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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category


For my Writing for Public Purpose class we were given a week-long prompt in which we are asked to observe and then write down notes on three different things that stopped us in our tracks. The following are those three moments which I observed separately and noted separately. I put them together in one post now to aid me in thinking about how they come together.

1. Birds. I stopped twice to the sound and sight of birds this past Friday. First was on my way to a philosophy club meeting when I heard birdsong in the bushes/trees outside the administration building. I did physically freeze in my tracks and think about how lovely the sound was. That moment allowed me to reflect on what Brother John from Ireland had told my theology tour group. He emphasized the need to take time and observe the beauty around us: “Conscious Sensorial Contact with Nature.” The second was during the meeting itself when I saw a number of birds sitting in the tree outside our window. There was something simple and beautiful about the birds being there.

2. Clouds: This moment stopped me in my tracks on the same day of the birds. I guess it was my day of being observational and appreciating nature. The sky was covered at first with a blanket of fluffy gray. Then, I suddenly noticed that one cloud in the view before me was very pink compared to the rest. I knew it was the sunset but it struck me. I took the time to walk out and look back in the direction of the sun setting and took photos because the moment struck me as so peaceful and special. I felt the urge to compose a poem starting with the line: “for a moment the clouds were perfect.”

More photos I took of this moment are here.

3. Together. The third moments that froze time for me was yesterday during a chapter meeting on Hazing awareness. It wasn’t the meeting itself that caused things to slow down but rather the realization that we were all together and relaxed. I knew that I cared deeply about the people in the room, even the new prospective members I didn’t quite know yet. I knew that I would miss them if they were to ever slip out of my life and I knew that they will always be another family for me.

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Charles Hazlewood: Trusting the ensemble | Video on TED.com.

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

There is nothing quite like the power of music to create a community and trust. This Ted talk discusses just that. Conductor Charles Hazlewood gives a brilliant presentation of the different ways that trust is formed and needed in music. Also the video is filled with some beautiful musical segments. There is nothing quite like using a live string ensemble as an active part of a lecture.

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Dear Universe,

What do I love most about fridays in college life? It isn’t the opportunity to go party or the chance to head home and be done with the day. The best moment is walking out after my 3:30-4:45 class that I scribe in and sitting down in an alcove of the chapel wall on my school’s main campus and look out across the green. Everything is calm  and all that can be heard are the chapel bells ringing 5 times to tell me that my official day is done and the water falling in the Library Fountain.

You see, on Fridays many students of my school take the opportunity to go home if they can or to go prepare for a night of partying. These choices leave the campus empty and tranquil. It becomes for me a place of peaceful learning. There is no more rush or stress. Just quiet and the ability to take deep breaths and remember why I came to this place three years ago. My university is my home and a place that I have become rather fond of. It is my shelter and my anchor for growth into a hopefully successful adult. It is a place to experiment and interact with new people, ideas, or both.

This chapel wall and my view of the green & library is my sacred space in the world of academics. It is my sanity and the place of I think of when real world life gets to be too much for me.

I am thankful for every moment I am blessed to spend here at my university and especially grateful for my Fridays when so many others head home and my spot on campus is left for me.

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Only a few minutes ago, I finished the book Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. The book itself was a very enjoyable read and definitely left me with quite a bit to think about. I guess the best way to present what this book is about with giving away too many details is to go ahead and quote the back cover of my copy.

The Last Generation of Mankind on Earth. Without warning, giant silver ships from deep space appear in the skies above every major city on Earth. They are manned by the Overlords…mysterious creatures from an alien race who soon take over control of the world. Within fifty years, these brilliant masters have all but eliminated ignorance, disease, poverty and fear. Then suddenly this golden age ends… and the end of Mankind Begins!

Before I read the book, this introduction seemed rather hoaxy but now it does not feel that way to me in the least. The story depicts the end of mankind as we know them in a very thought provoking and almost sad way.

When I finished reading the book, I was left with a sensation of emptiness that sympathized with the last remaining man as he described the end of his world. I was also filled with questions on the value of life, family, and other things I can not seem to place into written words.

What is the value of life? We individually exist for such a short span on time on our Earth. Yet, that fact doesn’t really seem to bother many because we know that “we” as a race will continue to live on. What happens to our identity and assurance of living on past death as a part of a larger entity or species when our species could become extinct in the blink of an eye?

Two different approaches draw out of these contemplations: either mankind can do all we individually can to live our lives to the fullest, or we give up and allow ourselves to waste away precious time.

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“The only way

to make sense out of change

is to plunge with it,

move with it,

and join the dance.”

-By Alan Watts

The one definite and stable fact in anyone’s life is that nothing ever remains the same. Changes are always happening and creeping up on us, even when we do not want them to. It is how a person accepts or rejects these changes that determines happiness in life. Change is something that is hard because we as humans are creatures of pattern. We fall into certain habits and hold specific and almost “tunnel vision” expectations about the process of our day-to-day lives. When that pattern is upset by something new our lives often fall into disarray.

The fear of disarray is what holds people back from embracing change as a new partner in the dance of life. Life is one large ballroom and although we may have favored dance partners, it is the unexpected ones that keep the event interesting. Life, as would any drawn-out event, would become fairly boring if everything about the event and guests remained static.

Although I often forget this, the best approach to a dance partner such as change is to proudly take up the steps and accept mistakes. It does no good to shrink away and try to become a wall-flower. Change is a dance screaming out to be learned so that we all may grow as individuals.

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It has been a month since I took the pledge to try posting every day, or at least as often as possible. For a while the task was a joy to do and easily accomplished because I had more than enough time each day to set aside a definite time to write each day because my schedule never changed. Now that school has gone into full swing the whole definite planned to write has gone out the window along with my planned timed to head off to the gym.

My schedule has been thrown for a loop with all my adding and subtracting of classes, activities, and meetings. Therefore it is time for me to set a new goal, or actually goals.

1. I promise to get all my homework done ahead of time so I don’t scramble before class.

2. I promise to schedule time for myself to sit down with my laptop and write something that is not class related, or at least due as a homework assignment, and then post it on my blog.

3. I promise to start going back to the gym. I feel healthier when I am active and should never neglect my physical well-being.

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