I was reminded over break of how fun learning (simply for the sake of learning) can be. I came to this revelation while visiting my older sister’s Kindergarten classroom and reading to the little kids. During the visit, I got to see how enthusiastic all of the kids were to learn. None of the kindergarteners were stressing about grades or due dates; they were all engaged solely because they were captivated by the material. Regardless of the fact that none of them understood rhyming after twenty minutes of attempting to explain that the words “bee” and “bell” do not rhyme, these kids were actually hanging on my every word about the subject. I envied their excitement towards learning, and I made it my mission to model it in my own life.
As a result, I have taken time out of every week since being back to pick up a random book in the library that looks interesting and start reading. I also decided to approach one of my professors about participating in another one of his classes without receiving a grade. Unintentionally, these two actions have resulted in the inspiration behind a lot of my recent poetry. Amidst the pressure to maintain a decent GPA and do well in classes, we often seem to get distracted from the main purpose of taking classes in the first place: knowledge. When we choose to focus on knowledge and the fun in learning, we gain more from it and learn to enjoy the process.
I would like to issue a challenge to anyone who reads this: learn something new this week; on your own and only because you desire to learn about that thing. This “thing” you learn could be anything from a skill (like cooking a specific dessert), to useless facts about an eighteenth century poet who few people have ever heard of. Most likely, these interesting endeavors will result in some unique forms of inspiration for art that you can produce, and maybe even a piece that could appear in Opus next fall!
Have a great week!
Ryan (Poetry Editor)
- A notebook and pen. It’s not revolutionary, but in case you aren’t doing it yet, use sleeplessness as an opportunity to write something profound. You can always edit when your in a clearer mindset.
- Your favorite book. No, don’t leave the new book you’re currently reading at arms length. Its far too easy to get sucked into absorbing chapter after chapter. Before too long it’s 6am and the suns slowly rising while you rush to find out if so-and-so is actually dead. When you have your favorite book beside you, you’re less influenced to binge read. Instead, it’s nice to hop around to brief favorite moments before dozing back asleep. I’ve found that when I do this, I wake up more inspired to write.
- A tape recorder. This can be on your phone, but I’d highly limit your phone use to avoid a social media downward spiral. With a tape recorder, you can record your nighttime thoughts without the filter of your handwriting. You can capture tone, hesitation, and context. Sure, it’s weird to basically talk to yourself in the middle of the night, especially if you have a roommate, but I’ve recorded some bizarro things on my tape recorder that I would never feel comfortable writing in a journal.
Hello, Artists and Writers!
We hope you all are just as excited as we are for another semester of Opus to kick off!
The first thing to be aware of is that our submission deadline for this semester is this Friday, January 27 at midnight. As a refresher, we a accept submissions of poetry, prose, and art of any medium. There’s a limit of 5 print submissions and 5 art submissions, so you can submit up to 10 pieces total. For print submissions, we ask that you attach each piece as a separate word document entitled the title of your piece, with no name on it. For art pieces, attach pictures of your work entitled the title of your piece as JPEGs.
If you have something from a class last semester that you feel proud of, this is the perfect opportunity to share it with the world! At risk of exhausting the age old, “don’t be afraid to submit” cliche, we especially want to encourage your oddities this semester. After completing a publication of Opus last semester full of strange, boundary defying, and spirited pieces, we are more excited than ever to see what creativity means to each one of you.
Finally, remember that Opus is still active after the submission deadline passes! We will be holding meetings every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9pm in Lubbers 224. As always, come when you can, and leave when you have to.
We are looking forward to reviewing your pieces!
Feel free to email us with any questions.
Grace Hulderman, Co-Editor
So if you’re wondering where to find me on this Friday, you’ll find me nestled in the corner of my favorite coffee shop, with a tall cup of black coffee, scribbling poems into my notebook. I’m taking back my mornings for my own creative space and I encourage you all to join me in searching out your own time of day when the creative flow gets a rollin’. Be shameless about it! Take that time for your own. Cozy up in your favorite nook, break out the pen and paper, and write yourself silly.