The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Openingnotes Section Title
Beth English Photo
The power to move you

Let me state the obvious — it's summer. It's hot. I just checked weather.com, and it's 97 outside right now.

I love it.

There's just something about bright, sunny days filled with the shimmering sounds of cicadas and warm, languid evenings filled with the night songs of crickets and frogs. Summer makes it OK to be still. To bask in the warmth at the end of the day, talking with neighbors and watching the fireflies glitter in the night. To visit the ocean and sit mesmerized by the powerful roar of the surf. To hold a glass of lemonade, dripping with condensation, and read a book by the pool.

Summer is a big exhale.

Our lives are so frantic during the cooler months — back to school shopping, deadlines, helping with homework, holiday presents, work events, constant thoughts of “Did I remember to turn in the money for that field trip?” — that it's lovely to take a break in the summer and just breathe. Ahhhh….

On the flip side, my children think summer is play time. Throwing Frisbee. Riding bikes. Swimming. Running. Building sandcastles. Picking blueberries.

I think children have an innate need to move. Poetry in motion. I love looking at my son and daughter — seeing their sturdy legs running, jumping, leaping, dancing. I may want to sit still but they want me to play tag. So I stand up and chase them around the yard. It's OK. They’re only little for a while.

In thinking about the common thread the stories in this issue share, I think it's this — they each have the power to move you.

“Following in Martha Graham's Steps” is the most literal “moving” story. Watching dancers create images with their bodies is incredible. The grace. The athleticism. Dance is endlessly fascinating, but this particular dance, with its roots in the women's suffrage movement and the Great Depression, is powerful. Please watch the time lapse video of the dance. You'll be glad you did.

And then there's Karla Davis '08. Even if you aren't moved by her voice (and I strongly suspect you will be), her determination to do things her own way in a business that's all about packaging and marketing will surprise you. She's making her dreams come true while remaining true to herself.

The stories of Leigh Carter '90 MA and Sophie Lagueny '92 MPA — two alumnae working in Haiti when the devastating January earthquake hit — are gripping. I can't imagine watching your living room crumble away and hearing the horrified cries on the street. These women are a testimony to the power of people who believe in UNCG's motto of service. At least one will be going right back to serve in a time when they're needed more than ever.

Finally, Betty Carter's story. Many of you probably don't know Betty, our former university archivist. I regret that. She's delightful. Smart. Funny. Precise. Everything you could hope for in a colleague. The stories she has in her head contain the powerful blend of fact and memory. The work she and others in University Archives have done to preserve the history of UNCG is nothing short of outstanding.

So, go grab a glass of tea, sit down and prepare to read, watch and listen. You'll be living the paradox of summer. You can be still and yet be moved at the same time.

Beth English '07 MALS, Editor
beth_english@uncg.edu

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Location: 1000 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Mailing Address: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
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Last updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011
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