Wednesday, April 21, 2010
One of the things I enjoy doing every Wednesday night before our Wednesday Worship is ringing the chapel bell. Maybe it brings out the kid in me! Actually, I seldom ring it without remembering the bell in the Susan B Harris Chapel at Young Harris College. I spent two years there being educated and nurtured by this Methodist institution. More fortunate than I realized at the time was I in attending this small college in the North Georgia Mountains.
When I tell folks that my scholarship job was ringing the bell, they usually look at me a little strange. But, it is true. Young Harris did not have an electronic bell system to change classes. Instead, someone rang the chapel bell which could be heard all over campus and beyond. My work day started at 7:50 AM when I rang the bell serving notice that it was time to get out of the sheets. I rang it again at 7:55 AM to let everyone know they had five minutes to get to class on time. And then, at 8:00 AM, I rang the bell for the last time as a signal that classes could start. Every hour until 4:00 PM, I repeated this task. Ten minutes before the hour, I rang the bell to end classes, five minutes later to hurry folks on to the next place, and then, on the hour to start the next class period. One of the perks of the job was having an excuse for arriving late to class and leaving early!
It was also my first taste of power. I can still remember the face of a friend looking my way as he ran across campus to class and my decision to ring the bell a minute early to insure his late arrival! And, of course, there were times when I felt merciful and would delay the bell long enough for someone to make it without the disapproving eye of some professor. It was a great job! I am not sure when YHC quit using the chapel bell to change classes, but I am happy to have it on my resume!