Survey Responses by Meredith, Julie (and Sons), and Linda
1. Feeling stressed. It’s a useless response to having to meet obligations.
2. Edinburgh. Fringe festival, Pan, Scotch, the Royal Mile, men in kilts.
3. Too many hard ones to name just one. All of them right as there is no wrong answer in life.
4. Peace. It’s fleeting but once found, worth it.
5. Lurray Caverns, if you consider caverns a museum. Stalactites and stalagmites are super cool.
6. Perfect day would entail: coffee at sunrise – no bugs and an ocean view. A proper bagel with a perfect 1/4 inch of cream cheese and whitefish salad on top with no reactions. (I’m celiac and dairy intolerant so this would be HUGE)
An evening bonfire on the beach with my whole family, my love, a comfy blanket, and a bottle of prosecco.
7. To keep my mouth shut 8. Blueberry (pronounced bloo-bur-ee)
9. Off the coast of grand cayman – water is super clear as far as you can see and perfect temp.
10. I’ve been to several colleges, still working on a degree. I work at a college and have two kids in college. My best advice: Don’t take it so seriously, enjoy yourself, get good grades, but most importantly, Be curious – go to learn for the sake of learning.
- Summer reading. Don’t like summer homework.
- Going to the Galapagos with my Aunt. Enjoyed the vacation in a warm area with lots of cool animals.
- I haven’t really had any hard decisions yet in life.
- Yep, love the game.
- Boston’s Children’s Museum. It was fun as a little kid.
- No school. Play baseball during the day and then go out to dinner.
- Don’t really know.
- Down in the Gallepagos I went snorkeling with Hammerheads, turtles, and sea lions.
- Haven’t been to college yet.
From Alex, age 15
- Have had a good life, wouldn’t remove anything.
- The Galapagos. Because it’s the Galapagos.
- Haven’t made any hard decisions yet in life.
- Working towards Eagle Scout. Haven’t made it yet, still working towards it but think it’s a good path.
- Smithsonian Air and Space museum. Because I like space.
- A day to relax, no responsibilities, no work, no school. Reading all day. No worries.
- I procrastinate a bit. Would like to learn better not to procrastinate
- Don’t have a favorite word. I like bacon. (wearing a bacon shirt today)
- Swimming in the Galapagos. Got to see some sharks.
- Haven’t been to college yet.
From Julie (mother to Jesse and Alex), age 49
- Cooking dinner on a daily basis. Although I love cooking and baking, thinking about meals and meal planning is something that I don’t really enjoy. I’m not able to get out of cooking by going out to eat with the family and I’ve tried hard to get my boys to cook dinner for the family but the burden still falls on my shoulders most nights and I would love to get rid of that burden.
- This is a tough question to answer as I’ve had many fun trips. I lived abroad as a senior in high school and as a junior in college and took lots of trips through Europe during those times. However, the trip that stands out is my first bicycle trip across county in 1993 with a boyfriend. We met so many interesting people as we asked strangers each night to set up a tent in their yard.
- I feel fortunate that I haven’t had to make many hard decisions in my life as when faced with obstacles typically, with thought, the “correct” decision is fairly obvious. I recall feeling particularly conflicted when I applied for and got into Boston University School of Social work but then a few months later my relationship with my long-term boyfriend ended (He was in school in Boston) and I decided to accept my place at BU and move on in life without that relationship. I do think I made the right decision but looking back, I wish I had the guts to have applied somewhere else to school.
- I have worked my hardest at being a great mother and partner to my husband. Yes, it has been worth it as I have three amazing boys and seventeen years of marriage that have overall been quite pleasant.
- It has been over twenty years since I went to this museum but I recall being impressed by the Holocaust museum in D.C. I recall having read things about the Holocaust as a child and young adult but I think visiting the museum was the first time I was impacted by the scope of the loss of so many people.
- A trail run with friends in the morning followed by a tasty brunch and then maybe playing some golf or watching my boys play baseball in the afternoon. A home cooked meal shared with friends (I don’t mind bringing a potluck dish to a meal) would round out the evening.
- I wish I would have learned a language such as Spanish at a young age and maintained fluency in the language throughout the rest of my life.
- I am not a word person and I can’t say I am one to focus on or pay attention to specific words. I am amazed at people who use words well and I know words can have great impact on people. I also can get frustrated when so many people don’t use words well. However, to give an answer to this question I will say the word “Thanks” is an important word to me.
- Hanauma Bay in Oahu, Hawaii stands out for me. I went swimming there when my family lived in Hawaii in 8th grade and then returned as an adult in 2015 and although much of the coral had lost its color, the scenery was still pretty spectacular and love snorkeling with lots of colorful fish.
- Carleton College. Had a great experience socially, athletically, and academically. I’d have to say that although I recall the academics being thought provoking and challenging, it didn’t help shape what I became professionally. And, although I made great friends while attending Carleton, they are not my closest friends today. I did meet my husband, who attended Carleton a year behind me, long after I graduated and the Carleton connection was significant in our attraction to one another. I love that I can meet someone today who attended Carleton and feel as though we shared a similar life experience and I don’t think most folks can say that about the college they attended. I also have yet to meet a Carleton graduate who has not been a respectful, insightful, smart, and all around good person. Advice for attending college: I do think atmosphere and finding your “people” plays an important role in having a good experience to grow, learn, and find one ’s self.
- The one thing I would remove from my life: my built-in hankering for carbs, sugars, and foods that don’t necessarily do my body good. Why? The amount of time and energy I put into thinking about, avoiding, imbibing, regretting….
- The best trip of my life: backpacking through western Europe in 1985 with my Finnish friend, Lena. Why? We were 18 years old, and spent 4 weeks travelling by train through Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, and Spain, culminating in a 2-week stay in a 14th-floor apartment on Costa del Sol, Spain, looking out over the Mediterranean Sea. My favorite parst of the trip were sitting on an open-air train car, watching the countryside and castles go by, and free-lancing our way through each day.
- The hardest decision of my life: whether or not to start college at Gustavus Adolphus in the Fall of 1985 or to embark on the European backpacking trip instead. Right decision? I’m who and where I am today because of that decision to forego Gustavus at that time. I sometimes regret not having the standard “going away to college” experience, and sometimes have envy for those who are experiencing it now.
- What I’ve worked hardest for in my life: overcoming active alcoholism and drug addiction. Worth it? HELL YES! On Sept 2nd, I will celebrate 14 years clean and sober.
- The best museum I’ve been to: Seris Museo in Bahia de Kino, Mexico (January of this year). What made it so great? The director sat on the floor and taught my wife and I ancient Mexican children’s games (we were the only guests in the small history museum).
- My perfect day: homemade waffles with vanilla yogurt for breakfast, hike high above the shore of Lake Superior with dogs (on leashes, of course!), playing and swimming in rivers and creeks, ending with a campfire and s’mores in the backyard firepit.
- Something I wish I would have learned when I was younger: How to say “NO” and how to speak my truth without fear.
- Favorite word: Benign
- Favorite place I’ve ever gone swimming: Finnish friend’s cabin on the Baltic Sea. Sauna. Moonlight. Sea. Friends. Perfection.
- I’ve had a fragmented college experience spanning 20 years. I did some time at UMD, then North Dakota State University back in the late 80s. I finally returned to UMD to finish my undergraduate degree (2005) and earned my Masters degree in 2007. My advice: Be grateful for your freedom and your opportunity to explore, experiment, and immerse yourself in the college experience. My advice is to follow my mottos: “Don’t let fear hold you back” and “Something new can always happen.”