I just got back to my home office after a quick trip to campus to drop off my Early Detection Program sample. (Which, by the way, is an easy, free way to get tested for COVID every week if you’re in the campus community, so sign up if you are eligible.) It’s only a few miles drive, but it’s a gorgeous day so a lot of people were out, hurrying along their paths to their destinations.
Some were in cars of all sizes, makes and models. A large number were on foot. Many were moseying along at a leisurely pace while others were quicker or even running. I passed cyclists on speed bikes, cruisers and a three-wheeler. Some students zoomed by on motorized scooters that are all the rage right now.
In my neighborhood, I passed a woman walking two dogs — one who was using a wheelchair of sorts for his hind end. While navigating a round-about, I noticed a person on something like a motorized unicycle that you stand up on circling toward my left as I made my way right. Then, I passed a gentleman driving a riding lawnmower in the street.
There were so many people out and about moving toward different destinations and using a lot of different ways to get there. Most people probably don’t even notice what others are doing because they’re so focused on their own journey. At the end, how we get there isn’t what’s important just that we keep moving toward the end goal.
Life should be more like that. The different route I took to earn my college degree isn’t what’s important. Sure, some people have an open fast lane with no traffic or detours while others, like that sweet dog and me, need a little extra time or help around the roadblocks. What matters is that we keep going.
We know Spartans come from all backgrounds and experiences and those just arriving on campus might feel like their journey to East Lansing was different than others. That can be a little scary for a lot of people, so we wanted to make sure every Spartan knows that no matter the path they take to get here, they are welcome.
My talented colleagues took some beautiful photos and paired them with inspirational messages that they posted on our social media channels leading up to the start of school. Each one on its own was special but put together they gave me all the warm feelings about being a member of the MSU community. Check them out in our feature, Welcome back, Spartans.
Once you are a Spartan, the paths still branch out in as many directions as you can imagine. The opportunities are endless and there’s no “right way” to follow your dreams. The only thing that is the same is that all Spartans are expected to be excellent in their way. And, that we use that power for maximum good to change the world. We launched our new commercial last week highlighting the power and impact of our excellence. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.
We are doing excellent things for education like offering advice on K-12 students’ transition to in-person learning and looking at the reading scores of third graders. Speaking of reading, today is International Literacy Day. Find some time to celebrate today by reading a favorite book.
Lori Bruner, a doctoral student in the College of Education, is very interested in literacy and how apps can help kids improve their reading skills. Check out her Student view: Unlocking storybook apps to learn about her research and what she discovered.
For some, comic books are their favorite form of literature. Julian Chambliss, a professor of English, is an expert in comics and their evolution and impact on society. Read his Faculty Voice: Forging a new legacy for an interesting exploration of the upcoming Marvel movie, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which began as a comic.
Whatever you choose to read, study or do and whatever path is taken to get there is perfect for you. Fast or slow, in a straight line or filled with twists and turns and bumps and bruises, your path is the right one. Don’t worry about someone next to you getting there faster or you’ll lose focus on what’s most important. And sometimes the journey uncovers beautiful moments you should enjoy rather than hurrying to the next destination. No matter the path, be true to yourselves and make the world better along the way. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner