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Sept. 20, 2017

Swing for the fences

Sept. 20, 2017

Finally. After working late for the second night in a row, I was ready for some food, a walk with my dog and some mindless television. I just needed my glasses to read the mail. My glasses – that were in my purse, along with my wallet and other things I needed. My purse – that wasn’t in my bag where it was supposed to be. Which only meant one thing – I left it at the office. Sigh. There went my evening plans. “So You Think You Can Dance” would have to wait.

Of course, my keys to my office were also in my purse, behind two locked doors. After swinging by my boss’s house to borrow her key, I thought, “Well, it’s late so at least I’ll be able to park close.” Well, maybe not. There was clearly some event going on and every spot was filled. My short trip to the office turned into a much longer one since I had to park so far away.

On top of that, I still had to swing by Meijer (which is never as easy as it sounds) because somehow, I was out of dog food. Plus, I had to pick up a photo enlargement to replace the one I trimmed incorrectly while putting it in a new frame. I needed a new frame to replace the broken one knocked to the ground by a colleague who jokingly pounded on the wall we share.

I hustled through the grocery store, sweating in my cute new fall boots that I shouldn’t have chosen to wear given the heat and humidity we’re still dealing with. I mean, what’s with the steamy weather this late in September? I’m literally raking leaves and worrying about heatstroke at the same time. (Though the stinkbugs clearly love it.)

I got all the way to the register with eggs, napkins and a pineapple I didn’t know I wanted, before realizing I forgot the dog food – which is at the very back of the store. Nothing was going as planned (except for my complete impulse Amazon purchase of a pineapple slicer – five seconds and perfect rings with no waste, I highly recommend it).

But, what are you gonna do? I could either curl up in a ball and give up, or find a way to adapt my plans and soldier on. That’s honestly how I live my life. Curveballs come at every turn but I’m a Spartan so I simply warm up and take a swing. Sometimes I strike out. Sometimes I get knocked down, but I’ve had my fair share of homeruns too. The bottom line is when you’re a Spartan you never simply stand there and wait to be walked. Even when it’s hard, Spartans always make a move. It’s who we are. It’s the will inside each and every one of us.  

Laura Hesse, who recently earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, is a Spartan who found her will and determination at a young age. Way back in kindergarten she asserted what she wanted to do and all these years later, it’s exactly what she’s doing. Read her STUDENT VIEW: I want to be a scientist, to learn why she says, “graduating from MSU isn’t just a fulfillment of my five-year-old self’s future goals, it’s a commitment to continue improving the world through gathering and applying scientific knowledge.” Talk about your Spartans Will.

I have no doubt she will be a fantastic scientist. Looking at her writing, she’s a darn good storyteller too. David Poulson, the senior associate director of MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, specializes in teaching scientists to tell stories, which helps them put context to their research for funding sources and the general public. He employs some pretty cool methods, like having researchers talk about their research using only haiku poetry. Check out his fascinating FACULTY VOICE: Scientists – more interesting than they realize, to learn more and read some pretty inspired poetry.

Those are just two really cool Spartans who are taking all the special things that make them who they are – boldness, determination, passion and probably some grit – to change lives and make a difference.

And that’s who Spartans are. We are defined by what’s inside each of us: a commitment to something bigger. If you want to get all goosebumpy or maybe even tear up with emotion, then you really need to check out the short video MSUTODAY FEATURE: Spartans Will. It’s what’s inside, I promise, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be prouder than ever to be a Spartan.

As a Spartan, it’s your duty to get into the game. Step up to the plate. Reach inside and swing for the fences. Muster up everything you have to make an impact that reaches farther than just you. Make a difference. Change the world. Spartans Will.

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Derrick L. Turner


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