Guest Blogger: Matt Trainum

Today we have a post from Matt Trainum, Director of the Guide to Personal Success Program here at GW. Matt was born in rural Virginia.  He graduated with a degree in History from James Madison University and a degree in educational Administration from Texas A&M.  He lived in North Carolina prior to coming to GW where he is currently working on a doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning.  He enjoys an intelligent conversation on virtually any topic.

As we get close to Friday’s deadline to submit entries in the First Chapter Contest I wanted to take a moment and write a note.  You may remember me from closing session at CI where I encouraged you to take advantage of “My GPS Guide.”  Since then I too have been going through Half the Sky, and experiencing a mix of reactions.  The text was so jarring that half the time I could hardly get through more than a few pages at a time.  But perseverance is of course one of the greatest of human traits and discovery often takes a bit of perseverance.

As I reflect about this book I am reminded of a first anniversary that passed while we were all together during Colonial Inauguration (CI).  Take a moment and remember what was in the news one summer ago. At that time, last June, there were protesters in the streets of Iran.  At one point an estimated 100,000 people gathered in candlelit protest, upset offer possible election fraud and seeking a greater role in how their country is run.  The death on camera of a young woman became a central story of the event.  Some in the media called it the Twitter Revolution.  Yet there was no revolution.  The authorities stopped this expression of the people.

We had a good time at CI and hopefully a positive summer and I’m not saying this to make anyone feel guilty. My point at the moment is not even about feeling privileged, though recognizing our privilege is not a bad thing.  My point is the Iranian authorities know something about you.  Something very simple, yet very real.  You are powerful.  Individually powerful, but collectively far more so.  And I’m not sure you are reminded enough of that.

Our hope for each of you is that you channel that power while you are here with us at GW.  Every member of the GW Community- the faculty, the staff, your fellow students, and yes your GPS guides- are here to help you find that power.  Take advantage of us and begin your own revolution.

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