A Cup of Joe... with Marilyn Elphick
St. Michael's: What made you leave nursing to come to St. Mike's?
Marilyn Elphick: I was a nurse for 35 years, but at the same time, I had a strong calling to study theology; I wasn't sure why. I worked full-time while I studied for the MDiv degree in the St. Michael's Faculty of Theology. A year before graduating, I was asked to consider working here. I prayed, thought it over, and said yes. But until I retired recently, I still worked every weekend as a nurse. I'm currently studying for a Phd in theology. My focus is illness narratives, which combines my knowledge of nursing and theology.
SM: What do you like doing when you're not working?
ME: I enjoy long-distance walking. I completed a half-marathon walk; I almost died, but I made it! I love cooking, but most people at St. Mike's already know that. I also love to write; I've actually been published. I wrote a chapter called "Mary's Journey of love" in a book titled Mary's Journey of Faith and Belief.
SM: What has changed since you started to work here?
ME: I find that students are searching much more. They are very inquisitive about spiritual things and interested in scripture. They also enjoy sharing their faith and their stories. For example, many students come to women's Faith Sharing, which takes place every Monday in Chaplaincy.
SM: Do you have a favourite memory from your first eight years at the College?
ME: Actually, there's one that stands out. It happened in my first week here at orientation: a student fainted. People here knew I was a nurse and brought her right to me while someone called her brother, a doctor. She was most likely dehydrated, so I gave her some orange juice. That year, she was on campus every Thursday, and each time, she came to thank me.
SM: What makes St. Mike's special to you?
ME: The students. They've been so affectionate. They showed a lot of love and care when I was sick. One student came in every day just to give me a hug and check on me. I've had many students like that.
SM: Do you ever wish you were a student right now at SMC?
ME: But I am a student! During frosh week I wish I were an undergrad, although I don't think I could keep up! I love frosh week; I can't stop smiling the entire week!
SM: Finally, how do you take your coffee?
ME: Decaf solo non-fat latte, or a "why bother?" as some people would call it.