T-Birds in the Desert: Wear Sunscreen


Upon arriving back in the Valley of the Sun after being in New York for a few days, I promptly headed outdoors to thaw out from the 50 degree swing between the two cities. Part of the beauty of living in the desert while we are at Thunderbird is enjoying the warmth of the sun and the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors year round (responsibly, of course: Wear sunscreen! Drink water!)

Whenever I say “Wear sunscreen” I think about the much ballyhooed 1997 “Wear Sunscreen” article, rumored to be Kurt Vonnegut commencement speech at MIT but really written by Chicago Tribute journalist Mary Schmich. I re-read it recently and it is probably more poignant for me today than it was when I first came upon it. If you haven’t heard of the article, it’s definitely worth a read.

Though Thunderbird’s official spring professional development week became an unofficial spring break, as I traveled the cold, dank subways of New York last week, I became acutely aware that I missed seeing the sun and feeling the warmth of sunshine.  In fact, living somewhere that I can be outdoors and take in some heliotherapy, even if it’s just on weekends, is important to me. It melts away a lot of unnecessary noise and shines light of what really matters to me.

The “Wear Sunscreen” article was a reminder that while we may say we “just want a job” after graduation and look anywhere for it, what we really crave is a life. For T-Birds, we want a good and interesting life. Going to NY last week reinforced that message. I want more than just the resilience to race to and fro, to keep up, to move just as fast as everyone else. I want a good and interesting life. In the sun, preferably.

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