The smell of pizza lured me into the room near the front of our campus library. Some students were standing around, eating and talking, while others sat at the tables, writing furiously on sheets of paper.
“What’s going on?” I asked the student with the bright purple shirt.
“It’s a letter writing party,” he said. “Come join us.”
The students had set up a computer to a web page that gave the addresses of various elected officials. They had a whole table of information about environmental issues, particularly a couple of local issues that have been discussed in depth at campus forums. Purple Shirt handed me a pen, a piece of paper, and a stamped envelope.
So often, when I’m asked to write a letter, it becomes yet another item on my to-do list, one more thing I “ought to do,” one more tedious task to take care of when I’m sitting in front of the computer. The letter writing party was a better way. I sat down at a sunny table, wrote the letter, put it in the envelope, and added it to the growing pile on the table. This simple task was done in ten minutes — and I ate lunch at the same time.
“At least I feel like I’ve accomplished SOMETHING today,” I said to PlantsWoman as I walked out into the sunshine. “I should get away from my computer and handwrite letters more often.”
“Yep, I feel the same way,” she said. “And besides, a handwritten letter is the gold standard. It makes politicians take notice.”