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Small handwriting sample of C.J.'s First-Year Student Journals, link to journals home page
Tom in his Longhorn Band uniform

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Detail of Tom's band uniform

7 November 2005

“Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it,
the more it eludes your grasp. But the moment we sit down
and ignore the butterfly is the very moment
we find it resting on our shoulder.”

—Henry David Thoreau

I Am Content

Two weeks ago I was on my way to the “Cleanest Little Town in Texas,” home of the Spoetzl Shiner Brewery, Shiner, Texas. With a good friend I made here in Austin, Texas, I drove to the town of less than 2,100 people to stay with her family for the night and subsequently make our way to College Station the next day. I know what you’re thinking, College Station, right? Well, it was Oct. 28 and there were Halloween parties to be made, and I have nothing against the city itself.

While in Shiner, nothing happened. Their entire school district complex is no bigger than my old band hall. But I was in the kitchen of the house I was visiting and read the aforementioned quote that was placed neatly on the refrigerator full of family photos and various other knick-knacks.

Upon first reading the Thoreau-ism, I just left it as such: a 19th century philosopher and author makes another analogy in a long line of philosophic jazz. But I was in Shiner, kind of bored, so why not?

I started thinking about myself. We’re all young adults and we all think a lot, so why not constructive thinking? I mean my life is coming up the fast lane, you know. I could tell myself that I’m an analytical thinker, but the majority of my friends new and old who all too often remind me that I “analyze too much” would be more than enough proof that I think things through too much. So I was still bored in Shiner and kept thinking, how does this relate to the real world?

With my constant “all too often analysis of everything,” I attempt in many ways to change the environment around me for better or for worse because of my inability to just let it slide. The point is, however, that what if everything at this moment is just all right?

Here I am situated nicely in the world’s finest public university, am enjoying new friends and experiences here in Austin, Texas, studying toward my career of choice, transitioning from a teenager to a young adult and pretty much living the dream, not to mention the championship-vying football team we house here at UT.

I just get thrills when I go downstairs in my dorm to grab a bite to eat at the fabulous dining experiences of UT, namely the Jester City Limits and Jester Floor 2 Cafeteria that cater to my Jester East living needs, and I see an athlete who lives in my dorm. I can walk to class and cross paths with any number of our athletes. Isn’t that just cool? But I digress…

What do I have to complain about? Yes, I may indeed have troubles studying, I might be late to class one day and I could do poorly on a grade here or there. Certainly there will be things that will worry me and overwork me.

Certainly as well, though, I am blessed enough to be able to wake up and walk to my classes here on campus. On my way from one end of campus to the next I will never lose sight of the trees, always recognize a face in the massive crowd of thousands of students shifting from classroom to classroom and be able to just enjoy the beauty of campus in the sun.

I am able to study for a degree in journalism toward a sports broadcast career while witness to one of the greatest athletic institutions in the country. Did you know that UT is positioned to win multiple championships in all major sports of both men’s and women’s athletics?

The semester is nearing its end, but I am only beginning to take my next step. The excitement is intangible.

No, I can’t complain.

What starts here changes the world.

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