Waking up to the sound of your roommates complaining that today’s high temperature would be only 60 degrees is not the perfect way to start your morning. Instead of thinking, “Oh man this going be a colder day than what I’m used, I better wear a jacket,” my actual thoughts were, “Geez can they shut up, it’s barely 8 a.m.” As a roommate to two very enthusiastic morning people that is a common thought of mine. But sometimes I wonder what are they thinking about as they bounce around the apartment singing Les Miserable songs as I lay in bed blissfully unaware? Do they think less of a person who sleeps in instead of greeting the day at dawn? Do they just have so much on their minds that sleep is impossible in the morning hours? Do they prefer rushing out the door in haste like I am so used too, or do they prefer to act in a more leisurely pace, like eating breakfast, actually checking on what you like, or doing this weird custom called making your bed?
Walking around campus my thoughts wondered to well, thoughts. So many thoughts swirl around in our heads everyday it’s often hard to tell where one thought ends and where the other begins. What do the people around us think about? Are they simply going through the motions, making mental to-do lists, and dreading the next task like chains hanging from a dungeon? Or do they live life with a little more passion and imagination; do their to-do list become dragons to slay? Do people think about me? Am I worth a thought? How much are thoughts worth? Is one thought truly worth a penny or will no amount of currency be equal to it? Will people be willing to give me their thoughts? There was only one way to find out.
Armed with only a notebook, a sign and about 30 pennies, I turned my thought into action. On the morning of Thursday Sept. 5, 2013 I headed out to sit on a bench near the quad. The skies were dark and heavy winds were coming from the north. My initial thoughts on whether this project would work were gloomy like the weather. No one would want to stop and talk to me for five minutes when there was a threat of a downpour at any minute. Eventually people’s curiosity about a girl with a bright yellow sign that says, “Penny for Your Thoughts,” who was ‘technically’ yelling at people; won.
“It’s kind of cold outside,” commented Cattie Middleton. Despite the poor weather she had a bright smile on her face, a smile that was very much appreciated on a dreary day.
As a zombie enthusiast I really appreciated Sean Heist random but inspiring thought, “Enjoy the little things in life. That’s from Zombieland, I think it’s rule 37.”
Stopping and asking random people for a thought is not a very easy or comfortable task, but Lauren Millahn gave me some reassuring advice from our favorite book series, “Anything is possible if you have enough nerve.” Millahn was so inspired by this quote from Harry Potter that she had it tattooed on her foot.
Bloomsburg students are often forced to wake up much earlier than they prefer to, but in the name of education they make it out of bed. “Morning classes stink!” said Maureen Mauer, as she took another sip out of her Java City cup.
Others had a more inquisitive and optimistic views of the morning. “How can I make one million dollars today?” asked Will Tyler. I had no answer but instead gave him a penny so he only has 999,999.99 dollars left to earn.
“It’s cold here! I’m from Florida, I’m not used to this,” said freshman Colbey Baker. As a native Floridian myself, I reassured him that it will only get colder. Also, we don’t have to worry about gators here, so that’s a plus.
The sun was peaking out of the clouds when freshman Megan Magee commented about the general population of Bloomsburg, “I’m new here, and so far these are the nicest people I’ve ever meet.” I think that comment convinced the sun to stay out a while.
“I’m excited for the Bloomsburg Fair, you can eat everything and see the locals in their native habitat,” said Danielle Santorio. After that comment, thoughts of fried Oreos orbited my mind like solar system.
I encountered a fellow southerner who had a very uncommon complaint about the local delicacies. “Why is everything pizza and hoagies up here?” said Chandler Long. A native to Mississippi, Long mentioned she missed good home style southern cooking.
“Being a senior is overwhelming,” said Jackie Zeiber. Stressful mornings are not uncommon for seniors, however Zeiber will meet the morning as she always has, with a smile and a positive attitude.
“Tacos are better than burritos!” shouted Nick Lysick as he threw a penny at me and hurried off to class. I think he missed interpreted my sign?
Hanisha Ousley was all about her career that morning as she gave me some very valuable advice; “Networking is connecting.”
With a smile on my face I closed up shop for the day, my experiment was a success. As I was putting my notes away a boy named Jordan Raqib stopped and commented, “You have a beautiful smile.” I gave him two pennies. I guess I am worth a thought or two.