The Dancing Mind Challenge
There is a certain kind of peace that is not merely the absence of war. It is larger than that. The peace I am thinking of is not at the mercy of history's rule, nor is it a passive surrender to the status quo. The peace I am thinking of is the dance of an open mind when it engages another equally open one.
--Toni Morrison, "The Dancing Mind"
Where is your mind? Where is it on a Saturday morning when you're rolling out of bed, grabbing for your iPhone, and scrolling through your email? Where is it on Friday at 11:20pm? Where is it when you're driving through campus? While you're running on a treadmill, while you're printing out your paper, while you're sipping a latte? Where is your mind when you've lost your focus? When you've lost your purpose? When you can't seem to turn off auto-pilot? When your phone won't stop beeping and your calendar keeps growing?
It's time to challenge your mind -- to dance.
On November 19, 2011, The Griot Institute for Africana Studies, along with its partners, the English Department, the English Club, Library and Instructional Technology, the Stadler Center for Poetry, and Multicultural Student Services sponsored the Dancing Mind Challenge. This event, based on Toni Morrison's reflections in her essay "The Dancing Mind" was an opportunity for Bucknell students, faculty and staff and community members to "unplug" for six consecutive hours and commit this time to reading. In this age of Google, cell phones and Facebook, we have become addicted to instant gratification and are at risk for losing the ability to concentrate deeply for any serious length of time.
After completing the Dancing Mind Challenge, participants contributed a reflection to the Challenge Blog, recording their experience during those six hours. Click HERE to read and/or contribute to the blog!
We encouraged participants in the Dancing Mind challenge to make a $10 pledge to the American Library Association's Haiti Library Relief Fund, but this contribution was not required in order to participate in the Challenge. We appreciate all who donated to this great cause!
Are you strong enough to overcome your addiction? Is your brain ready for a mental marathon? Join us next year and find out if you have what it takes!