In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Big Names

We've had a speaker frenzy here at my college. Last Friday, I was able to hear Rick Steves speak, and it was AMAZING!!!!

...I can hear crickets in the background...Is is possible that some of you don't know Rick Steves?

Rick Steves wrote a book entitled Europe Through the Back Door. He's written guidebooks for countries and regions all over Europe. He's really become the gold standard. He also has a PBS television show called Rick Steves' Europe. If you are planning to travel to Europe and you have something like a Netflix account, you can find episodes that relate to your specific country.

Rick is this nerdy-looking guy, but he has a great philosophy about travel. He advocates for trying to blend in with the locals as much as possible. He doesn't like the large travel groups that huddle behind a tour guide with a brightly colored umbrella. Rather, he thinks that you should get lost in the city, struggle with the language, and discover some of the most beautiful secrets that a city, country, or region has to offer. Most travelers miss some of the best parts of a trip because they are too scared to break out of their comfort zone, even when they are in a foreign country.

His speech to our community was "Travel as a Political Act". He addressed economy, terrorism, and our understanding of our global community. Perhaps if we knew people from other countries, we wouldn't be so quick to judge them for what they do or don't do. He also pointed out that some countries have really innovative ideas for dealing with social problems (drugs, litter, transportation). We could learn a lot by seeing how other places run their society.

Anyway, that was Friday. Today is another special speaker day. This time, we are going to hear from actress and activist, Jane Fonda. She's speaking in just a few hours. We decided that she was going to be so big that we moved her presentation to the gym (our largest room). It's not an ideal setting, but we'll make it work.

Jane was supposed to come a couple of years ago, but she had a last-minute surgery, so she had to pull out. I'm glad that she honored her commitment to our college and returned.

Her look has changed quite a bit over the years. Here's what I found before:

And here is how she is being advertised to us now:

It looks like she's matured a bit.


Blogger Michael Dodd said...

It gives my age way away, but I heard Jane Fonda speak at Michigan State University in 1970, during the spring of Kent State and the aftermath. She was quite the radical, but I have to say, she handled hecklers and hostile questioners with dignity and courtesy. I know at least one of the guys, who made it loudly clear that he hated her guts, mumbled afterwards that she was nicer to him than he expected -- or probably deserved.

I wish I could say my country had matured, whether or not Barbarella has. She, at least, was a creature of fiction.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Scott Alan said...

We used Rick Steves' guide to Germany on our honeymoon and LOVED EVERY MINUTE of the trip - from getting lost almost at the outset of our drive from the Frankfurt airport to a lovely day winding from Hohenschwangau through Augsburg up to Wurzburg along the Romantischestrasse. I despise being a tourist and was very happy that even though we were obviously American, we seemed to do well meeting with, and living among, our gracious hosts. AND Rick is Lutheran - how cool that you got to hear him speak!

1:42 PM  

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