Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Alone With My Thoughts

Ferrum College Student Meagan Hodges wrote down her thoughts as she joined two other Ferrum students at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria in early January 2011. Meagan and the other students were there to participate in lectures, field trips and conversations with students from around the world, with the larger goal of creating "Global Citizens." Her thoughts below from midway through the conference.

I am now lying in bed with only my thoughts and emotions to keep me company. I have cried more this week than I have the entire last semester. Being able to talk about so many pressing issues on personal and global levels is not something I am used to. I feel that I can just be myself amongst these other eager students without having to worry about being judged. We have all felt so guilty because on occasions, each one of us has judged someone here without being conscious of it. Instead of avoiding the problem we thought we had with that person, we approached them in order to not only give a proper apology, but to gain from that person what we initially thought was a flaw.

Learning about myself and my goals has given me a new perspective on my life and my purpose, and now I know that it is okay to be unsure where that path may lead me. Surprising myself with what I can accomplish will be the greatest success of all. Dr. Fluker’s wife, Sharon, was such an encouragement after I had a rough time over dinner trying to discern where I stand and what role I play in our universal community. She said that there needs to be more genuinely involved women in higher education, with which I agree, but she spoke it in such a way that was relative to me because she said that she has been where I am. She too has had to make choices that seem so difficult to get her where she is today.

Along with me, she hated high school, but loved to learn. She was genuinely interested in my family and my studies and just let me speak a little bit about my story and what makes me my own person. Just as Walter said, it is the remembering and re-telling of our own stories that help us to connect with ourselves and others that are not all that different from us.

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