One Year

Since the other post today was for kicks and took me all of 10 minutes to do, I thought I’d write about something else too. Also I give early warning of sentimentalism too.
Its been exactly one year since Steve responded to an e-mail I sent him after the end of my first semester in college. The e-mail I sent him was depressing and apologetic (I was feeling both)  and I had no idea what to expect back (if anything).

The response was nothing short of eye opening, it is hard to believe I was hearing some of these ideas for the first time. There was nothing grandiose about it and it was just what I needed at that time and what propelled me to explore further.

I hope I don’t embarrass him by doing this, but it was a defining moment for me that year and I am forever grateful for that. Here are some of the lines that I remember re-reading again and again, they structured a lot of my thinking when I was first toying with the idea of the life of the mind:

“While we divide college into courses and semesters, those are somewhat arbitrary divisions. The learning needn’t end when the semester is over.”

“The point of real education is to learn how to make sense out of the world, which is a lifelong goal. College is merely the beginning where, if we’re successful, we learn how to go about it.”

It also gave me comfort to know that when he was in college it took him a year before economics really started making sense to him. When you feel like the low man on the totem pole knowing people that are higher up have gone through the same struggles it gives you hope.

So thank you Steve I owe you one, next time lunch is on me : )

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2 Responses to “One Year”


  1. 1 Mary-Kathryn January 9, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Shannon,

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful bit of correspondence. Keep his words close. :o)

  2. 2 Steve January 11, 2008 at 8:23 am

    You’re very welcome. Often times, faculty feel like they’re shouting into a gale. It makes it all worthwhile when one student hears what we’re saying. I know more students hear than respond, but it’s still treat to hear a response. The caravan is open to all willing to join. It’s neither a race, nor a competition. I only wish more people understood that.


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