What? You say it’s Jan. 27? Are you sure? Because it feels like Jan. 48. Honestly, this has felt like the longest month ever. Maybe it’s the snow and cold and relative lack of sun. Maybe it’s all the significant things that have taken place since Jan. 1. Maybe it’s the seemingly endless days of being isolated from everyone while we continue to fight this virus. Maybe it’s all of that combined, but I’m having a rough go right now and it seems to go on and on and on.
While I know that February is just around the corner, endless days alone at my desk doing the same things and seeing the same views are wearing me down. It’s like the worst kind of déjà vu and it’s hard to see an end. And, while it’s encouraging to see people getting their vaccines, mine still seems ages away. The glimpse of sun today in East Lansing feels like a gift.
There are other gifts as well. For me, I found a spark in hearing Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first youth poet laureate, read her inaugural poem. Was she speaking directly to me when she said, “When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?”
I’m still thinking of her verse a week later. It made me think of the chills I got hearing MSU alumnus Will the Poet recite his spoken word poem, “Uncommon Will,” the first time. I went back and viewed it again and the goosebumps made another appearance. For Spartans, he gave us a pretty incredible gift that stands the test of time.
Poetry, even for people who proclaim they aren’t fans, can evoke great emotion. And, according to Lauren Russell, assistant professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and director of the RCAH Center for Poetry, “At its core, poetry has the potential to galvanize change.” Read her Faculty voice: Poetry for the moment to learn more about her study of poetry and Gorman’s inaugural poem.
While poetry might elicit emotion for some, for others, something completely different might cultivate their passions. That’s the great thing about MSU — we have something for everyone.
For Lynn Olthof, a senior majoring in agribusiness management, the dairy industry has always felt like her calling. She says her grandparents gave her experiences like owning cattle, bailing hay, milking cows and showing cattle at the county fair that ignited her excitement for agriculture. Read her Student view: A drive for dairy to learn more about this enterprising Spartan and how being a student in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is like “having a family as soon as you step on campus.”
And while I feel time dragging on and on, Olthof also reminds us not to take anything for granted and says, “Your time at MSU goes so fast. Take advantage of every opportunity you have because you never know when that will be gone.”
Our students have wisdom beyond their years, and I should probably listen to them more often and heed their advice. I should appreciate the moments right now when we’re applauding our online graduate programs ranking among the highest in the nation, celebrating the start of a new semester and beginning an incredible partnership with Henry Ford Health System.
Today, I’ll pick myself out of the doldrums, let the sun shine on my face and appreciate the here and now while looking toward better tomorrows. Let’s not waste a minute, Spartans. Collectively, we have great power to change the world. Spartans Will.
Lisa MulcroneEditor, MSUToday