An Ode to Phelps 204

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Oh, if these walls could talk… right? Phelps 204 welcomed my roommate and me in with open arms back in August. Since then, there have been joy-filled moments, tear-filled moments, and many, many, many stress-filled moments. Through it all, room 204 has been there. So here’s to you, Phelps 204, we couldn’t have made it without you.

It started in August, soccer preseason was upon us. Every day we awoke early, never once did it complain. All day long our room stayed here alone, and didn’t mutter a word when we came back sweaty, and reeking of B.O. As Move-In Day came for the rest of campus, its walls were the only ones bold enough to proudly boast a Buckeye flag in a land full of Wolverines and Spartans, and a Pirates flag where Cubs, Brewers, and White Sox fans run rampant.

Then school, soccer, and studying began, nights got longer. Yet, the room was always open to all-nighters, welcoming the smell of fresh coffee at 2, 3, and sometimes even 4 a.m. Never once did it grumble about Ben’s sleep talking, my snoring, or our alarms going off at ungodly hours of the morning.

Its walls heard many conversations. The start of new friendships, the end of old relationships, numerous FaceTime calls back home, and always happily greeting visits from Columbus and Pittsburgh family. It held three birthday celebrations, multiple study sessions, and innumerable FIFA tournaments. The room did not care when our speaker system echoed loud, sometimes ignorant music off its walls. 204 was the first to hear some of Woody’s best poetry, a witness to my sub-par free-styling skills, and housed the mirror that one of us boys checked every five minutes or so.

2nd semester, the room welcomed us back after Christmas as if we had never left. It helped us brave the cold, providing warmth during what most called a “mild” winter. Not once was a question raised to Ben when he returned late at night from pledge events. Likewise, there was never a debate when I rolled into bed before 10. It did not groan about the smell that invaded our room when spoiled milk spilled all over the mini fridge, and accepted the new scent of an air freshener that soon followed. Then, probably unwillingly, the room embraced the stink of shin guards, soccer socks, and sweaty boy that soon reappeared along with spring soccer season. 

These walls heard prayers when things were going well, when things were going not-so-well, and when things were stuck somewhere in the middle. They listened to screams the same way they listened to whispers: silently. Never once did they murmur disapprovals to those too talkative, or to those too subdued. Phelps 204 accepted us as we were, watched us grow into young men as the year progressed, looked beyond our flaws, but was always careful not to handout too much praise towards our accomplishments.

If these walls could talk, I think they would pour out some extremely cliché wisdom to the next two boys that have the privilege of calling this place home. Something along the lines of, “Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it”, and let me tell you…

Those walls would be right. What a year it’s been.

With Love,
Steve

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Steve Binnig

My Name is Steve Binnig and I'm a freshman from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I can basically sum up my life in three words: Jesus, Soccer, and Haiti. Keep up with me on Social Media! Twitter: @stevebinnig Instagram: @stevebinnig

3 thoughts on “An Ode to Phelps 204”

  1. Steve, you have a great gift with your writing. Sorry we did not warn you about Ben’s sleep talking! You guys will cherish all these memories forever. It was a great year. Love you, Karla and Bob Hagman

  2. Wow … How true! Love the creative references that give the inanimate walls some degree of animation! Your writing has been wonderful to read this past year…hard to believe that it’s over already! God is indeed good and has blessed you in so many ways during this special first year away from home within the ‘welcoming ‘ walls of Phelps 204 – Congrats, young man (son) and welcome home to the walls that will be both surprised and pleased with how you’ve grown while away at Hope! I’m proud of you … Thank You, Lord Jesus, for your grace and faithfulness in the life of our ‘boy’!

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