Oh Sister Where Art Thou?

I love finding new sisters in everyday places, and in the past five months I have met two sisters in two of my happy places, and when I least expected.

Last spring, I took over a partial long-term sub job in my youngest child’s middle school. I work there a lot and love it. You have to be a little on the nutty side to love middle schoolers, but what can I say? If the shoe fits… I was in PE, and I have to say that the PE teachers are not like the ones I had when I was in middle school. These women are encouraging and hilarious. They have a camaraderie filled with respect and friendship, and they welcomed me in with open arms. As we grew to really know each other, we talked about families, sports, and of course where we went to school.

I need to pause in the story here to say that 25 years ago at Auburn, being in a sorority was not looked at as an exclusive club. For many students it was a way to make a connection. “Oh, you were a (enter sorority name here)? Did you know (enter friend name here)?” It was a way to make a connection with someone, and I loved it.

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Tait, on the right, and me.

One of the coaches, Tait, and I were talking and realized we are both Auburn University alumna. After establishing that I am older than her than I like to admit, our conversation went where all such conversations lead, and she asked me if I was in a sorority. I said, “Yes, I am a Sigma Kappa.” (Notice the am, and not was. It’s more than four years, y’all.) She looked at me with a shocked face and said, “No, you were not?!” She then told me she was, too, and had pledged a few years after I graduated. I respected this woman before I knew she was a sister. She is kind, smart, encouraging, and her outer beauty is enhanced by her inner beauty and sweet spirit. She always has a loving word to give anyone, and I am happy she represents the best of what we stand for. I’m glad she’s my sister.

My second SK sister sighting happened at, of all places, the gym. My family recently joined Lifetime Fitness in Birmingham. We needed a new place to work out, and after searching, we found, and fell in love with, this gym. If you’re ever in Birmingham, look me up and I’ll take you. As a former dancer, I can’t help moving when I hear a beat, and if I can disguise my work out as a dance class, sign me up. My daughter, also a dancer, and I decided that the first class we would attend would be a Dance Jams class. After a week, I was talking to a friend of mine in the class and Nicole, the teacher, came over to chat as well. I like to get to know my teachers. I’m a dork, what can I say?

Nicole, on the right, and me after class in September. It was a great workout!

As I was about to tell Nicole how great her class was, she said “I heard you are a Sigma Kappa.” After answering in the affirmative, she said, “I am, too.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. Nicole is, first off, super cool. She spent some time in NYC dancing, was the sponsor of the Auburn University dance team, Tiger Paws, and she has this great high ponytail that she can swing around like nobody’s business when she dances. I leave her class drenched and completely happy. There’s just something about a great workout!

Not everyone who can do something can also teach it. Nicole teaches her classes well! During class she is encouraging and she does a fantastic job of making us laugh and have to work with each other as we work out. Many days you will have people stay after class for up to 30 minutes to keep dancing and talk if there’s not another class after us. Yes, I’m one of those people; remember, I’m a dork. What makes Nicole really stand out is the way she treats the people who struggle in her class. “You do you, because this is not ‘So Do You Think You Can Dance.'” At the end of class, she loves to have us all stand in a sweaty line, introduce ourselves to the people we are standing next to, hold hands, and then take a bow. We’re in this race of life together, and it’s so much better when you have people riding with you. Like Tait, Nicole represents who we are with everything she is.

Where are fun, unsuspecting places you have met sisters? Did it take you by surprise? Did it warm your heart and did you think, “I’m so glad she represents Sigma Kappa”? I know that when I found out these women were my sisters, it made me smile knowing we share something precious in common. One heart, one way… always.

In Sigma,

~ashley

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