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Three years ago, back in the autumn of 2010, I had an English class at my University, where all we did was read poetry and examine poetry and talk about poetry, etc. It was sort of an introductory English class, with simple goals for its students: learn how English works; learn all the little rules of grammar; learn how to read and think about writing – stuff like that. I’d had a few English classes before it, and I’ve had many since, so not much that I learned in that class has stuck with me – I made a few friends, have a few good memories, and, I’m sure, was sent away with a greater appreciation for poetry. One thing, though, from that class, has always stuck with me. Or, rather, has refused to stick with me. A poem.

I remember this poem vaguely. I remember that it was about a woman driving her car along an expressway during a traffic jam; that she noticed a flock of birds flying through the sky – I remember it was simple and beautiful and that even as a newly enrolled English Major, way back when in 2010, it spoke to me.

I’ve been searching for and wondering about this poem for a long time. Over time, I forgot who wrote it. I forgot the title. The only things I could remember were the birds and the traffic jam and that I loved it.

Now, fast-forward to 2013. I’m about to graduate college – I’m finishing up one last semester – and that poem still finds its way into my mind from time to time. Today, going through some of my files on a computer at school, I came across an old paper I typed up three years ago in that English class where we talked about poetry.

The file was called “Poetry Journal”, and I opened it only with mild curiosity, not yet realizing what I might find within it. Inside, a list of titles to several poems, with my thoughts of them underneath. I scrolled down the page, skimming with uninterested eyes. Then, I found it. My poem. The title, anyway. And the author. With a quick, excited trip to Google, I quickly found the words I had been searching for. I read it again, and I still loved it. My eyes followed along with the lines of the poem as if I had never lost it – perhaps I have dreamt about this poem many times.

It seems funny to me that the file containing the title to this poem has been around all this time, and I’ve just now found it. Maybe because I’m feeling nostalgic – I’m wondering about the person I was three years ago, when I still had so many moments to experience, so many new things to learn, so many more people to meet. Three years from now, I’ll be long gone from the University I’ve called home for so long now – and maybe I’ll find this poem again and think back to this moment.

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There are a lot of really amazing people in the world. There really are. A lot of the time I think that I forget that fact. Maybe you do, too. Sometimes these people are hard to see, hard to find. Most of the people I interact with on a daily basis seem simply ordinary. So many of them – ordinary folk. That’s fine, being ordinary, if that’s what you’re in to. I’m just, well, not. Why live a simple life? Why not do amazing things, see amazing things, be amazing?

I’ve recently started my senior year of Undergraduate school. So recently, in fact, that today is my second day of classes. Fall semester, 2012. Back to school!

I love college. I wasn’t so hot on High School. It is just so different, so restricted. So scheduled. Perhaps: so ordinary. Now, though, I’m a college student, and I love it. Walking from the parking lot to my classroom on the first day back, I found myself grinning. I love this place. I love these people. These people who are striving to be more than ordinary. Who would struggle through college classes in order to better themselves and their lives. Who would pay thousands of dollars just for the chance to become a higher-educated human being.

Students are more than simply students, though. They are minds. They are amazing. They have something to say, something to give. They are people who are excited about their lives and the future. They have dreams, plans, ideas, goals.

This fact, too, can be easy to forget. Another college student is just another college student. My campus is relatively small, yet thousands of students attend classes here. Thousands of creative, interested, willing, capable minds. We come to learn from professors and end up learning from each other, too. We learn math, yes, and science, yes, and French, and how to write in MLA format, and not to text in class, and that our professors really like when we participate, and that the bathroom on the second floor of the English building is always empty, and we learn not to get to class too early, and that staircases really are the better choice, and that not holding a door for someone when they are really far away is OK. We also learn about the people in our communities. We learn about their lives. We see how similar they are to us. We feel togetherness. We feel not-so-ordinary.

Today I was reading through some early submissions that were received by the creative writing magazine I work for at my school. There were only five – I’m sure there are many more to come. I love reading the poems and stories that come from fellow students. I read them anonymously – I have no idea who wrote these pieces – male, female; student, staff, teacher; old, young; black, white. And so, I am amazed. The submissions were good. All poems. All different. Not so ordinary.

The poems were all about different things – crumbling cities, religion, the media, girls, dirt. The poems were good, but it was the realization that I came to from reading them that made me stop, actually teary-eyed, and think. Think that there are a lot of amazing people in this world. That they are hard to see, sometimes. That we forget about them, that they exist. That they are living with us, mixed in with all the ordinary people. We are all living our lives together.