Most of you know I’m a student at Oral Roberts University.
Yes, God’s very own bulwark of Christian truth and formation, located in the bustling metropolis of. . .Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The question remains, if it’s God’s University, then why, pray tell, is it named after Oral Roberts?
But I digress.
Hazing is not allowed on this campus. Neither is drinking, smoking, getting frisky with significant (or insignificant) others – although if someone mentions praying in tongues in the prayer gardens they’re probably referencing the latter and not a Day of Pentecost style outbreak of glossolalia.
What IS allowed is mass self-mutilation imposed upon the entire campus, at the beginning of every semester. They won’t go as far as to call is corporal mortification – but we keep coming back for more, even though WE KNOW it’s coming. Really, we students only have ourselves to blame. This tribute to the great penititential saints before us we call. . .
[cue scary organ music]
Validation is the University’s way of making sure everyone has all of their business together, theoretically before classes begin. It’s attainment is reason for much rejoicing, and maybe even an old-fashioned pew jump or two for those of us not hailing from independently wealthy evangelist families. Never, in all of my semesters at ORU, have I been Validated by the deadline – because I have always been “randomly selected” for financial verification by the Department of Education. I don’t know how long it’s going to take them to accept the fact that YES THERE ARE 9 PEOPLE LIVING AT HOME. YES, WE ARE POOR. NO, REALLY. WE’RE THAT POOR. NO, WE AREN’T HIDING MILLIONS IN A SWISS BANK. I have gotten several extensions while they pore over tax documents, because not a dime of my scholarships and grants is released to me until they determine that I’m not a dependent of Bill Gates.
This semester was a little different, though. I had to take a hiatus from full-time enrollment because of some financial and personal issues in my family. Meaning, I forfeited my scholarships and grants. Meaning, barring some miracle, I was going to have to come up with $14,332 if I wished to be full-time and live on campus (a requirement for full-time students under 25). It’s too late in my degree plan to transfer without having to retake an entire year or two, so I was really, REALLY hoping for a big, fat, golden miracle.
I recently chose St. Thomas More and St. Gianna Beretta Molla as my confirmation saints. St. Thomas More was, among many other spectacular things, very, very VERY pro-women-being-educated. St. Gianna was a highly educated pediatrician. So, I prayed with both of them. I was all “blubberblubberblubberI-need-to-go-back-to-school-sniffsniff-but-I-don’t-want-to-starve-to-do-itsobsob-I-don’t-want-to-babysit-kids-forever-and-ever-blubberblubber-please-pray”.
After a few horrendous days of running across campus multiple times to be told multiple things, then finally informed I’d have to completely reapply, I was about ready to run away and join a convent. But then, I ran into one of the head admissions officers, and it turns out SHE KNOWS MY FATHER – and not because he reposssed one of her vehicles, which is how most random people I run into know him, but through the ministry! I praised Jesus and all the saints for the protestant New Apostolic Movement, and didn’t get struck by lightning. She sat down with me, told me what to fill out, and then I go to the computer to check my registration forms.
I winced as I clicked on the balance owed button.
I refreshed, thinking SURELY they just haven’t registered me for classes.
No. No, I was definitely full-time.
And definitely owing NO MONEY.
In fact, the school owed ME the exact amount – down to the cent – that I need for textbooks.
ALL of my scholarships had been entirely reinstated – and I had gained a scholarship and another grant.
I made three different people double and triple verify, because I was about two heartbreaks away from throwing myself off of the Prayer Tower. But it was TRUE!
So, I’m sitting here in the computer lab getting ready to head to classes – because BOTH of my laptops are out of commission, which is why I’ve been silent – PRAISING GOD, and thoroughly enjoying the companionship of my new BFF’s, St. Thomas More and St. Gianna.
Who totally came through with the whole hard-core intercession thing AGAIN yesterday, but that’s another story for later this week.