Passion with a side of guinea pig

Tomorrow marks the launch of the 2010-2011 Edge newspaper staff. We hold our first meeting. Whatever happens in that room tomorrow has the potential to set the tone for the rest of the year. I hope that the staff members who are able to make it to our first meeting will walk through the door with a passion, a drive, a fire to make this year the BEST, most adventurous year yet. Maybe you, whoever you are in this great big world, are just about to set out on your own personal journey. Your first step has the potential to set the tone for your entire journey and your destination. How will you begin?

I found a really cool quote, which is attributed to Howard Thurman. It goes like this:  “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” 

What I’m saying is, it’s time we come ALIVE no matter what we’re doing. God wants our best, so let’s rev up and do it! I believe to become alive, you must be willing to stand as though on a mountaintop with the wind hitting you full force in the face, absorbing the splendor of God’s abounding blessings all around. Too often we would rather stay down in the valley rather than put forth the effort and take the risk to make it to the top. Without the push, the drive, the desire, we miss out on what’s waiting for us at the top. Of course, we have to remember, too, the joy is in the journey, not just the destination.

I want to start out our newspaper journey with a fun first day, so I’ve asked the Edgers to indulge me in a bit of “show and tell.” So far my students have told me they’ve considered bringing a rather odd assortment of items to show where they’ve been all summer: lava rocks from Hawaii, a roast pig, refrigerator boxes, Bob Marley, the vuvuzela and a guinea pig, to name a few.

Let me just say this. I can handle just about any of those items except for the vuvuzela. In case you don’t know, the vuvuzela is a stadium horn, the same horn that makes that horrendous sound at soccer matches, such as what sounded nonstop during the World Cup. Heaven help us all. I am so glad Gabriel will sound his trumpet and not his vuvezela. Otherwise, I may be too fearful to respond. Yes, the vuvuzela terrifies me. Oh, I think I know who invented the vuvuzela. Oh, who could it be? Could it be…?  (Young people will have no idea what I am referencing here. It is just as well.)

The oddest item suggested was the guinea pig. I have one major fear, that my staff will confuse the guinea pig with the roast pig. I must remember not to bring any skewers or apples. If someone happens to bring the vuvuzela, I’d say the chances are pretty good we will have a potentially fatal rodent incident in the classroom. Hopefully, PETA will intervene.

Tomorrow is a new day, a new journey. Whatever it takes to make you COME ALIVE, bring it. For me, it’s music. When I wrote The Edge, I listened to quite a bit of music I considered theme music for the characters—so that I could feel what they were feeling.  When I wanted to see what they saw, I visited haunted grounds and Beale Street to make the book’s settings come alive. I drank lots of peppermint mochas because one of the main characters really digs peppermint mochas (as do I). I didn’t want to settle for mediocre. I wanted to climb to the top and experience every last detail. I wanted to feel alive.

Tomorrow you journey forth on a new adventure.  COME ALIVE!

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12 thoughts on “Passion with a side of guinea pig

  1. This was easily my favorite blog of yours so far. I loved all the allusions, especially to all the craziness I know. With the new school year beginning soon, I’ve decided to change my attitude on things completely. I don’t want to be the same guy that said, “I can’t,” “I don’t know how, Mrs. Lockhart,” “Will someone be going with me?” or “I think so and so would be better at this.” I want to be the one that says, “That seems possible,” “I’ll get right on the research, Mrs. Lockhart,” “I’m fine. I can protect myself from the big, bad teacher,” and “Don’t put this off on someone else. I was where you are last year.” I want to make this journey ten times better than the last.

  2. As a former member of the original staff that created the very first “EDGE” I must say that I am proud that it is still growing.

    Every staff member has the potential to bring something wonderful and new into the group and onto the pages that the school will read.

    Seek inspiration everywhere. Come up with a crazy idea and run with it. Let creativity blossom until it is on the brink of insanity. That is when the true magic happens!

    Congratulations and best wishes on the following year

      • The magic is what you make it out to be.

        A magicians best skill is misdirection. The ability is to keep the audience looking in one direction while something else is happening in another.

        The same can go for a journalist. Keep your readers focused or thinking about something. But then really express your feeling or passion in near the end in a way that provokes some emotion from the reader. Joy, sadness, contentment, realization, fear, relief, insanity; a writer can provoke those emotions through creativity and the written word.

        That is the power and magic of a journalist. No fairy dust needed.

  3. A poem for today…
    This is one of my favorites and it is called home

    May the sun warm you
    The stars guide you
    And the moon guard you as you sleep
    For the hearth is the school, the altar, the heart bonded
    The gathering place of familyy.
    Yet all may not be present in body
    The heart and love of each are there
    At the hearth
    At the home….
    RW 2010

  4. Nice elements….a splash of personification mingled with alliteration and a touch of imagery. I like–especially the message. I think it’s fitting for this blog since we have all spent some time in this “extended family.”

  5. This was inspirational. I liked it. I wish there was a “like” button here because then I would push that.

    Milton: I like your attitude. You have quite a nice outlook on our senior newspaper year.

    Chris: You seem interesting. I like the way you wrote about magic and basically everything you just said.

    • Hey Em,

      Thanks. Thats a wonderful compliment. I’m not quite normal and I don’t think I ever want to be. All of this magical talk of illusion and whimsy is just part of what I love to do in real life as an actor and specialty entertainer.

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