I am reminded this week of my journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan (1996-97). I received an email announcing a reunion in the fall. Then there was another email, this one requesting stories from those of us who have become entrepreneurs so they could put it in the newsletter.
Aaaahhhhh. Ann Arbor. Sixteen of us, journalists from around the country and the world with two semesters to audit classes, attend seminars, read, be social, expand our minds, stroll shops, take trips. For me it was a chance to be a part of a real campus atmosphere, as my undergrad experience was a commute to a state college.
That fellowship changed my life in so many ways I couldn’t begin to cover it here. Suffice to say when I moved to Hoboken my brother aptly noted, “It appears as if you’re trying to duplicate your Michigan experience.” He was referring to my decision to move to an urban place one block off a lively main street, across from a church, much like the apartment I lived in while in Ann Arbor. All that and Manhattan across the river? What could be better?
Perhaps most importantly I learned the value of filling the well, as Julia Cameron calls it in The Artist’s Way. Having the time to read and attend lively discussions and just be idle feels a whole lot like living to me. The typical American allows herself so little time to do those things.
In addition to all of that, one of the most significant friendships in my life was formed while in Michigan. I treasure it so.
All of it.