A Final Act of Hope and Healing

At the end of the semester we took some time to fold cranes for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Inside the cranes we wrote personal messages. 

Since the bombing many cranes have been sent to the memorial. Inspiration for the cranes came from the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, which is on display in the museum. In the book a young girl, who has developed leukemia due to the radiation from the bombing of Hiroshima in Japan, attempts to fold a thousand paper cranes because of an ancient Japanese legend that anyone to fold one thousand cranes will be granted one wish. Our cranes will be added to those in the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum archives to contribute to their message of hope.


And Of Course…

Thank you Dr. Woodworth! You have inspired us to expand our study and writing techniques in a totally unconventional way, to be wacky and unpredictable, to be knowledgeable about how our culture is changing the way it shares, to be responsible in the way that we share, and to reread Lord of the Rings.

You brought a diverse and eccentric group of students together and turned us into a sort of family. Our relationships will outlast this semester, and even if it only amounts to the odd nod in the hallway we will always share a common bond of having experienced your kooky, wonderful class. Our journeys as writers and observers have not ended, but you have set us well on our way.

I am sad that our time together is ending, but I hope to pop up in more of your classes in the future. I’m even a bit envious of the Honors Composition classes to come. They have quite an adventure ahead of them.

Thank You Professor Nobles!

I suppose it is apparent by now that we are all thanking you here in the AUM Honors Comp blogosphere, Professor Nobles, but I would be lying if I said I was not truly thankful. We have had the opportunity to explore our curriculum in the most wacky, fascinating, and enjoyable ways in this off-the-wall class with our off-the-wall professor. It has been a class like no other and will probably stick with us throughout our education and beyond. I have not only met one set of creative and encouraging students here at AUM by means of this class, but I have also been able to meet students a few states over who were just as innovative and just as stimulating. Our trip to Oklahoma City was fun, enlightening, and even at times life-affirming. For me it created a heightened sensitivity to the tragedies that occurred there, and to the tranquility and superb beauty that replaced them. Thank you, Professor Nobles, for making this possible.

Thank You Dr. Hessler and Class!

I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t take this moment to mention…your cafeteria. I mean seriously, have you guys been there? It’s like the Disneyland of cafeterias. I just hope you appreciate it. Cherish it. Keep it in your hearts always.

Okay, okay, all joking aside, you’re great bunch. It has been an honor and a pleasure working with you and learning from you this semester. Our interactions with you have been encouraging and thought-provoking. And how thrilling to be able to meet you in person! Thank you for having us in your class, on your campus, and in your town. Thank you for extending such a warm welcome and guiding us personally to so many neat spots on your campus and in other parts of your lovely city. And thank you for your work with the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum that has made so much of our work this semester possible, and opened all of our hearts to both the pain and the healing. I can think of nothing better than crossing any one of your paths again.


Secrets of the Oklahoma City University Library Fifth Floor

While we were in Oklahoma City we were each given maps from the OCU students. I received the Secrets of the Oklahoma City University Library Fifth Floor map from Looking for Smiles.

The map is pretty and elegant. It is on gold paper with very neat cursive handwriting. It also folds so that it has a cover. Since we visited this floor of the library while we were there I recognize the general layout. However, Looking for Smiles has added secret portals, tunnels, and hidden passageways making it seem much more magical. There is even a secret portal to see into AUM! And the “painting that watches everyone” is spooky. The illustrations are very nice too. All together awesome map!

My Line

I am from the little brick house with the gray steps, and the fireflies caught in mason jars in the warm, orange glow of dusk, among the dandelions and overgrown weeds that bloom with tiny, delicate, pink blossoms.

No Really Guys, the Grass -Is- Greener Here!

We are having a fantastic time here in OKC. We’ve already hit up some incredible food and coffee establishments, which I have to admit is always my favorite thing when visiting a new place. I’ve decided that calories don’t exist until we return to Montgomery

We’ve met some incredible people at OCU, and it has been fun and insightful to match the faces to the blogs. I’ve come away from it with some new friends and some new maps. The OCU campus was impressive, but I think we can all agree that we were most impressed by the cafeteria. Absolutely flawless, and the waffle bar didn’t hurt. Not to mention how conscious they were about their students health needs or food lifestyles. Vegan bar? Amazing! Turkey burgers, veggie burgers, or the old faithful cheeseburgers with the option of a whole wheat bun. This may not seem exciting to anybody else, but this is magical to me.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum was both moving and beautiful. I was greatly impressed by the design especially the ceiling of the metal cranes with the lights perfectly placed to reflect in the most flattering way. I don’t think I expected to find out so much personal information about the victims and others involved in the bombing. It really brought so much humanity and a personal connection to the experience. The room with the photos and personal items of the victims was quite especially moving.

I’m looking forward to the memorial service tomorrow.

The Oklahoma City Bombing

While we’ve been reading about the Oklahoma City bombing and The Oklahoma City National Memorial I’ve been thinking mostly about memory. It may seem odd, but that’s what prompted us to read in the first place. As we mentioned at the beginning of the class, almost everyone in the class was somewhere around 3 years old, more or less, when the bombing occurred. We acknowledged that we didn’t remember much about it. But thinking on it more, why don’t I remember much? Sure I was young, but the trial went on for the next few years, and Timothy McVeigh wasn’t executed until 2001. I remember that very clearly, just as I remember the Columbine shooting, the Clinton sex scandal, and September 11th from the years following the bombing. So why can’t I remember similar images from something Wikipedia calls,”the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks”?

I can’t say for sure why I didn’t remember that the bombing claimed 168 lives, or what the  Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building had looked like, but I wonder if it has something to do with the way the case was presented. Was there too much focus on McVeigh’s character, mental state, and his vendetta?

Crunch Time

The map altering is well underway. I’m highly caffeinated, in fact much too caffeinated for someone who has work at 9am, but I expect to tackle this map tonight. I have completed phase one, not counting collecting the data, and it’s on to the last phases. Or phase. They’ll probably be all jumbled together, but I’m excited. I’ve also been considering how all this is going to tie into my paper and I’ve been taking notes, and saving potential images.

Bah, Copyright

We’re starting to talk more about copyrights and intellectual property, and I have to admit I’m starting to feel more bogged down about it then empowered. Just this morning I heard a report about copyright infringement on the social network that has become so recently popular, pinterest.com. The main purpose of the site is to “pin” photos and pictures of things that you like, not claiming them as your own work, or your property, but just expressing amusement or appreciation. Still copyright grumblers are finding fault. It seems only a step away from magazine clippings being copyright infringement. But we live in a commercial world, and although I don’t think the fight should be given up because I think it helps strike a balance, there are always going to be laws warped and applied to protect what is thought of as intellectual property.