by Lindsey Buchheit
March 5, 2006 -- After one full day of driving (or shall I say, sleeping) and a night in the Presbyterian Church sandwiched in our sleeping bags, I feel so far away from Iowa. The weather is warmer, the speaking style is considerably “twangier” and all feels fresh.
Iowa is just the far-off homeland, that adventureless place we will return to at the end of our ambitious excursion.
Everything that has happened up until this point is, while I am on this trip, extraneous. I find the irony in how all-important factors such as the timely completion of Modern Poetry papers has all be faded into insignificance. However, I’m not all that shocked: it’s being replaced with an agenda of TRUE, real-life significance.
This is not to say that school does not have real-life significance, just that we are now preparing to participate in work that’s really affecting the lives of others for the better – in other words, we have a non-selfish agenda. In the daily grind of school, we focus on our own personal advancement. For one week, we are all focusing on the well-being of those besides ourselves. And this, despite slight anxiety resulting from simply not knowing exactly what we’re going to be facing, is refreshing.
Now, as we’re rolling down the highway in northern Mississippi with only about five hours until our arrival at the work base in Gulfport, a calm feeling of well-being is overtaking the slight anxiety. Iowa is so far away. I am here not to focus on myself, but to focus on others. I’m with 59 other individuals who are here to do the same. And it feels good.
Lindsey Buchheit is a Coe College junior from Fort Atkinson, Iowa, majoring in English and public relations.