random things that students know about campus life (like $4.00 Thursday Burritos).

I think about how much fun they will have at lunch together. I think of the apple I packed in my bag as I rushed out the door this morning and how nice a burrito sounded.

I end class, ready to sit alone on the bench outside of my next classroom. But as I’m packing up my things, he says to me, “Are you coming along?”

Me? Really?

I did! I went to get burritos with him and the few students who accepted his invitation. As it turns out, it was someone’s birthday, so we celebrated with burritos.

As we stood in line, the student who organized our outing kept a lookout for straggling students who decided to join him at the last minute. We found one, and we made sure to wait up for her. I noted that it was fun to have a group from class eat burritos together, even if just a few students came.

“Next time, more will come,” the student says. “I will make sure and invite everyone again next Thursday.”

I thought about his invitation all day. I thought about the student who had a birthday that nobody had celebrated. I thought of the girl who came late but sill wanted to join up; I wondered what changed her mind. I suddenly remember being a freshman and how important it was to have somewhere to be, with people who wanted me there, for something as simple as lunch.

I also thought about how I would have never thought to invite my professors out to lunch. But this student? He stood there and asked, “Are you coming along?”

I know I’m booked for burritos next Thursday.

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