Week #26: Someone You Got To Meet.
First of all, I can’t believe this post marks the halfway point of this challenge! Time is flying by!
Now, I was originally going to write about Robert Redford, but then I realized that I was only in the room with him that day in 2011, so he doesn’t count (Rats!).
However, I will talk about how I got to meet Sister Helen Prejean.
Here’s a question: Have you seen the movie Dead Man Walking (1995) with Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon?
Did you know it’s based on a true story?
I had the opportunity to write about Sister Helen’s guest lecture at Longwood University for the student newspaper, The Rotunda. I was so moved hearing about her experiences that I immediately wanted to buy both her books – Dead Man Walking (1993) and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions (2004). The second book appealed to me because of one of the innocent men was from Virginia.
After she finished speaking, I was only able to talk with her for a few minutes, but she graciously inscribed both of my books with personal messages. She thanked me for coming out, and I offered to send her a copy of the article I was writing. I headed back to my dorm that night forever changed! Her work advocating against the death penalty will stay with me for the rest of my life – I think about her often.
The piece I wrote ended up being one of the longest in the eight semesters that I worked on the paper. It had to be significantly revised for publication, but I’m immensely proud of what I wrote, and what was published. I looked – I couldn’t find it in The Rotunda’s online archives, but I know I saved it somewhere on my computer or a flash drive. After writing this post, I’m committed to finding it – Once I do, I’ll share with you all soon.
After I graduated, I added up all of the pieces I had written for the paper. I think it was around 125 total, maybe more. It felt really good.
I’m fortunate that I was able to meet Sister Helen. She changed my world view, forever.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂