Page 8 - winter 07-08

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Summer 2008
Based on Edward R. Murrow’s popular 1950s radio series by the same name, This I Believe has
emerged today as an international project engaging people around the world – from all walks
of life – in writing, sharing and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives. These short,
powerful statements of belief have are continually archived and featured on public radio in
the U.S. and Canada and on regular National Public Radio broadcasts.
Travis Tamerius, instructor and university chaplain, introduced this soul-searching collection of
personal essays to William Woods University freshman and transfer students this summer and
challenged them to refect on their own lives as they read the book.
During the fall semester, all incoming students to The Woods read this engaging book through
the Connections class and were likewise challenged to refect and compose their own essays.
[Connections is an eight-week course designed to ensure a successful transition to college life
at The Woods.]
“This I Believe was selected, because it’s easy to read in one setting, while focusing your
attention on powerful heartfelt messages on a variety of topics. It’s also a great transitional
book, because students fnd themselves actively ‘listening’ to and considering what others
believe,” said Tamerius.
This I Believe includes essays from such icons as Bill Gates, John Updike, Helen Keller, Colin
Powell, Gloria Steinem and Albert Einstein, but the beauty of the project is that it also includes
profoundly moving essays from American students, factory workers, teachers… Anyone can
submit an essay to the series. Students throughout The Woods are sharing essays ranging in
topics from “The Gift of Giving” to “The Value of Hard Work.”
Tamerius has seen students and fellow Connections instructors discover a new understanding of
their way of life. He hopes everyone involved gains a renewed appreciation for listening to and
learning from others, even if they do not agree with them. He believes students should, “learn
from everyone they can and develop respect for beliefs different than their own.” Abridged
student essays below:
I Simply Believe in Love
By Katie Wolfert
Love is the kindergarten of our lives, pure and simple. It lives in others, and that’s why I believe
in it. It connects us all. It’s sometimes the deep understanding of people who are completely
different from us. Our compassion stems from love. Love gives us hope, because it lives in us
and knowing that gives us hope for humanity and the people that surround us. I believe in
love, because everyone can experience it. It’s different perhaps for everyone. To some, love
is a song. It is summer, the wind, a prayer, a kiss, a word… It’s trusting and caring. No matter
what kind of love you experience, it’s everything we want to have and experience in life.
Some refuse it and some cherish it. What will do you?
By LeeAnn Beard ’08