Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Fri 8/2/2002 6:59 AM
Random Thought: Let Nothing Be Ordinary

God, I love to walk in the dark. It's a spiritual aerobic. It's a meditative workout. I am aware that there is nothing ordinary about any step I take however steps I have taken over the years and miles of power walking. Every step is a step removed from the noisy static and chatter and confusion to a place where I can hear and see more clearly. Every step in the dark is toward the dawn of the day's possibilities. Every step is a step toward a new and powerful insight. Every step is a step on my journey. Every step makes a difference. Every step strengthens me physically and spiritually. Every step is more than changing; every step is transforming. No there is nothing ordinary about any of my walks.

That is as it should be.

After graduation, as I was taking off that decorated sauna suit called academic robes, I heard my name called. I turned. It was Selma (not her real name). I hadn't seen her in a couple years until she walked across the stage. She rushed over to me. She stopped, smiled, and then threw her arms around me. As her parents looked on with cheshire smiles, we engaged in a short but gleeful fencing duel.

"What's that for?" I asked with a congratulatory smile.

"You," she squealed


"This is because of you," she smiled as she held up her diploma.

"THAT is because of YOU," I parried emphatically.

"You wouldn't quit on me"

"You wouldn't quit on yourself," I said with a riposte.

"You helped me."

"You had to courage to ask for help," I answered with a swift octave (gosh, I remember the terms from my ole college fencing class!).

"It was your class."

"It was your four years," I replied with a deft quarte.

"Okay. I give up. Let's call it a draw. It's because of both of us."

"I'll buy that."

"Come me my parents.....This is him."

"First one in our family to even think of goin' to college much less finishin'," her father said with indescribable pride.

We chit-chatted. Then, her mother said, "Now that Selma has walked across the stage, she'll be walking into a class room in a week or two. Who would have thought. From our family. What can you tell her?"

I turned to Selma. "Never let yourself experience an ordinary day. Don't ever let yourself believe that any student is ordinary.

"Just like you did with me and all of us."

"Just like I did with you. Now it's your turn. Be my legacy. Pass it on."

She gave me a peck on my cheek, whispered in my ear, "I will. I'll keep in touch," turned, and yelled at her parents, "We have some celebratin' to do."

"And some thankin' on our knees, too," her mother lovingly and firmly reminded her.

I walked towards my office with a feeling that wasn't much different than when I was watching my Susan come down the aisle thirty-six years ago or when I see my Susan each day or when I held each of my new-born sons or when I first held my new-born granddaughter.

         Make it a good day.


         Louis Schmier      
         Department of History
         Valdosta State University
         Valdosta, GA  31698                 /~\        /\ /\
         912-333-5947              /^\      /     \    /  /~\  \   /~\__/\
                                 /     \__/         \/  /  /\ /~\/         \
                          /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\
                        -_~    /  "If you want to climb mountains,   \ /^\
                         _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -    \____

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