Summer in the City [Inside Giving September 2011]

Inside Giving is a product of the Luther College Annual Fund and strives to give you and other donors to the Annual Fund an exclusive look at how your annual gifts make a difference at Luther College.

Nordic Dancers YouTube video

Summer in the City


This summer when I returned home from Nottingham, I couldn't yet fathom being back on campus. I had never stayed in Decorah over the summer before, and let me tell you: it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

My roommate and I spent the mornings working, but our afternoons and evenings were filled with tubing and canoeing adventures, stargazing, hiking and maybe a trip or two downtown to Rubaiyat Restaurant. It's easy to imagine schools shutting down during June and July, but summer at Luther is quite the contrary: campus and downtown Decorah are bustling, vibrant places, and there is much to behold both on long, sweltering days, and cool, refreshing nights.

Luther and Decorah hosted many visitors over those short weeks, including Discovery Camp kids, Dorian musicians, and sports camp athletes. This isn't to mention President Barack Obama (I'm pretty sure I cleaned the dorm where his secret service stayed) as well as thousands of Nordic-festers. Every day was an opportunity to meet someone new, make connections, perhaps play a game of volleyball near Towers, and tell people about Cookie-Dough Tornados at the Whippy Dip.

I tried Lutefisk, a Norwegian delicacy consisting of cod soaked in lye, for the first time this summer. I took a writing class at ArtHaus with Luther professor, Amy Weldon. I sat at Water Street CafĂ© in the Oneota Community Co-op and people watched. I gave tours for Admissions during Iowa Private College week. And I enjoyed every precious minute. 

This summer reminded me of how much I missed Luther and the Decorah community while I was abroad. It's important, I realize, to take advantage of the small things that college life has to offer. I will definitely be driving back here after I graduate, if only to stop by Marty's for a cookie, or Gateway Prairie for a gorgeous sunset on the bluffs.

Aaron Schmaltz '12, Inside Giving intern, just returned to Luther campus after a year of study in Nottingham, England.

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