Like many of us, I had a very interesting experience coming back from Pine Ridge. Almost immediately after arriving on campus, my brain switched into 19-year-old-college-student mode. The weekend was eventful, albiet presenting a bit of a culture clash. I did not think about the experiences I had at the Lakota reservation as much as I perhaps should have. Starting on Monday, I began to feel sick. The feeling lasted through the week, acting as a purger of the sins from the weekend past. I only realized the significance of my sickness at the last pipe ceremony, when we were supposed to say thank you. I came to realize that I had taken the reservation experience for granted, despite my efforts not to do so. Almost immediately as we began the last pipe ceremony and we sent out our intentions of thanks, my cough went away and my body felt comfortable.
I would like to say it again: thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you in the class. Although I may not have had deep, revealing conversations with some of you, we have shared other things. We have shared laughs. We have shared stories. We’ve shared beds (as friends, of course). We have even shared our hearts and minds in ceremony. As my brothers and sisters, I sincerely hope that we all can look at Tim’s post and stay in touch. We are all related.