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HIt me, babY: Culinary Arts Club President Dan Ricks looks none the worse for being pelted with tomatoes on the Quad. Click Arts&Life for a link to more photos. / Photo by Mikaylie Kartchner

Today's word on journalism

Friday, September 1, 2006

"[F]ew things are as much a part of our lives as the news. With the advent of sophisticated mass communication, the news has become a sort
of instant historical record of the pace, progress, problems, and the hopes of society. On the other hand--and here's the puzzle -- the news provides, at best, a superficial and distorted image of society. . . . The puzzle, simply put, is this: How can anything so superficial be so central to our lives?"

--W. Lance Bennett, political science professor, 1988

Volunteering for Special Olympics one of top college experiences

Photo by Megan Sonderegger

By Megan Sonderegger

May 2, 2006 | Excited participants threw their fists in the air and took their places on the award stands during Saturday's Special Olympics. The evidence of their hard work and achievement glowed in their eyes and their beaming faces revealed the determination of their journey to excellence.

Volunteering at Special Olympics was one of the most rewarding activities I've ever been able to participate in during my college experience. It's amazing to me that people with such limited capabilities find joy and accomplishment in activities we consider mediocre.

I guess it makes you consider what motivates you in life. To us motivation may be determined by success in money or prestige. We thrive on competition, the glorified accomplishment of overachieving. What one man does well, we search to do better and we measure our success by the esteem we receive by others.

The participants in Special Olympics were motivated by a desire to be physically and mentally better. They spent hours and hours training to participate in activities we do daily. The difference of lifestyles is transparent but the difference in joy is just as revealing.

We live in a miserable world with miserable people. Perhaps it is because of these different motivations. When one concentrates on achieving more then another it's hard to fulfill what they want for themselves. People forget the basis of their dreams because they become overwhelmed in selfish consuming desires.

It was amazing to watch those people, they ran slower then most, they walked slower then most, they talked slower then most, and they threw smaller distances than most but their joy in their accomplishments was greater than any I have ever seen. Special Olympics was truly an amazing experience.

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