WT Campus takes part in “Before I Die”

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“Before I Die” boards set up in Mary Moody Northen Hall.

“Before I Die” boards set up in Mary Moody Northen Hall.

This is somewhat of a morbid topic, as  death is  real and inevitable in all of our lives.  It is easy to focus on daily activities and lose sight of the bigger picture living life to the fullest.  Everyone has aspirations and things that they want to experience before their time on this Earth is up.

Starting last Monday on Nov. 4, boards were set up around campus for students and faculty to finish the sentence, “Before I die I want to.”   Many replied with the usual answers: travel the world or visit Paris, France.  Others were more interesting, such as space dive, be Batman, and get my kids into heaven.

It is a question that people ask themselves at some point in their lives.

“The boards encourage students to do some big picture thinking, which really is what college is all about,” Dr. Amy Von Lintel, Assistant Professor in the Art, Theatre and Dance Department, said.  “It is a question that successful people ask themselves.  What is your ethical duty to the world?”

The original “Before I Die” project emerged in New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina.  The boards have spread worldwide in several different languages and countries.  WT adopted the idea after students witnessed the boards in Scotland during a Study Abroad Program.  The campaign has started on campus thanks to Dr. Von Lintel and  her freshman class (IDS 1071, Section 2).  “After seeing it in Scotland we wanted to bring it here,” Von Lintel said.

The class was inspired by the Readership book Wine to Water about Doc Henley, a bartender who does not know what to do with his life, and decides to make an impact by providing clean drinking water to villages around the world.

The campaign is part of an interactive public art project that the class hopes can spread around the community. “The thought of death is unsettling to people,  but thinking about our life goals and what we hope to accomplish, gives people a reason to wake up in the morning,” Junior Will Hodnett said.

The boards have been placed around different parts of campus for a week and could stay up longer depending on what the class decides.