Real life, art, and other fun stuff

Life is a journey, not a destination. Sure, we have all heard it before and it has become a cliche in our society. There is truth in that statement though. When one road is closed (and anyone that drives in and around the Toledo area can verify this), there is always another route waiting to lead you to where you need to be. I've learned a lot over the past few years and I plan to document both the good times and the bad. Hopefully, through it all, I can help some other poor, lost, lonely soul that is wandering on the road called life.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Expression of Diversity Quotation Contest at Mercy College

I know that it has been quite awhile since I have written anything in my blog, school has kept me insanely busy this semester. I have felt like I don't even know if I am coming or going most of the time. Even this week, which is designated, Spring Break, I will spend most of it engrossed with schoolwork. One thing that I completed today was my entry for the Diversity Quotation Contest at Mercy College. Last year, I entered on a whim. My Cultural Diversity Professor enticed the class with extra credit. Surprisingly, I took second place in the contest and won a $50 gift certificate to the Mercy Clothing store (as well as even more extra credit for placing). I was recognized not only in the Mercy College newsletter, but at a faculty meeting as well. It was fun. This year, I entered for the same reasons, extra credit. These days, I need all I can get. The classes get harder and harder and it seems like I can never get caught up with work and school.

Here is the essay I submitted last year:

Just Like In the Movies
            With each passing day, the sun rises and sets like the rhythmic inhale and exhale of a breath. With each passing month, the seasons come and go like the ebb and flow of the tide. With each passing year, memories begin to fade like an old, tattered picture until I can no longer remember the color of the shirt that he wore, or the scent of his cologne, or what we talked about on that fateful day. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The words she wrote were as true then as they are today. It has happened to all of us at one time or another. It happened to me.
            I had known him since we were children and even had a silly, school-girl crush on him when I was young, but we had lost touch over the years. He had been married and divorced. I always heard snippets of information through the grapevine because our families were good friends. I had been divorced myself for a few months when we met again by chance. Several years later, I can no longer remember the color of the shirt that he wore, or the scent of his cologne, or what we talked about, but I remember the way he made me feel. I remember when he hugged me, it felt like a jolt of electricity had jumped from his body to mine. There was something about him that made the butterflies in my stomach dance around, and my heart beat faster. I felt like that young girl all over again. For the first time in almost a decade, I felt alive again.         
            In the grand scheme of things, we were destined to meet again when we did. He helped me to realize that there was a world out there and that I had been letting it slip away. I was secluded in a shell of loneliness and hurt from my failed marriage. I had built a wall around myself to keep people away. I didn’t want to ever feel that pain again. He opened my eyes and ears to the beauty that life has to offer each and every day and I felt truly loved.
Since that day, a few years ago, we have gone our separate ways. I cannot guarantee that I will ever feel that way about someone else but I am open to the possibility. Now, as I sit here thinking back, I can no longer remember the color of the shirt that he wore, or the scent of his cologne, or what we talked about that fateful day, but I will always remember the way he made me feel.

Here is the essay I am submitting this year. I have to say, I was happier with the quotations there were to chose from last year. We will just have to see where this years contest goes. Wish me luck eveyone, I may need it:
Dystopia or Utopia: You Decide
The alarm clock buzzes at six in the morning, just as it has every morning since you can remember. You get out of bed, take a shower, and get dressed in your white jumpsuit. You sit down in the kitchen, staring at the plain, white walls as you drink your morning coffee. As you leave your apartment and get into your white, four door sedan, you wave to your neighbor. While you drive to the factory where you were chosen to work, you feel lost amidst a sea of white, four door sedans that are driven by people in white jumpsuits just like you.
            In this world, there is one government. One government dictates every aspect of your life. The government chooses where everyone works, lives, and even who they marry. The only color allowed, if it can even be called color, is white; white cars, white clothes, white buildings, white walls, white furniture, and white accessories. There is only one radio station. It does not play music, but speaks of the government and how great it is because it is concerned for every person’s well-being. These words are drummed into the thoughts of every person on the planet until there are no other thoughts. Television is the same; one channel devoted to messages about how much the government loves everyone. The messages play over and over, almost as if on permanent loop. At lunchtime, people are given an hour long break. Every day the workday ends at seven in the evening. This is your life, this is the norm.
            Each and every day is the same; a repeat from the day before, until you can no longer remember anything ever being different. There was a time though, locked deep in the recesses of your mind when you saw color. It was everywhere. There was music and you could choose what style you listened to. You had your choice of what you ate, and who you married. Other authors have written books about dystopias. George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty Four; Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451. Books like these teach us of what life could be like if we are no longer in control of our own individuality, the things that make us different.  Dr. Adela A. Allen once said, “We should acknowledge differences; we should greet differences, until difference makes no difference anymore”. This is very true. It is our differences that make us unique. We are not some collective without the ability to form our own thoughts, but individuals that are able to make decisions and live each day to the fullest. Even differences within our own cultures make every day a new opportunity to learn something new and incorporate it into our lives. Embrace difference; if we do not, we are no better than the mindless people that are unable to make their own choices in life. We will live in a dystopia of our own making.