Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Alice Rackham is my Idol

Classic Alice documents Alice Rackam’s decision to stop doing things by the book (figuratively) and start doing things by the book (literally, life choices based on classic literature). Recently she decided that she was too busy to choose a long book, which ironically led her to open Rip Van Winkle, and she has to copy Rippy V in his attempt to avoid working at all.

Her initial thought is that she needs to skip obligations, like class and study sessions, and so she makes herself an alternative schedule just as busy as her usual school schedule. Although she chose to let loose in another way, I personally love her alternative schedule. She has just brainstormed things that she is interested in doing, but has never done because they aren’t a productive use of her regular schedule. How much fun would she have, and how many stories would she make, if she followed her alternative schedule?

The items on Alice Rackham’s alternative schedule, in the form of an alternative to-do list:

·         visit a farm, potentially milk a cow
·         eat breakfast for dinner
·         eat dinner for breakfast
·         think important existential thoughts
·         have a picnic
·         write a letter to the president about literacy
·         make jams and pickles
·         ride a train for hours with no…
·         white wash a fence (find a fence)
·         make friends with woodland creatures
·         drive a convertible too fast

Some of these break up normal routines, while others are a new experience. I think my favorite is milking a cow, even though it isn't particularly daring, it is out of the ordinary for an urban university student. It wouldn't be hard to make it happen. Some of her ideas, like canning and corresponding with the leader of the free world, have a value that doesn't directly contribute to her academic success, whether they happen just once or become a regular thing. There is no reason she can’t make these things part of her regular schedule, she just doesn't.

So in the spirit of Alice, I am making myself an alternative to-do list. What things will you put on your alternative to-do list?

·         walk around before all of the fall leaves fall
·         write thank you note to Emma Watson
·         figure out how to make bibimbap
·         learn to play Stolen Dance on the guitar
·         drive my car around a parking lot backwards
·         pick wildflowers
·         paint designs on my nails

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