Learning at the Movies

Today was my first Move-In Day at Northern State University and in honor of that I decided to take some words I used a couple years ago at a college convocation and share them on here.  Hope you enjoy them…..

My two favorite places to be, are on a college campus or in a movie theater. You see I believe that we are always learning and growing as individuals and I think that both a campus and a theater are two of the greatest places to do this. I know that I have learned a great deal on a college campus but I have also learned much from the movies.

In fact I want to share with you some quotes from some great movies that I think can help prepare students on the road to college success.

From Rocky Balboa, in the first and in my humble opinion best Rocky film, I have learned that “Until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life!”

Christopher Nolan in his modern classic movie Memento taught me “We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are.”

When Jim Carrey, in the underrated The Cable Guy, said “You know what the trouble about real life is? There’s no danger music.” it made me realize that our lives really do need soundtracks

From the movie Cool Runnings, a comedy about a team of Jamaican bobsledders, I’ve learned “A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.”

Willy Wonka taught me not only to be afraid of Oompa Loompas, but also that “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind taught me that “Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.” So occasionally now and then I actually keep my mouth shut

When Messala in Ben Hur said “You ask how to fight an idea. I’ll tell you how. With another idea.” it encouraged me to challenge others and think for myself.

Red, as portrayed by Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption encourages me daily to “Either get busy living, or get busy dying.”

When I saw the movie 42, the story of Jackie Robinson, I realized while it’s not always easy it pays to be the better person, when I heard Branch Rickey say “Your enemy will be out in force. But you cannot meet him on his own low ground.”

And in his amazing screenplay for The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin wrote “When you go fishing you can catch a lot of fish, or you can catch a big fish. You ever walk into a guy’s den and see a picture of him standing next to fourteen trout?” So even though I don’t fish, I now know I want a picture of me with a huge fish not a lot of little fish.

See there really is a lot to be learned from the movies, and as students begin another successful year at college, I encourage everyone to make the most of their journey, believe in yourself, challenge yourself, create a soundtrack to your life of laughter and joy, remember to sometimes be quiet and listen, and start living your life today and every day because as I learned from Walter in The Big LeBowski, “Life does not stop and start at your convenience!”


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