Thursday, May 31, 2012

The First Correspondence - Entry #6

[Note:  Each blog entry will not necessarily discuss every piece of correspondence I send out each week.  It may only be one note or card or several, depending on the situation.]
Looking over the first week of correspondence, it was an eclectic group.  For this blog entry, I want to focus on three pieces of mail.  The main theme could be described as the beginning as well as the end.  Let me explain.  

I sat down at my dining room table and opened the box containing my silver colored fountain pen, unsheathing it from its plastic wrapping.  I took out a few sheets from the box of stationery I purchased and began a letter to John Kralik, the author of the book, 365 Thank You’s, which was the inspiration for this Writing Project.   I thought it would be appropriate for my initial missive to be sent to him.  The letter was very straightforward.  I told him about the yearlong project, what I was hoping to accomplish, and the responses I had received thus far.  As I wrote I wondered if other people had done the same thing—writing to him about how they were planning to replicate his experiment.  I was curious to know if, over the past few years, he had been inundated with such correspondence.  Was he pleased?  Flattered?  Tired of the attention?  In the end, I didn’t really care about what others may have done.  I simply wanted him to know that the handwritten word, in this Internet age, continued to have a deep impact on people, including myself.

The end was represented by my middle daughter’s graduation from her New Jersey-based University.  Two notes were sent to the President and Commencement Coordinator of the school.   I wanted to thank both of them for putting on a well-run ceremony.  The weather was picture perfect on that special day, which was a huge plus, but everything about the morning’s festivities was flawless.  As someone who had been an integral part of commencement planning and implementation at another institution of higher education I was well aware of the potential pitfalls, problems and headaches commencement could bring upon university staff members.  I wanted to let these two individuals know that someone in the audience took notice of the school’s attention to detail and creature comforts.  I thought they would want to know how well buildings and grounds manicured the lawns and flower beds; that the early morning buffet breakfast, provided to friends and family, was much appreciated; and how the ceremony went like clockwork, especially the speed in which the graduate’s names were read (I timed them at five second intervals).  Too many times we shoot off a quick note or, more likely, an email to the President or other officials complaining and kvetching about the lack of parking, the difficulty of obtaining extra tickets, mispronounced names, poor seating, etc. etc.  I thought they would appreciate a “good job” and slap on the back.

So, the end (of this post) marks the beginning of the handwriting phase.  My fountain pen and I are ready, willing, and able for next week’s series of correspondence.

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