Nicholas School Blogs | Guest

We’re here to save the world, right?
by -- September 14th, 2011

"I have to do something courageous and epic."

“I have to do something courageous and epic.”

Sounds pretty epic and, as it turns out, some people do some pretty crazy things for the sake of doing something epic.

“I have to do something courageous and epic.”

You may have read in the news that on Sunday, October 9, a man assaulted Tiger Woods, the recently struggling golf superstar…by throwing a hot dog at him. If you’re like me, hearing this news made you want to eat a hot dog. If you’re not like me, you probably laughed and immediately moved on with your life.

But wait! Before you do, allow me to elaborate and allow Brandon Kelly, the man charged with the “crime,” to explain: “I threw the hot dog toward Tiger Woods because I was inspired by the movie ‘Drive.’ As soon as the movie ended, I thought to myself, ‘I have to do something courageous and epic. I have to throw a hot dog on the green in front of Tiger.’”

Now I can’t speak to the inspirational merits of Drive. On one hand critics are lauding the film, and on the other, a Michigan moviegoer is suing the production company for the lack of action-packed driving sequences, but I digress.

The point is: aren’t we all trying to throw the proverbial hot dog at the proverbial Tiger Woods? And don’t we wish that doing something courageous and epic was as easy as throwing processed meat at someone famous? I know I do. Heck, after the reading the news story I watched half an hour of Braveheart battles scenes on YouTube while tossing a frozen hamburger patty up and down.

But as ridiculous as this man’s actions were, he simply seems to have been motivated by a desire to generate a little purpose in his life. I know that sense of purpose can be difficult to maintain at all times, even for us, with the constant rush of classes, work, and studying.

Heidi Winner (MEM '13 extraordinaire on the right, posing with fellow extraordinaire Margaret Tran) gets us excited about class on Mondays with animal hats and costumes, generally reminding ourselves why we love ourselves and each other.

Heidi Winner (MEM ’13 extraordinaire on the right, posing with fellow extraordinaire Margaret Tran) gets us excited about class on Mondays with animal hats and costumes, generally reminding ourselves why we love ourselves and each other.

Sometimes we need a moment to reconnect with that purpose. Sometimes it takes escaping to the coast or the mountains on the weekend. Sometimes it takes dressing in a dinosaur costume while struggling through an energy modeling problem in the computer lab, or mobilizing your classmates to dress in animal hats during a Program Management lecture.

However silly or serious, it helps to be reminded that the journey we’re on is indeed courageous and epic. After all, what can be more so than the attempt to save the planet while still advancing society’s

So here’s an idea: if you see me around, throw a hot dog my way to remind yourself that, while your day may not feel epic, your journey most certainly is.

2 Comments

  1. Caitlin
    Oct 18, 2011

    made my tuesday

    Pete, this post was hilarious! (and touching)

  2. Heidi
    Oct 28, 2011

    Clever Kid

    Pete- You inspire me! I love how you’ve tied together seemingly random events to expose one very truthful message. You’re awesome!

©2016 Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University | Box 90328 | Durham, NC 27708
how to contact us > | login to the site > | site disclaimers >

footer nav stuff