//TedxOU, Pt. 2//

I would’ve written yesterday, but let’s be honest. If you are in the company of many thinkers and you all have been talking about the talks you’ve just heard and you’re goals and dreams for taking your ideas “off the map”, you would be tired too! I came home and crashed! And yes, that means my study schedule got tossed today…I slept until 11:30 this morning. I don’t even feel bad about that. 🙂

The rest of the day of TED talks were incredible. I heard 2 talks that were about math and your body and robots and evolution and I’m pretty sure I can’t even tell you what that was all about. I really tried to understand what was being said, but I just couldn’t. I was lost at Robots and Evolution.

Do you know what an innovation hub is? You don’t? Well, that’s interesting. Because OU certainly does and is going to leave all you other universities in the dust with it’s innovation. The Innovation Hub is actually going to be a part of the Research Institute here on campus. It will house thousands of square feet for students to bring their ideas to and actually see them come to life. 3D printers, ocular experience, wood cutters, WHATEVER YOU CAN IMAGINE, it will be in that space! It was amazing to see. There was a 900 square foot tent set up outside for us to look around and get an idea of what the Innovation Hub will look like. It’s going to be unreal. Seriously, even though I have ideas that don’t necessarily need a 3D printer to create, it was awesome knowing that that’s available in the event I might need it.

The last session of the day was all about Stories. There was an actor who talked about the importance of community theater. There was an author who TOTALLY KNEW about my parasocial relationships with characters from my favorite movies and TV shows (cough, cough LESLIE KNOPE, HARRY POTTER, THE BRAVERMAN’S, TAYLOR SWIFT…My list goes on…). There was also a beautiful story of making sure we don’t allow our one point of view of someone’s story be the only “story” that someone lives up to. It was amazing. I wouldn’t trade the TEDxOU experience for anything and I highly anticipate being there next year. If you don’t know what TED Talks are, look them up on TED.com or even on Netflix. We have so much to learn from one another…sure, you might not agree with everything, but from listening to someone and their experience, it helps shape who you are and what you believe. If you would’ve told me that the first, opening talk would be about Religious Freedom and the need to protect it, I would’ve laughed at you! OU is a secular university. I was expecting very liberal talks all day long. The Religious Freedom talk wasn’t necessarily all “Christian”, if it was at all. But from listening to that talk, I was made thankful for the religious freedom I’ve experienced all my life. It didn’t change my belief in God, but it made me so thankful that I have the ability to say what I believe. It made me thankful for the discussions I’ve had with people who don’t believe what I do because in other countries, I could be dead for my beliefs and the discussion I had. If you would’ve told me that I would be further pushed to help other people and driven to find a way to help the very broken system that is our Foster Care, I would’ve, again, laughed! I had no idea that specific areas of interest would be on the list to experience at TEDxOU. Man, I thought I was thankful for my undergrad…but I’ve never been so thankful to be a part of a world-class, diversely populated university like the University of Oklahoma. I’m a believer. I’m a Sooner. I’ve bought into the idea that whatever I think, I can accomplish.

THANK YOU OU FOR THE TEDxOU EXPERIENCE. I hope to be involved in some way next year! 🙂


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