“Meet in the Dirt”

by Kathyrn Franklin '02

We call ourselves the “Meet in the Dirt Group.” There are eight of us, each Scripps 2002 graduates, each the best of friends. The name came to us in our junior year when three of us, Elizabeth Franklin, Shelley Williams, and I lived in the “New Dorm” (what the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Hall was called in 2000); Michelle Philan and Katie Lyon lived in Browning, Leanna Kinsey Shuster called Kimberly home, Becky Hu lived in Toll, and Mackenzie Rowe lived in Grace. When it came to meeting for dinner or an activity on campus, one person would start calling the others and say, “Let’s meet in the dirt outside the New Dorm.” It was quickly shortened to “Meet in the dirt.”

We met in the dirt before at least two meals a day, before classes, and before every Sunday night dinner, when we traveled to Harvey Mudd’s dining hall for a night on the town. Our senior year was filled with “meet in the dirt” moments, too. We met in the dirt before heading to the new pool to swim, before the senior graduation activities, and when someone needed a few shoulders to cry on or a couple of sets of ears to listen.

How can I sum up a sisterhood with a group of women that was formed nine years ago and that continues to flourish today? Ours is a friendship group filled with racial, religious, and cultural diversity. It is a friendship that crosses time and space. When we see each other or talk on the phone after long periods of time, it feels as if we just met in the dirt the night before to go to dinner together.

Although the eight of us have not been back to Scripps all together, each time one of us visits our alma mater and the places where our sisterhood bloomed, each friend is close in our hearts. Eight of us purchased an apple tree in the student garden behind Browning. Six of us attended the five-year reunion for the class of 2002. Five of us danced together at Leanna’s wedding. Four of us cruised to Mexico. Two of us dress up the goat (the sculpture outside the Humanities Building) every time we go to Scripps. Leanna gave birth in February 2008 to Samantha, the newest member of the “Meet in the Dirt Group.” Eight of us remain sisters until the end.

While not all sisters related by blood, we are sisters joined together by our time at Scripps. We have been blessed to know each other. I look forward to a future filled with weddings, births, celebrations, reunions, vacations, and laughter. My sisters are my family.

When asked what is a friend, Aristotle answered, “a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” My heart and soul are with seven dynamic women: my friends, my sisters.