The idea of blogging about this trip developed over time and is grounded in my preparation for Freshman Seminar. The genius of this thought actually started shortly after I had finished the common reading The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brian. Through this work, Mr. O’Brian shares with us both the physical and emotional items he and his fellow soldiers carried with them in Viet Nam. As I read Tim’s story, I began thinking about my upcoming trip and the things I would be carrying. I thought about our incoming freshman class as well. I noted a similarity in the events we would be experiencing. Each of us would be embarking on a new adventure (their’s lasting 4 years; mine 3 weeks). Just like the individuals Mr. O’Brian’s wrote about, we would bringing multiple items with us.
As Dr. Lesh, Andres, and I were in the initial planning session for the Freshman Seminar course we would be co-teaching, we were discussing the common reading and potential assignments. One of the Freshman assignments was a paper that described what it was they were carrying with them into this new educational experience. Never being one to ask someone to do something I wasn’t willing to do, I mentioned the fact that while I would not be able to participate in the first few classes, I could and probably should either do a video or paper that talked about what I would be carrying with me on my pilgrimage to Santiago.
The video/paper turned into a blog as the number of friends, family members, and acquaintances requested that I stay in touch on my trip and send progress reports. As I reflected on the possibility, I realized it was also a way of taking the reader with me, which is a thought that makes me smile.