Tonight's speaker was Jackie Hendrix, the owner of Party Pros and the President of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce. He is also a UNA graduate. He admittedly came to us tonight with the goal of not being our worst speaker, and I can say that he certainly achieved that goal.
His speech seemed geared towards getting us out and involved in the community, in order to make us part of the 20% of people that end up doing 80% of the work. (I don't think I've heard of that principle before, but it sounds familiar. It is also quite true. The last year I was with my church's high school youth group, there were always five of us- the same five- who showed up to work at any given function. Of course, the rest of the group always wanted to go on the summer trips anyway...)
Mr. Hendrix also told us to be on the lookout for win-win situations. We should not take from an organization and not give back, of course, but if there is a way for us to receive in some manner as well as give, all to the good. He also warned us that sometimes the reward may not be monetary or tangible; sometimes it may be no more than the good feeling of helping somebody.
He also told us that, when we get involved, to get involved early. He mentioned the importance of remembering people's names- an importance I certainly recognize. I have a terrible time picking up people's identities by osmosis. After some family get-together my mom and my sister will be discussing all the extended-extended family members who were there- cousins of cousins, and that sort of thing-, and I'm still going, "Who?" I have to see a face and connect it with a name to remember it. I admit, I know most of the people in the Honors Program from hearing teachers call roll. I know a few more names from hanging around in Lafayette and watching the entertainment that somehow produces itself in the lobby, but I'm still not great. Also, it may take me a moment or two once I see you and you say hi to me for the gears to click in my mind and dredge up your name. The blank look will usually clear away; don't panic. And even if I can't recall your name, I probably know that you're in a class of mine. Probably. Maybe.
Mr. Hendrix further advised us not to graduate without taking art and music appreciation classes. Does the fact that I have taken 13 years of piano excuse me from taking music appreciation? I like classical music just fine. In fact, this morning I copied some CD's of classical music we had lying around the house onto my laptop so I could listen to Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" without having to traipse down to the basement and rummage around for the CD. Even the prospect of a free easy class isn't going to lure me. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for the faculty who teach these classes, knowing that about 95% of their students are there just because it's required and because it is supposed to be an 'easy' class. It'd be hard to be energetic with a student body like that, I think. Of course, there's probably the random few that sincerely want to learn more about music. But they are likely few and far in between...
As for art appreciation... Based on my track record with modern art, I just don't think that would go over too well. I just don't. Please pardon me, Mr. Hendrix. I mean well. I want to save the teacher the headache of trying to grade papers wherein I have outlined my philosophical disagreements with the world of modern art. After all, I was the person who emerged from the Chattanooga Museum of Art and scuttled back to the bus to scribble down a paragraph or two outlining my own definition of freedom as viewed as a Platonic Ideal.
That brings it to mind... I think I really shall start a petition to have a Latin class here at UNA. Enough people will sign it, I think.
In Pace Christi,
PS. This is my 180th post. My blog is the blog to rule them all.