09.20.2012

Posted by on September 20, 2012

Today is awesome. I don’t even know where to begin. How about with the beginning of the day…

I woke up, got ready for class, and had a few Milano double chocolate cookies to start my special day with an especially tasty breakfast. Then I went to Calculus. Calculus wasn’t terribly exciting today, but we weren’t assigned any homework for the weekend! So that’s lovely. After Calculus I headed straight to Leonard Auditorium to hear Tobias Wolff speak about himself and his novel Old School. It was magnificent. He primarily discussed ideas of truth/authenticity/identity/deception. One thing he talked about that really stood out to me was this: when we feel like we’re hiding a truth about ourselves, that secret begins to define us (and even consume us). He also discussed competition, success, and arrogance. And he referred to each of the published student essays. I wanted Mr. Wolff to speak forever because as he spoke I was just so incredibly, indescribably happy that such an wise, intelligent, and thoughtful person was standing before me, sharing ideas I truly cared to hear. I wish I could experience that more often.

After Mr. Wolff was done speaking he came to lunch with my fellow essay contest winners and I. We ate in the Carlisle-Wallace House, which is my favorite building on campus because it is absolutely adorable. So I felt quite honored to enter the home. The inside is just as charming as the outside, and when we arrived there was a beautiful meal prepared for us. It was a lovely salad with grilled chicken and various fruits, vegetables, etc. The best salad I’ve ever eaten.

Anyway, at lunch we were all able to ask Mr. Wolff some questions. In his novel, he had briefly mentioned the novel The Stranger, so I asked him for his opinion of the work. I was truly impacted by what he had to say because I was able to relate it to my self. Essentially, the idea he presented to me was this: we are each responsible for making our lives purposeful/meaningful. His words encouraged me to look beyond the lurking notion that “nothing really matters” and to make an effort to discover the things that I value. I’m so glad to have heard this perspective from somebody I respect, and from now on I hope to consider the reason for my existence with a more open mind. All because of Mr. Wolff. What a great gift it is, when you’re frustrated from thinking and thinking yet finding no answer, to be kindly reminded of something you’ve overlooked. I am so sincerely appreciative.

Sadly, we only had about 40-45 minutes of lunching with Mr. Wolff. Then we had to leave for our 1:00 classes (Chemistry for me). I didn’t even get to finish my lemon bar. Very sad.

But Chemistry was pleasant, because we simply took notes and got out of class 30+ minutes early (as usual). Also, we got our test grades from Tuesday. I made a 130/125! And I was relieved to know that my lab partner and I made a 100 on Tuesday’s lab. That lab was so terribly stressful and I expected that we would fail… But we didn’t. Hooray.

After Chemistry I went to Band. It was nothing special but I do like to play my flute and our director is funny so, whatevs, it was dandy. And we only had class for thirty minutes. Then I went into the piano practice room and played the piano. I love playing the piano (even though I always play the same 10-15 little songs…). It’s just such a beautiful instrument. Also today I decided What the hell, and I sang too. I generally don’t like to sing when people can hear me (the rooms aren’t sound-proof), but I did. And I enjoyed it. Because I love to sing. I played piano and sang for an hour and fifteen minutes. And when I walked outside I was so purely and entirely happy. The weather today has been magnificent. Everything’s great.

Below is a photo of my essay (which Tobias Wolff autographed). Wofford’s photographer was hard at work during the convocation and lunch today, so hopefully I can put up some more pictures soon.

Wolff

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