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edu180atl: amber raley 8.11.11

In the last 24 hours I have been educated on the value of a local community and the importance of home.  I recently relocated back to Atlanta and have very much missed “home.”

It all started last night when I got in the car and unexpectedly heard my high school sweetheart singing a love song on the radio. Next I went to a show where I heard a slew of local musicians at a free concert organized by Nophi, a local record label that supports these musicians even though they’re not on the label.  The local love continued at the bank today as the local community bank, Decatur First, helped me resolve an issue quickly and easily that I doubt would have been handled by a large, national bank.  Today I also got my library card at the local branch, and I was greeted with great information and smiles.  Finally, I went to one of my favorite places in the world, my Alma Mater, Agnes Scott College.  Just stepping on campus gave me a warm feeling of belonging.

I know that I still have much to learn and discover in the wider world, but for now I’m happy that I’ve regained my sense of home and have found myself welcomed back in the community.  A valuable lesson indeed, to know where my heart is at home.


Amber Raley (@araley) is from Kirkwood, Atlanta, GA, USA. She is a swimmer, runner, soccer keeper, Agnes Scott and RiceU Alum, DynamoFan, and ktruDJ

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Amber. First, as someone raised by an Agnes Scott alum, I felt an immediate kinship! I grew up admiring my mother’s beautiful ring and listening to her share stories of her days at Agnes Scott. Even this afternoon she was telling me a story of her favorite English teacher, Dr. Margaret Pepperdene, who really taught her to write. Mom and her classmates would meet in Dr. Pepperdene’s home to take Direct Writing during their Junior year. There were a total of 4 students in the class and they read 36 books. When my mother talks about Agnes Scott, she relaxes into that same sense of “home” that you describe above. What a gift that the places of school, learning, growing and seeking can feel so much like home. I hope that my own children will one day talk about their alma matters and their teachers the way you talk about yours. Thank you for the great post. – Anna

    August 13, 2011
  2. Thanks Anna,

    I certainly learned many academic things at Agnes Scott! Like you mother, I also had reading sessions in the home of an English professor. Additionally, I had the privilege of conducting (and publishing!) research with Dr. Jennifer (Lucas) Hughes and the four other students that made up the entirety of a psychology class. Even though I gained great knowledge from the many wonderful professors, staff, and administrators, it is the overwhelming sense of honor and community that stands out above and beyond any other place of learning I have ever known. Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your mom’s experiences.

    I was actually on campus again today with a friend and thought of these well-known lines from Frost as we passed his statue in the Alumnae garden “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, /
    But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.” That’s a good summary of how I feel right now. I know I have a lot of life yet to live, but I also know that I’ll always have a home in Decatur no matter how far I roam.



    August 14, 2011

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