An Interview with our Favorite Guitar Player, Jake Langford
By Summer Boulais
Jake Langford, sophomore theology and secondary education major, is well-known on campus for playing guitar at social events. Being isolated during COVID-19 lockdowns took away his ability to do this last year. With campus life slowly coming back to normal in the 2021-2022 school year, Langford is excited to play for students with his fellow musicians again.
During winter quarter last year, only two people were allowed to be on stage for vespers. A drummer and guitarist could be featured on the screen while playing alone in separate rooms. Langford expressed how excited he was that vespers is back to normal and how “it is fun to see music bring people together.” 
Some of the most popular events at Walla Walla University, including Langford’s personal favorites, are Battle of the Bands, Spring Jam, ASWWU Banquet, and Barn Party. Events like these allow students to branch out and be social with both familiar and fresh faces for the first time in a while.
“Before COVID-19, we took for granted the ability to walk by our friends and ask how it’s going,” Langford explained.  Being with friends in-person is meaningful for everyone that had to be isolated, even if many have made friends online. Meeting people through a screen sometimes leads to awkward interactions when you meet in-person for the first time.
Social interactions are still affected by COVID-19 despite the campus progressing towards normalcy. Students and teachers miss out on each other’s facial expressions unless it is at a distanced event outdoors. Langford described how the most awkward interactions for him are greetings because, “You don’t know how strict people are or how they feel about hugs.” 
The busyness of being back in person can take away people’s time to make new friends. “I make a lot of small talk instead of really getting to know someone,” said Langford.  He feels he needs to be more engaging in conversations with new people.
Despite the struggle to find time to get to know people, Langford has created a solid friend group at WWU. His favorite things to do on campus include going to vespers, watching people play music, and jamming with his friends. 
“Music is a big thing for me, and I enjoyed playing by myself during COVID-19 [restrictions], but I missed the social interaction of being able to play with other people for people,” Langford explained.  Much of the WWU community can agree with Langford in expressing their gratefulness to socialize and be with their friends again.
1. Interview with Jake Langford, 10/21/21.