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Open Discussion Area

alesnick's picture

Welcome! This is an open space for Diablog participants to share thoughts, ideas, questions, links, and connections related to our ongoing explorations of education, life, and change.  If you wonder about something, come across a relevant book, article, video, or image, or come to a new realization, we want to hear about it.



SMarrie's picture

This is for the Breaking Project-I do not know where else to go

Like They Said


Never before in my life

Did I feel a crushing emptiness in my heart.

Did they not understand that they were all I had?

How could they do this to me?

After the last good-bye,

I was surrounded by unfamiliar faces.


My very first night

Quite far away from home,

And just like my brother said

I could not handle it.

I never thought that I would stop crying

After all, I’d been holding back the tears for hours.

But I had to be strong to keep Mom and Dad at peace,

Just like my brother said.


I had no idea what others would see in me.

I thought it’d be impossible to make new friends,

When I hadn’t made many before college.

What if this is like high school all over again?


A horrid realization

Came over me like a band of wasps.

Just like my mother said

I had been too lost in my own world.

Was I too lazy to connect with others?

Or did nobody want anything to do with me?

It’s a shame that only now I noticed my loneliness

As my mother said.


Thrown out of my comfort zone,

My big house and all its cleanliness,

My own kitchen and all of its organic, fresh food,

Now I was in the real, outer world.

I felt like a puppy

Being weaned by its mother.


How will I spend each slow day

Trapped in a small, unfamiliar room?

How will I survive living next to a filthy public bathroom

With hair on the walls and pee on the toilet seats?


The days crawled slowly

Each week seemed like an eternity

But like my father said,

I would become used to the monotony of college life.

I quickly absorbed a ton of new schedules,

Both external and internal

And in the ensuing chaos I forgot my grief

Just as my father predicted.


I thought I would not survive on my own,

My mother was scared I would have no end of trouble,

My father seemed the least concerned,

And my brother only encouraged me to keep on.


Suddenly I stop feeling sorry for myself.

I am no longer passive, but active.

I try desperately to make any connections

With my teacher, with my former roommates

With my new classmates,

Anyone that I met and like from Customs Week

I try to find in my classes

And to my luck some of them sit right next to me.

I find new ways to connect,

And coping mechanisms for my homesickness.


Then my first assignments come,

And then my first quizzes,

And finally my first essays.

Now my planner is bombarded with stuff I cannot ignore,

And so my prior troubles vanish in the face of new ones.


For the first time in my life,

I was beginning to feel like an adult.

My brother said Mother babied me,

My mother said I needed to experience the real world,

My father said college would be an adventure.

Though it’s beyond trite to say college was indeed a journey,

This break away from home did do me more good than I thought it would.

Perhaps now I am becoming a bit less scared of the outside

And less naïve.


I no longer cry whenever I think about my mother.

I no longer feel it necessary to Skype my parents every night.

I no longer need five emails a week to keep my spirits up.

I am no longer grossed out by the bathroom across the hallway.


My mother no longer worries about me,

My father no longer feels it necessary to call me,

My brother now sits comfortably,

Knowing that I adapted like he did.


Never before in my life did I feel so free,

I do get my bro’s point

When he said it’s great living on your own.

Even Mom now agrees,

That living away from us might have benefitted me.


And there are some things from home that I do not miss.

No more fussing over the right clothes each morning,

No more loud coffee machine sounds,

No more of constant reminders to study.


I’ve got my agenda firmly planted in my head,

And now I can show them how well I can manage on my own

Now a fully-fledged adult.

Aretha Franklin's picture

I wanted to know if anybody

I wanted to know if anybody else traveled abroad recent Where did you'll go? and Why you decided to pick that country?

alesnick's picture

going abroad as part of a college class

I myself did not study abroad during college (which I started over 30 years ago!) -- so now I am making up for it by taking one of the college classes that I teach to Ghana next semester!  I am so excited for this learning opportunity and look forward to sharing it with Parkway students via our visits and online.

gladys night 's picture

On Friday , a Bryn Mawr

On Friday , a Bryn Mawr student came to our American history class and talked about her trip to Jordan. I found that really interesting and amazing how you can go to another place and learn their cultures and about what they do in there country. She provided a lot of information about her studies and her experience it was definitely a learning experience.

Louis Armstrong 's picture

From Emily coming to our

From Emily coming to our class about talking about he studying aboard in Jordan made me think. That studying in a different nation can help me understand the world better.

alesnick's picture

understanding the world better

Great point!  Would you say more about why people need to understand the world better, and what specifically you would like to better understand?

mary Mcleod Bethune's picture

i think that is a great

i think that is a great organization because i would love to be apart of the i would love to study abroad i would love to go to spain or italy i think they have a great history and i would love to study it and eat the food.

Phillis Wheatly's picture

Music is how I thrive

I love music and it keeps me going at times, so recently someone took my Ipod so I can get a new one and it has been hard. Music is my own private thing to do; when I am alone listening to music it's a special time. It is how I function basically, and without it I am a chicken with his head cut off. Music is a must in my life, whether I am listening to Chris Brown, or Celine Dion it courses through my veins. I believe it is the only way I may get homework done in college because that is how it is now.

James Brown's picture

Last week when a Bryn Mawr

Last week when a Bryn Mawr student had come to my class and told us about her studying abroad and it really got me thinking that when i go to college i would like to study abroad as well.

Toni Morrisson's picture

Mr. nick is a okay teacher.

Mr. nick is a okay teacher. he has his daysss

Rosa Parks's picture

Mr. Nick is a reallyyyy cool

Mr. Nick is a reallyyyy cool teacher. And my birthday is over break (December 31). I am really excited.

alesnick's picture

Barefoot College

Recently I learned about the Barefoot College, an organization in India that works from the premise that certification is not the answer to the problem of growth, development, and education.  It was founded by Bunker Roy, whose Ted Talk I saw and really recommend.  He began with the idea that all people, including people who are poor and not schooled in a formal sense, know and can learn what they need to live and thrive.  He set up an institution based on this.  I'd love to visit there!