So as previously promised, here is an explanation on why I have been going off the deep end and have been posting photos of rocks and rabbits. I could just explain it in a line, or I could do it in a drawn out manner, allowing me to prove my prowess with the English language. The second method it is gonna be.
So (I do like that word, don't I?), recently, I accompanied a friend of mine, Charlie, to Palouse, WA, to go to a car show. Just to drive in my ignorance about cars, I learnt how to do the oil change a day before leaving Caldwell. My chariot, of sorts, was a '57 Studebaker. I had assisted Charlie in the repairs for a week prior to the trip, which ranged from painting the car's trunk and cleaning the rust, to installing the exhaust manifolds, to putting in the upholstery. My job for the entire trip was to record the entire show, and hopefully get as many decent car shots as I could. We departed from Caldwell well ready for a journey of nearly 300 miles, over a time zone and a state line. In a car that would stall if it went under 2000 rpm on a hill, and would overheat at 200*f. Thankfully, the drive over was uneventful except for a kamikaze bird, but that is something for less formal situations then this.
We reached Palouse, and found a town of two blocks taken over by cars ranging from Model T's to cars from 1972, the cut off date for the show. It was raining, and so the sound guy bailed. Marc, the guy who was running the show, was on a cell phone, on roller skates, shouting creative obscenities at the AWOL sound guy. Three bands were heading over, already paid. A sound board and speakers were sourced from the local community band. The problem was finding someone to run it. Enter moi. Later in the night, Marc told Charlie that suddenly, out of nowhere, this brown kid with an old camera and tripod shows up and says that he can run the sound board. To cut the long story short, the bands played, it wasn't spectacular, but the day was saved.
Later in the day, I was offered a ride on a race car this guy had made. Being me, I accepted gladly, and we were on our way. However, soon we ran into the problem, with the car running shifty. The driver was an engineer, and I had sufficient background in mechanical things, that we figured out after half an hour of tinkering on the side of the road that the problem was with the carburetter. A quick fix later, we were back into town.
Now this post is not about how awesome I am, or how I can do anything (though if you get that impression, you are not incorrect). It is about two things that I believe are very important about personal growth. Going out of your comfort zone, and having a breadth of knowledge. Now how does knowing how to change your oil or running a sound board make you a well rounded human being, you ask? It is just that being specialised is all cool, and I am all for it, but not at the expense of being an idiot in everything else. Which is kind of the point of the PEAK programme at C of I. I am an art major, but I took a class in environmental philosophy. The curriculum made me. It was something I would never really use in a life as a potter, I thought. But then, I realised that just taking a class in something so out of my sphere helped me so much. You go to college to broaden your horizons, check out new stuff. If the curriculum forces you to do that, it is a bonus. And if you are not into being a well rounded individual like me who can (now at least) fix cars, make pots, take pictures, run sound boards, raise rabbits and vegetables, and blog about how awesome I am, then a liberal arts style education is not for you.
Another thing that ties into having breadth of knowledge is going outside your comfort zone. An art major in philosophy or math class is an out of comfort zone deal right? Or maybe what about a kid from India riding a roughly sixty year old car 700 miles over a weekend to a show about something he doesn't know anything about. I think that that is an attitude that The College of Idaho cultivates, and that is really important. You know the deal, Carpe Diem, and all that jazz. Saying yes to any and everything might seem like a bad idea, but you get a lot of life experiences out of it. Start saying "Yes," and who knows where you will end up. Maybe in the Dudefest in Louisville, dressed as the Dude from Big Lebowski, or in rural Idaho, growing vegetables. Say yes. Life is a lot better that way.