A year to travel
2011 was an exciting year. I traveled to Cambodia, made a documentary, met Blake Mycoskie of TOMS, traveled to Las Vegas 3 times, worked as a freelance photographer, held two internships: Amarillo Bulls and Nobox Creative, met the author of “Where Am I Wearing,” Kelsey Timmerman, became General Manager of KWTS The One 91.1 FM, and started a blog about my life and experiences. Yeah it was busy, but oh so fun.
Looking back on this year, I’ve had some key takeaways and here they are to name a few:
- Do not be afraid to travel. I’d say this was a valuable lesson learned. I was afraid of moving other places and changing where I was and what I knew about the world and myself. I’ve spent about 61 hours total flying, and that’s not including layovers and driving to different places. Seeing other people, seeing other cultures it’s all a part of defining who you are as a person. You can’t be completely comfortable in your own skin and be certain of who you are without seeing how other people live. Plus I can guarantee you will pick up some knowledge or skill when traveling - I know I did.
- You will mess up, but don’t panic. I’ve messed up a lot this past year. Whether it’s something to do with a school assignment or it’s something relational wise - you will make a mistake. I have learned though, that being honest about those mistakes and learning from them is the best thing. Don’t panic and fret about the mess.
- Never stop thirsting for knowledge. At one point in the year, I had felt burnt out - done with it all. I didn’t really care about what I was learning about in school or what I was doing outside of school. I was bored. Then I found advertising. I became hungry to learn something new, to be creative in a new avenue. It has led to my two internships and I have found that this hunger and yearning for knowledge has propelled me to be a better person.
I’m not too sure what 2012 will hold for me - well I guess everyone can say that. I do know that I want to land a dream job of mine. I want to be more open with others. I want to continue to develop my skills and improve. I want to find ways that I can come alive.
This seriously is my favorite time of the year
It’s homecoming week at WTAMU, and I’ve been thinking “Yeah, this is my home.” I really do love this time of the year on campus and off. All of the activities that our university does, from tractor pull to weenie roasts - it’s all part of the tradition of being a Buff.
This year I’ve ran for Homecoming King, because I wanted to have even more fun. Making flyers, necklaces, and even planning a flash mob has made this week hectic but even more of a blast than previous years.
I met Kelsey Timmerman, this week at Convocation and what can I say he’s one cool dude. Reading his book, realizing his non profit values align themselves with what we learned in Cambodia was a liberating thing. Then to actually meet the person whose words you’ve read was truly cool. I really hope he’ll be a “mentor” as I discover what skills I want to use in life.
It’s just really awe inspiring to look around campus and see everyone’s faces light up as they participate in events. I can remember my freshmen year when I went to the bonfire every night and I still cherish those memories to this day. It’s fun to look back at the laughs, the tears, and the just overall good times.
Week in Recap
- I have been working my tail off this week. When I posted last week that classes have been picking up, I was wrong. This week they have PICKED up.
- We had our President’s Ambassador dinner, picture taking, and meet and greet last Friday. It was fun not only to meet all the other ambassadors but to practice my fancy eating skills.
- I showed the Cambodia Documentary, Shedding Ignorance, to the President of WT, donors, and Kelsey Timmerman on Wednesday. It went so well! They liked it a lot and it spurred great conversation after it premiered.
- I’m running for Homecoming King at WTAMU! Don’t be a Weeny and vote Tyler Sweeney! The competition is fierce, but I’m looking to at least be in the top 3! Go buffs!
- On to another busy week and having a lot of fun!
Week in Recap
- Another week of classes is down the drain. Weird to think that we are 20% through the semester already. I found out my client for my pr campaigns class is Parking Services…oh boy, this should be a tough one.
- Working out sorting out underwriting issues with KWTS, trying to teach the new guys the difference between identification and sponsorship.
- Facebook has changed, and I’ve been writing a lot about it. Pretty pumped for all the changes in the social media world that has been going on.
- I’m still trying to nail down a date and venue for the Shedding Ignorance screening. It will be played at the President’s House on Wednesday to donors and Kelsey Timmerman.
- Football game today! Go Buffs!
I didn’t want to read this book. I knew what would happen. I would think about the upcoming readership trip, would get jealous of the new ambassadors and want to travel on a trip to another country through an amazing program at WT – even though I couldn’t. I was wrong.
Opening up Kelsey Timmerman’s novel, Where Am I Wearing? I had several thoughts (besides the one mentioned above). I thought who in the world goes to other countries to meet the people that made their clothes just for the interest of it? What posses someone to take a complete standstill in their daily life to sit and think “where are my clothes made?” but more importantly “who makes my clothes?” The answer – Kelsey Timmerman.
Kelsey’s journey to travel the globe and meet the people that made his favorite articles of clothing: t-shirt, boxers, jeans, flip-flops, and finally a pair of shorts, began unsuccessful. His trip to Honduras ended with mostly a tourism vibe. But I was hooked to the book. Kelsey’s insight and comical thoughts propelled me forward, and made me await the part I looked forward the most to read: “Part III My Pants: Made in Cambodia”.
Having been to Cambodia, I wanted to relive those moments. I wanted to see where Kelsey went, what he did, and if we did anything similar. His description of the country and the sites he saw in Phnom Penh are exactly how I remember. It made me homesick in a way. My trip didn’t really cover anything about globalization or “sweatshops.” It was mentioned briefly by our tour guide how the garment factory jobs are better off than some of the jobs elsewhere in the country and that it’s not viewed as a sweatshop or a bad place to work at, but it was never one of the articles we read. It was never a full on discussion. It was brief. Kelsey confirmed what was told to us. I was able to see what the workers go through on a daily basis. What they think and feel. How they came to be in such a place. It opened my eyes to issues that I wasn’t familiar with.
Reading this book I was curious to see if Kelsey had an organization or did anything of the sort just to make sure his beliefs matched what we were taught and what has since become engrained in the Cambodian Ambassador’s mind. We think about where our money goes, the impacts AND the inputs that non-profits take, and sustainability. The end of the book confirmed this as well. Kelsey points out that an “engaged consumer” will know where their money goes when purchasing clothing and that it is beneficial to support clothing companies that practice better working conditions, and lists what those might be and how to find them. This is something I never thought about. The clothes on our backs are just another way that we vote with our money.
Now, instead of becoming paranoid with EVERYTHING that I purchase, I’m now even more aware of the things I buy and the impacts that they make. I’m cognizant of the tags on my clothes and where they were made. Kelsey’s novel tells the story of those that make our clothes and the last line is “Each is an untold story.” Earth is an untold story. As you travel, as you read, as you engage you constantly learn and improve upon who you are today.
In the end reading Where Am I Wearing? confirmed my thoughts. It didn’t leave me feeling jealous or angry that my trip had come and gone. It made me excited for the next group of freshmen students and the next peer leader to travel to a foreign place and grow.