April 21, 2010

Old school activism

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.”


Kayni said...

i still write letters to penpals. it's a wonderful hobby that i intend to keep until i'm old.

Anonymous said...

You would think writing an email would be more efficient than sending a letter but by the time you find the email address, get distracted by all the other stuff on the computer, and actually send it off, I think snail mail might be more efficient.


concretegodmother said...

what a fabulous idea!

landismom said...

I've been forcing people to write letters to the editor lately. It's very satisfying. Pizza is a good incentive for that, too.

Alexia said...

lets go into the wild is the theme of the second picture...