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From the bus: moments from 2013

December 31, 2013

 

20131231-180332.jpgI’m writing this year-end blog post from the bus, which is actually pretty fitting for 2013. I spent a lot of time on buses this year, particularly this K10 Connector from Overland Park to Lawrence and back almost every day last summer as well as on a bus every day on my birthright trip in Israel. So, 2013 was…

The year I smiled ear to ear on the bus into a snowy Jerusalem and felt a deep connection to my Jewish roots. I returned to Kansas with a desire to look beyond the trivial and toward what matters in daily life.

The year I belted out Circle of Life in the middle of the Negev Desert, under the stars, and realized we are but dust and ashes and yet have a responsibility to do something during our time here.

The year I started working at the Dole Institute of Politics and saw how much love people all over a country can have for a man they will never meet. Just reading the dozens of birthday cards Senator Dole received in a single year showed me how much respect people have for him still today.

The year I learned from a Western Civ professor whose nuggets of wisdom captured me from day one of class.

The year I went camping for the first time. And survived.

The year I watched people I love start the next chapters of their lives in far away places. They are doing and will do great things.

The year I didn’t return to Richmond but still had four cartons of rainbow cookies delivered to me. Because no matter how old I am, rainbow cookies will still taste and smell like my childhood and bring back fond memories.

The year I went farther west, to Colorado, and saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time.

The year I started a journey to become Mackenzie McHale, a journey with The Breakdown that will continue next semester and produce wonderful things.

The year I wrote for a national news organization about topics that allow my generation to express what it thinks about the world we’ve been given. I’ll always look back fondly on my time as a USA TODAY collegiate correspondent.

The year I celebrated Thanksgivukkah with my family. Having them on my side in everything does wonders, even if I take it for granted at times.

The year I spent a lot of time in Anschutz talking while people were trying to work, but can they blame me? Just wanted to chat with some truly wise and wonderful people.

The year I watched the Kansas Jayhawks advance to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. While I may know none of them personally, the 2013 team will always be my favorite.

The year I spent hours on numerous occasions reminiscing about Italy with the only people who can really fathom what the experience was like. I’m sure that’ll continue into 2014.

The year my support system of family, friends and colleagues grew stronger, my résumé grew a bit longer, my love for volleyball grew more and my desire to travel continued to soar.

Happy New Year to all! May 2014 bring much happiness.

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