Valentine: Try it; you might like it

Robert Valentine Senior lecturer in advertising

Murray State becomes a whirlwind of activity in the spring.

Many students survive the experience, some find their grades in shambles and some missed the whole thing. I weep for this last group.

Look at the spring: the close of basketball season, Campus Lights, step show, Spring Break, Miss MSU, All-Campus Sing, dance concert, baseball, softball, Provost’s Concert, theater productions, 38,257 senior recitals in music, 47 art shows, 89 departmental and student award banquets and of course, spring itself. Pretty, ain’t it?

The excuse most of us use for skipping a friend’s recital or play, or for playing hooky on ye olde awards banquet is “studying.” This excuse, as we all know, is a load of … well, never you mind what that load is.

It’s suffice to say that it could cause the daffodils to bloom anew for a long time. Anyone who can’t take 90 minutes to see a friend play a fugue or receive a plaque needs a time management transplant.

Or, perhaps, a friend.

I asked one honest sophomore about attendance at an event. With a role of the eyes, I was told, “Bor-ING.” Even though we’ve never been, we fear we will be bored.

In truth, the sophomore was speaking to a sympathetic soul. I’m not a big fan of opera, for instance, and would rather eat a barbed-wire sandwich than sit through “Die Fledermaus” again. The voices were amazing, but it’s tough keeping up with the storyline about a bat when all the good data is delivered in German.

I could do without your average banquet, too. A banquet is just a meeting with food and a speech. I often go to see my friends get awards or a good dose of long-overdue recognition.

As a guy who has been called upon to speak at such occasions, I can assure you that if people really wanted a speech during this schedule-squashing, calendar-killing season, they would go to church so they could also work in a prayer for passing grades.

Boring? Maybe, but not half as boring as a game of solitaire or a scroll through today’s wall postings and shares on Facebook. I don’t buy “boring” as a valid excuse. I can buy “fear,” however. Fear of boredom, fear of an unfamiliar experience, fear that you won’t like it – the list of things to fear is long and intimidating. Why should we go outside?

Yet, to fear the unexperienced is to fear life. You will never get a better chance to experience theater, music, athletics, art or group activities more than what is offered by Murray State in the spring. And most of it is free.

After college, it all costs money. If you think you’re terribly busy now, wait until you try to sandwich in two hours of commuting and the raising 1.8 children.

Theater will not be free, it will be $75 per ticket, plus the cost of a babysitter. Enjoy.

Now is the time to try it. If you don’t, you are missing the literal chance of a lifetime.

In college, I passed up the chance to learn scuba diving – too scary. Then, inexplicably, at the age of 60 I gave it a shot and loved it.

Murray State offers only a few opportunities to enjoy scuba, but it’s possible.

What’s not possible is to get back the 40 years of prime diving that cannot be retrieved. You might like opera. You might enjoy an art show, a symphony or a beauty pageant. You might not. You might never know what you missed.

How boring is that?

See you at Commencement. It’s a great show. Good music, pageantry, happy parents and I hear there’s going to be a speaker.

Editor’s note: This column is dedicated in thanks to Dr. Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, who attends everything and is never, ever bored.


Column by Robert Valentine, Senior lecturer of advertising