My name is Geoff Guenther and I graduated from Colgate University in May of 2011. While I am tempted to leave it there (as this blog is primarily to provide a consistent reminder to friends and family who already know me that I am, indeed, alive), I’ll indulge in a little more self-discussion.

The subhead for this blog is “A Colgate kid in Benin.” Why is the fact that I am a Colgate kid so important? Well, for the past four years I have studied at one of the nation’s oldest and fanciest liberal arts universities, and it is this experience that has inspired me to go on this adventure.

I really took advantage of the whole “liberal arts” thing, going into a really bizarre combination of activities. I got involved in the school newspaper, the Maroon-News (casually the nation’s oldest college weekly, casually) and worked my way up to Editor-in-Chief my senior year. I volunteered as an EMT (and pub czar) for SOMAC, the local ambulance corps. I worked for the Office of Admission as a tour guide and as a Senior Intern.

The liberal arts are great. Colgate has taught me how thrive in any situation and has allowed me to grow so much over the past four years. However, college is all theory. I studied Creative Writing and English Literature while taking pre-med classes in Biology and Chemistry. Even those last two are not exactly relevant to my future (hopefully) career in medicine. I figured that what I needed after all that theory was a little practical application before heading off to medical school.

That is not to mention the fact that, as a resident of Fairfield, Connecticut, and a student at Fairfield Prep and then Colgate, I have lived a very … hmm … let’s say specific life. Prep encouraged me to become a “man for others” and volunteer at a local inner-city after-school program, and I have since worked in inner-city hospitals throughout my college career, but these experiences (though hugely important in my life) were relatively fleeting. I am scared of going my entire life only experiencing one small corner of human existence. And no, not even I can believe something that sappy just came out of my metaphorical mouth.

So, here I am. As I am writing this, I have exactly one month before I fly off to Benin, a tiny country in West Africa, where I’ll live for the next two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. #notreallife #indenial #peacecorpsproblems


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