My journey at TT Patton began during my very last summer break from college-not an easy time to let go-for which I was tasked with the wonderful challenge of teaching writing camps to local youth. Now on winter break, I recently returned to TTP to lend a hand during the season-only to discover an altered atmosphere.
No, I’m not referring to new products-though I can’t keep my eyes off a few. As a college student, a Chicago college student at that, it’s easy to favor summer over winter break (Hello, Lake Michigan!). But there’s one thing winter break has that summer never will: its spirit.
This week alone I have heard both stories that brought my hand to mouth and those that filled me with joy. A woman, grandmother to a young writer, came in to purchase a special journal for her granddaughter who happens to be in a national writing contest. “She has a journal for every mood and every kind of writing,” she told me, “14 going on 40.” I couldn’t help but laugh and appreciate the sentiment-I know the type very personally.
Another shopper was here for just the right pen and stationery to write “the most important letter of his life.” He was so sincere, close to tears. Regardless of your beliefs, this time of year there simply seems to be a stronger collective intention of meaning and to connect to others by sharing our stories.
Maybe we’ll never be collectively as full of this spirit during any other time of year, but as a college student moved enough this season to reconsider my favorite break, I urge you to do what you can to share this spirit all year round. Hint: begin with a smile.
Creative Writing Specialist