Stroll around campus and listen carefully. You are guaranteed to hear snippets of conversations from students. Often they complain about the cost of books, how broke they are and the lack of affordable off-campus housing.
Sometimes you may hear them griping about how difficult it is to find nutritious food. There never seems to be a deficit of subjects for them to complain about. What you won’t hear are revelations about their apathy toward anything that isn’t remotely concerned with their normal day-to-day activities.
Temple University was fortunate to be able to sponsor Francisco Goldman as the Fall 2008 Writer-In-Residence from Oct. 13-17. During the course of the week, Goldman was scheduled to give meet one-on-one with creative writing students, give a public lecture, read from his works and address two classes. The reading and lecture were open to the public, and both were free. Wednesday afternoon he mesmerized students and faculty with background surrounding his latest project, a nonfiction work titled The Art of Political Murder.
One would think there would have been standing room only during Goldman’s presentation.
Not so. There were approximately 30 people present in the conference room during the presentation. Why the show of apathy? Fliers were posted around campus since September so no one can accuse the English department of failing to market the event. The lecture was free.
All that was required was an Owl Card to enter Anderson Hall so no one could complain about not being able to afford to attend. The only plausible explanation is inertia. It’s sad but true.
The next time you hear someone complain about being afraid to venture through the city pf Philadelphia to attend readings, visit art galleries or go to concerts please stop. Take a moment, excuse yourself and ask, “How many free activities on the Temple campus have you attended this year?” You will probably get a blank stare before the individual quickly walks away thinking you are crazy. Pay it no mind. Don’t be a victim of inertia. Get the most out of your college experience.
You’ll never get the opportunity again. Take advantage of every free activity you can, even if you have to squeeze it in between studying. Years from now, memories of the long nights you spent studying will fade but your memories of seeing authors, artists, musicians. and activists will remain.
Denise J. Williams