As I see it: Sixty-four crayons

Photo by drocpsu

By Patty Juliuson

I love crayons. I love the way they look in the box and I love using them. I even like the way they smell when they’re new. I see myself as a 64-crayon person, you know? Why color something brown when you can use “Burnt Sienna”, “Desert Sand” or “Fuzzy Wuzzy?”

It appears over the years the Crayola people kept up with the times. Several colors have been renamed:  “Cranberry” was rechristened “Blush,” and “Chartreuse” is now “Laser Lemon.”(Just as well- no one can spell chartreuse anyway.) They’ve made “Brink Pink” into “Pink Sherbet” and added one of my all-time favorites, “Tickle Me Pink.” Somebody over there has a sense of humor. It looks like “ultra” was a little overused in times past. Just a few of the changes: “Ultra Yellow” has become “Atomic Tangerine,” “Ultra Blue” is “Blizzard Blue,” Ultra Green” transformed into “Screamin’ Green,” and “Ultra Orange” is now “Outrageous Orange.”

As relatively unimportant as crayons are in the grand scope of the world, we can take a lesson from their example. Just one Crayon color won’t suffice, because we know trees and grass and the sky are not all red.  Five colors don’t fulfill the world’s artistic desires, because we want to use shades and tints that make our drawings a lot more interesting. And, as the Crayola people know, even a box of 64 has to be updated periodically, because times change and we need to be able to relate to the tools we use to express our emotions and identities.

Crayons are a good example of how diversity enriches everyone’s lives. As we grow, we learn to appreciate color and cultural differences between people and embrace that variety, and it enhances our experiences. Diversity deepens our understanding of other races, cultures, and creeds. We recognize that people don’t look like us, act like us, and think like us, and we grow into our ability to welcome their dissimilarities because those variations add shades and tints to the palette of life, making it richer and more meaningful.

So why all this chatter about diversity? SNU’s homecoming is in the offing, and it’s near the time of year when the student body chooses a homecoming court. I have been on campus since the fall of 2010, and I have yet to see a homecoming lineup that accurately reflects our student body. We have physically challenged students, older students, international students and a variety of ethnicities on campus, but we don’t see this cultural wealth reflected in our homecoming royalty.

Rather than talk about diversity, let’s fully embrace who we are as a community and choose a court that reflects the true face of SNU.

I’m going shopping for a new box of crayons. See you in class.

  1. I loved your article, Patty. It was very colorful and well-written; and it is good, sometimes, to color outside the lines.
    Judy Steele