Alex: When Life Gives You Onions

It’s Tuesday night of Senior Week and my partner Sarah and I are holed up in the breakfast nook as she studies for her 1L final exams (hey boo). In typical Alex fashion, I am working through a to-do list and have “RUKA BLOG” written about five times across the page, right after “BUY ALLLLLL THE BEER FOR GRAD PARTY.” Since 60 beers have taken up residence on the dining room table, I guess it’s time to tackle the former.

Hayley and I wrote articles for the senior edition of the Sou’Wester this week and I thought I’d share mine here, along with photos from our Ruka reunion/surprise thank you party for bmz on April 23rd.


Last Sunday, we had a planting party with the new group of Ruka women in our backyard garden. We harvested what was left from the season and planted new vegetables like eggplant and squash. When we went to uproot what we thought were failed tulips, we discovered that they were actually very successful, very accidental green onions. Oops? Never one to let food go to waste, our Food Recovery Network goddess/Queen of the Kitchen Catherine turned our gardening mishap into a delicious dinner when she cooked Hayley her favorite birthday meal on Wednesday: spaghetti and meatballs.

Turning an onion-oops into a delicious meal with friends perfectly captures my year in our Rhodes Ruka Intentional Community. The five of us- Hayley, Catherine, Megan, Eilidh and I- only knew one another in passing before we decided try our hand at spending everywakingmoment together for an entire year. We’ve survived an exploding dishwasher, compost mishaps, being locked out (and in) our house countless times, breakups, Coffeegate2015, that time someone used Eilidh’s toothbrush at one of our parties (if you’re reading this, you owe us at least $1.99), and the growing pains of intentional living. How do you learn to be vulnerable with people you hardly know? How do you name your needs while also respecting others? If you eat asparagus for dinner, do you still have to “let it mellow”?

That last one’s still up for debate.

It’s been a wild ride, friends. Living, learning, growing, crying, hugging and eating (lots of eating) with these four incredible women has taught me more about myself and the world than any student organization meeting or classroom discussion ever could. We might be moving to different sides of the country in a week, but as we saw from some of the original Ruka members last month at our reunion/surprise dinner for our advisor Professor McNary-Zak, community transcends the boundaries of space and place. Once a squad, always a squad.




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