Since 1978, Garfield has hated mondays. Today marked a historic turning point in the well-marked wickedness and worrying weekly workloads which reappear after two days of relative transparency and surface to once again stare us coldly in the face.
This Monday was, in the words of Sophomore Correspondent Dawnielle Castledine, “soooo great.”
What distinguished this 24-hour cycle from so many others was the culmination of the Re-Energize Texas summit downtown, a gathering of environmentalist young adults against climate change and pushing for alternative energy sources. Breaking from a long tradition of beginning-of-the-work-week drab and dampened spirits, college students representing 20 schools around Texas pumped picket signs and banners outside the Capital Building in Downtown Austin. In the heat of the day, they dressed up and marched down the hallways of Texas Legislature, knocking on doors and laying out bills, lobbying to be represented by their representatives.
Nobility: the third best thing to smell in the morning, aside from wildflowers and java.
The three-day Re-Energize Texas summit, which began over the weekend, had featured workshops to train students to organize awareness campaigns and to work with legislation in their communities and schools. It offered seminars explaining the state of people, animals, plants, economies and ecosystems around the world, the proposed legislation in Texas and the United Nations, and the the imperative to cut carbon emissions in all areas of life. While the state of the world and the myriad of consequences of pollution and consumption around the world weren’t the most uplifting, the summit proved that college students– infamous as they are for being irresponsible partiers unprepared for full-time employment– are determined to educate themselves.
Instead of work done to pass a course, or to earn a set hourly wage, over a hundred students sacrificed two and a half days to meet with policy-makers who most Texans never meet. Some drove, from as far as El Paso six hours away, just to attend Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s speech and learn about something as uninteresting and irrelevant as the state of the world. A 60-hour stretch they easily could have let slip, put into a SNL episode marathon or late nights in crowded music lounges in their home city, they spent doing something they appointed themselves to do.
Plus it increased the odds of solar panel funding and coal plant moratoriums being passed in Legislature. Selfless calls to action and self-perpetuating sources of electricity in the same day: not a bad Monday.
~This has been Abe Clabby, reporting (and editorializing) for St. Edward’s News.