Orange County Alumni Gathering
Pacifica alumni meet in Santa Ana’s revitalized arts district to reconnect and envision community
Beth Anne Boardman, Ph.D. (Mythological Studies, 2012)
| originally posted 15 Nov 2012
Photos | Maya Myers Photography
The Orange County Alumni Group came together for its inaugural event on Saturday 10 November 2012, and it was truly a lively affair! We chose a lovely space in Santa Ana’s revitalized arts district to mingle over wine, cheese, and crudités, and although I was unable to attend at the last minute, I called in reinforcements and the show went on as planned. A special thanks goes to Alumni Association Regional Coordinator for Diamond Bar Marilyn Owen for filling in for me.
According to Marilyn, nearly 40 Pacifica alums were in attendance, conversation was lively, and everyone seemed happy to (re)connect with others of their “soul tribe.” It’s always this way, isn’t it? When we meet folks from all those other cohorts we never knew — the ones who studied in the same classrooms but in alternate universes — it’s still like coming home. They shared memories of beloved professors, Lambert versus Ladera, the crazy pool party that nearly got us kicked out of Casa de Maria, and the cohort that began studies on 9/11 and was together for the invasion of Iraq. They also discussed the challenges of holding true to their mission of tending soul in and of the world and trying to make a living while adapting to the dizzying changes around them.
As they went around the room and introduced themselves, many spoke of the longing — the need, actually — to get together like this. They shared thoughts about what future meetings might look like: from small, frequent, impromptu gatherings to planned events put on the calendar and made a priority. Students from the early days were grateful to have a new container for their relationship to Pacifica. Recent grads spread the word they were looking for supervisor or post-doc positions, and current/prospective students were welcomed and oriented to this most unique and special community.
Marilyn read the poem “Working Together”
by David Whyte, which speaks to the necessity of staying true to inner knowing while allowing ourselves to be changed by what we meet in the world. Marilyn reminded us that as we reunite and continue our journeys together, we should remember that even as we are shaped by the world, we, in turn shape it. Whether we are teaching, writing, or practicing psychotherapy as we might have intended, or working in a field we had not even imagined, we bring our Pacifica selves to that endeavor.
Special thanks also to Gary Cook, the Orange County Co-Coordinator, for his assistance and for bringing water, and to Carolyn Millar for picking up the gift-bags and literature and transporting them to the event. And one more, big hug and “Thank You!” to Alumni Affairs Director Dianne Travis-Teague for her support, guidance, and endless enthusiasm.