Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gratutude: Interested and Interesting Students

UPDATE: At lunch today with Courtney (left) and Brittany.
Today, I am grateful for:

Interested and interesting college students. These are the kids who sit at the front of the class, get involved in extra projects--not necessarily for credit, but because they want to--reach out for mentors, follow directions and good advice, and remain enthusiastic about the wonderful world that surrounds them.

I was reminded of that last night at Roanoke College when beekeeper (and Madison Avenue bigshot) Howland Brickison finished his talk to a packed house on bees and a young man stood up and announced that he and some of his friends were so impressed with Howland that they wanted to form a beekeepers club, even though none of them keeps bees. Howland talked about how important bees are to us (they pollinate 30 percent of our food) and how they are under fierce attack from the chemical industry (among other threats). The kids figure they can have an effect on companies like Bayer, which produces horriffic pesticides that are likely a leading killer of bees.

Just the other night I was at Hollins President Nancy Gray's house for a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Horizon program and ran into a 30-year-old student named May Piel, who simply knocked my shoes into the creek.

Like so many of the Horizon students, May has a story, not a very pretty one, but she is showing the kind of grit, determination and courage that these women exhibit on a daily basis. It's one of the reasons I so love this program and those in it. May is outgoing, happy, curious and encouraging. She's going to blossom into an award-winning rose.

My friend Courtney Dobbs is also a hiker.
And today, I have lunch scheduled with two Virginia Tech students, my friend Courtney Dobbs and her friend Brittany Keup. I met Court when she was a freshman (she's a senior now) and working a trade show as a member of the entrepreneurs' club at Tech. She was bright then and now she's accomplished (she not only is a wonder at business, but she's an All-ACC distance runner).

Brit wants to be a sports writer and Courtney figured that since I used to be one (for 17 long years), I would talk to her friend about it. She's right. They're seeking people who know their fields in order to get inisght and make decisions that will help round out their lives.

Curious kids. I just love them.

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