I tend to think out loud in large chunks on this blog, holding hands with my good friend Stream of Consciousness while I write my way to something that feels like a definitive opinion. But this evening, as I sit behind the counter of Irazú (Elon’s campus coffee shop where I’m a barista), watching spring rear its lovely, lovely head, I am reminded of the importance of daydreaming and letting my mind wander wherever it pleases. And so:
What ever happened to telegrams? Or carrier pigeons?
The best journeys answer questions you never thought to ask.
Obama, speaking about education in America these days, says that we are at a “Sputnik moment.” While most of what I know about the current state of our schools comes from Newsweek and my Elementary Education major friends, this comment depresses me. While our kids are falling behind in math and science, they are also not reading or writing as much or as well as they should be – and an inability to effectively communicate makes the future of our country, in my opinion, look quite bleak.
What could a day, a week, of silence bring? Solitude is so important. There is so much to listen to, so much that we do not hear.
“It seemed I’d always been chasing after something, anything that moved – a car, a bird, a blowing leaf – anything that might lead me into some more lit place, some unknown land downriver.”
Sargent Shriver, Madeline Albright, and Dave Eggers are three very inspirational people – people who I may just even consider to be quasi-heroes of mine.
There is something beautiful in the way that Michelle, an Elon custodian who wears her name patch proudly on her blue uniform, drops 28 cents in our Tip Jar at the coffee shop after ordering her favorite kind of chocolate muffin.
Watching your boyfriend surf, or play basketball, or cut up vegetables from a farm just down the road, can be pretty great.
In a letter from a Peace Corps Volunteer to her future self, on the day she began her two-year service: “All I have to say is this: have patience. Look how fast time moves, from now to you. We can’t slow it down. I don’t know what to expect from the coming months, except that I hope to work hard and maybe do some good. I want to write, a lot. I want to make compost, dig in the dirt, and relish the only time in my fast-moving life where I will get to be a farmer, when I will get to to invest in people I will come to love who are so different from myself, when I will get to slow down. I don’t know where you are, but never give up. Never stop appreciating existence.”
Why do I love my creative writing classes? Because a normal in-class comment is one like this: “I appreciate the lyricism in your sentence structure. Thank you.”
I think it is necessary to guard some of our secrets; we shouldn’t be too speedy in giving ourselves up.
When it comes to food and nutrition, as a culture, our values are inverted. We pay for high rent and cars instead of good food; more often than not, we invest in material things instead of in our health. We have a seriously messed up paradigm of thinking when it comes to what we put into our bodies, and what we put into our bodies affects so, so much. We take food for granted, eat way too fast and way too much, and just don’t know enough about what healthy, natural food is supposed to be. I feel so strongly about food issues, especially in the United States, and issues dealing with our collective eating habits and our food industry are ones I will actively work to help tackle in whatever ways I can.
Tell me about time zones and cocoons.
Mason jars full of candlelight are lovely, lovely things.
Sometimes, I learn more from documentaries and conversations with interesting, intellectual people than I do from my classes (besides my Ballroom Dancing class, of course). This is probably because I am a second-semester senior.
Tomorrow, my parents will have been married 32 years. I don’t have the words for how incredible I think this is, or how inspired I am by their relationship, partnership, and the way they have intertwined their lives and dreams so beautifully and successfully. They have set wonderfully high standards for my future husband and me :)
I think, deep down, we are all capable of so much more than we think. And I think that life is dulled by shrinking away from challenges and the scary unknown, and that courage can be found on the sides of mountains and in the corners of the sea. It’s waiting for us, it’s ours for the taking, and this world is a damn exciting place.