Friday, January 4, 2008
January 4, 2008
January 4, 2008: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

"You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."
James Lane Allen
 
posted by Clairew at 10:04 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
January 1, 2008
EVERY path may lead you to God, even the weird ones. Most of us are on a journey. We’re looking for something, though we’re not always sure what that is. The way is foggy much of the time. I suggest you slow down and follow some of the side roads that appear suddenly in the mist.

Real Live Preacher, RealLivePreacher.com Weblog, February 13, 2003
 
posted by Clairew at 10:01 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
December 25, 2007
"The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it."
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
 
posted by Clairew at 10:03 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, November 25, 2007
November 25, 2007
I am in the right place, at the right time,
for the right purpose

- Ursula Roberts
 
posted by Clairew at 10:07 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Wednesday August 22: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
 
posted by Claire and Lara at 5:03 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
"Act as if it were impossible to fail."

Dorothea Brande, writer and critic






 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 11:12 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Tuesday, June 26: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
"Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

St. Francis of Assisi
 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 1:00 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Wednesday, June 20: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
"Minds, like parachutes, only work when open."

— Anonymous

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 2:29 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, June 18, 2007
Monday, June 18: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."

— ~ Voltaire

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 9:01 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Wednesday, June 13: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

— ~ Mark Twain

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 9:50 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Tuesday, June 12: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
"When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends."

— Japanese Proverb

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 9:19 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, June 8, 2007
Friday, June 7: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

All three boys were bursting with ideas – not all of them good, most of them internet-related, and creating a website about a rabbit with flashing eyes called 'funny bunny' being perhaps the most sensible of them. In el Salvador with preteens.

~ Peter Moore. The Full Montezuma

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 2:39 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, June 6: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

I thought, it's a shame that we have to live, but it's a tragedy that we get to live only one life, because if I'd had two lives, I would have spent one of them with her.


~ Jonathan Safron Foer

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 2:39 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, June 1, 2007
Friday, June 1: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing at all

- Helen Keller

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 3:11 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Wednesay, May 30: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

And all that you brought upon us

And all that you have done to us,

You have in justice?

Deliver us in your wonderful way.

Song of the Three Children, 7-19

The apocrypha

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 2:28 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Monday, May 28: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

I thought, it's a shame that we have to live, but it's a tragedy that we get to live only one life, because if I'd had two lives, I would have spent one of them with her.

Jonathan Safron Foer

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 10:52 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Friday, May 25: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day


I don't want to end up having simply visited this world.


Mary Oliver

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 1:30 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, May 24: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

"To understand just one life, you have to swallow the world. I told you that."

--Salman Rushdie

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 1:29 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, May 21, 2007
Monday, May 21: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Isak Dinesen said, "All sorrows can be borne, if you put them into a story."

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 12:37 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

You don't want to come back here. The weather is miserable and everyone is in a bad mood.

It sounded wonderful.

Francesca Marciano. Rules of the Wild

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 12:32 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Wednesday, May 16: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

Drives my green age; that blasts the root of trees

Is my destroyer

And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose

My youth is bent by the same wintry flower

Dylan Thomas

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 11:57 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, May 4, 2007
Friday, May 4: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Luke, once this winter, brought home the school goldfish, Swimmy, for the weekend. He got up on a chair to stare at this bowl and said hello. No answer. Then he recalled what kind of goldfish it was, "Ca va, Swimmy?" he said at last, "Ca va?"? Speaking the goldfish's language to the goldfish.

Adam Gopnik. Paris to the Moon, 267

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 3:20 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Thursday, May 3: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head.

~ The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 1:11 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, May 2: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

When you say that you're having an impossible time, what do you mean?

I'm constantly emotional.

Are you emotional right now?

I'm extremely emotional right now.

What emotions are you feeling?

All of them.

Like?

Right now I'm feeling sadness, happiness, anger, love, guilt, joy, shame, and a little bit of humor?

~ Jonathan Safron Foer

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 1:10 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, April 30, 2007
Monday, April 30: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

You don't want to come back here. The weather is miserable and everyone is in a bad mood.

It sounded wonderful.

~ Francesca Marciano, Rules of the Wild

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 2:40 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, April 27, 2007
Friday, April 27: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

Drives my green age; that blasts the root of trees

Is my destroyer

And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose

My youth is bent by the same wintry flower

~ Dylan Thomas

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 3:06 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Thursday, April 26: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

And I sing this

For the heart with no companion

For the soul without a king

For the prima ballerina who cannot dance to anything

~ Leonard Cohen

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 6:02 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Wednesday, April 25: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

The child may be nutty as a fruitcake but they'll manage somehow. Being in the thinking business.

~ My House in Umbria

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 6:12 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Tuesday, April 24: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

This is one of the many ways you can change your life. If you want to.

~ Francesca Marciano, Rules of the Wild

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 4:58 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Monday, April 23: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

I know the trick to get rid of pain: whole chunks of my life dissolve like a drop of ink in water.

~ Francesca Marciano. Rules of the Wild, 22

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:52 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, April 20, 2007
April 20: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Now from his breast into his eyes the ache

Of longing mounted, and he wept at last,

His dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms,

Longed for as the sun warmed earth is longed for by a swimmer

Spent in rough water where his ship went down

Under Poseidon's blows, gale winds and tons of sea.

Few men can keep alive through a big surf

To crawl, clotted with brine, on kindly beaches

In joy, in joy, knowing the abyss behind:

And so she too rejoiced, her gaze upon her husband,

Her white arms round him pressed as though forever.

~Homer, The Odyssey

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 9:24 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
April 18: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
Man with Wooden Leg Escapes Prison

Man with wooden leg escapes prison. He's caught. They take his wooden leg away from him. Each day he must cross a large hill and win a wide river to get to the field where he must work all day on one leg. This goes on for a year. At the Christmas party they give him back his leg. Now he doesn't want it. His escape is all planned. It requires only one leg.

~ James Tate

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 2:23 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
April 17: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
All I can think, when I hear your voice, is that the past is true, which both appalls and uplifts me.

~ Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 12:24 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Wednesday, April 11: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

To burn like this without surcease, to bear the inner burning coming on like fruit's quick ripening, to be the pulse of a bonfire in this thicket of endless stone, walking through the nights of our life, obedient as our blood in its blind circuit.


~ Julio Cortazar, Hopscotch

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 7:09 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Tuesday, April 10: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

For all this attention, the family feels most lucky to have kept it a family affair.


~Sylvia Plath

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 9:51 AM | Permalink |
Monday, April 9, 2007
April 9: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Come to the edge

We might fall

Come to the edge

It's too high!

COME TO THE EDGE!

So they came

And he pushed

And they flew

~ Christopher Logue

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 1:49 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, April 6, 2007
April 6: Like Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a

dancing star."

~ Nietzsche


 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 10:27 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
April 4: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

All the particles in the world

Are in love and looking for lovers.

Pieces of straw tremble

In the presence of amber.

~ Rumi

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:42 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
April 3: Live Like Sumer Thought for the Day

"The charlatan is always the pioneer. From the astrologer came the astronomer, from the alchemist the chemist, from the mesmerist the experimental psychologist. The quack of yesterday is the professor of tomorrow."

~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, from The Leather Funnel

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 2:46 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, April 2, 2007
April 2: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

"Do you keep a diary?" a male companion asks a diarist seated at her writing desk.

"I'd give anything to look at it. May I?"

Quickly covering its pages, she replies, "Oh no. you see, it's simply a very young girl's record of her own thoughts and impressions, and consequently meant for publication. When it appears in volume form I hope you will order a copy."

~ The Importance of Being Earnest

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 5:44 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, March 30, 2007
March 30: Live Like Sumer Thought for the Day
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows no victory or defeat."

~ Teddy Roosevelt
 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 10:04 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, March 29, 2007
March 29: Live Like Sumer Thought for the Day
"Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself . . ."

~ Samuel Butler, from "The Way of All Flesh"
 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 6:22 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
March 28: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.

~ Maya Angelou
 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 9:40 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
March 27: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

The trumpet of a prophecy! O wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

~Percy Bysshe Shelley

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 12:20 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, March 26, 2007
March 26: Live Like Sumer Thought for the Day

Come to the edge

We might fall

Come to the edge

It’s too high!

COME TO THE EDGE !

So they came

And he pushed

And they flew

~ Christopher Logue

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 4:39 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, March 23, 2007
March 23: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

"Once the disease of reading has laid hold upon the system it weakens it so that that it falls an easy pretty to that other scourge which dwells in the inkpot and festers in the quill. The wretch takes to writing."

~ Virginia Woolf

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 11:02 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, March 22, 2007
March 22: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

A blessing


Suddenly I realize that if I stepped out of my body I would break into blossom.


~ James Wright

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 3:05 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
March 21: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
"Quoyle experienced moments in all colors, uttered brilliancies, paid attention to the rich sound of waves counting stones, he laughed and wept, noticed sunsets, heard music in rain, said I do. For if Jack Buggit could escape from the pickle jar, if a bird with a broken neck could fly away, what else might be possible? Water may be older than light, diamonds crack in hot goat's blood, mountaintops give off cold fire, forests appear in mid-ocean, it may happen that a crab is caught with the shadow of a hand on its back, that the wind be imprisoned in a bit of knotted string. And it may be that love sometimes occurs without pain or misery."

~ The shipping news
 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 10:42 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
March 20: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

"The one thing all nations on the earth share is the fear that a member of the family will want to be an artist."

~ Robert Frost

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 11:35 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, March 19, 2007
March 19: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
"so the point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an accurate factual record of what i have been doing or thinking...perhaps it never did snow that august in vermont; perhaps there never were flurries in the night wind, and maybe no one else felt the ground hardening and summer already dead even as we pretended to bask in it, but that was how it felt to me, and it might as well have snowed, could have snowed, did snow."


~ joan didion

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 11:13 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, March 16, 2007
March 16: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
Charity

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?”

~ Rabbi Hillel


“The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


“He who wished to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.”

~ Confucius


“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.”

~ St. Francis of Assisi

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 10:18 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, March 15, 2007
March 15: Live Like Sumer Thought for the Day ~ I Am With You Always

Do You Need Me? I Am There

Do you need Me? I am there.

You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by

You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.

You cannot feel Me, Yet I am the power at work in your hands

I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.

I am at work, though you do not recognize My works

I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.

Only in absolute stillness, beyond self,

Can you know Me as I am,

And then but as a feeling and a faith.

Yet I am there. Yet I am here. Yet I answer.

When you need Me, I am there.

Even if you deny Me, I am there.

Even when you feel most alone, I am there.

Even in your fears, I am there.

Even in your pain, I am there.

I am there when you pray and when you do not pray

Though your faith In Me is unsure,

My faith in you never wavers,

Because I know you, because I love you.

Beloved I am there.

~ James Dillet Freeman

Source: I Am With You Always: A Treasury of Inspirational Quotations, Poems and Devotional Prayers; Author: Douglas Bloch; ISBN .. 0-553-35404-3

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 9:55 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
March 14: Live like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
Dimensions of Love, Part II


Love asks me no questions,

And gives me endless support...

~ William Shakespeare


My bounty is as boundless as the sea,

My love as deep;

The more I give to thee

The more I have,

For both are infinite.

~ William Shakespeare


True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.

~ Antoine De Saint-Exupery


Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.

~ Helen Keller
 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 10:22 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
March 13: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Dimensions of Love


Some people come into our lives and quickly go.

Some people move our souls to dance.

They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.

Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.

They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.

~ by Flavia Weedn


Since love grows within you, so beauty grows.

For love is the beauty of the soul.

~ St. Augustine


True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.

~ by Antoine De Saint-Exupery


Source: http://www.romantic-lyrics.com/lovequotes.shtml

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 11:15 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, March 12, 2007
March 12: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Strength & Perseverance

When you have gone so far that you can't manage one more step, then you've gone just half the distance that you're capable of.

~ Greenland proverb


Nothing is so strong as gentleness; Nothing so gentle as real strength.

~ St. Francis De Sales


Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertion and passionate concerns of dedicated individuals.

~ Martin Luther King



Source: Words on Strength and Perseverance; A Helen Exley Giftbook

 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 9:50 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, March 8, 2007
March 8: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration -- of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.

More than anything else today, followers believe they are part of a system, a process that lacks heart. If there is one thing a leader can do to connect with followers at a human, or better still a spiritual level, it is to become engaged with them fully, to share experiences and emotions, and to set aside the processes of leadership we have learned by rote.

~ Lance Secretan, Industry Week, 10/12/98

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:54 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
March 7: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
Before, during, and after Crunch Time, the healthiest course of action for you to take is to honestly identify and explore the motives behind your desires and decisions, and to make certain that they reflect your most heartfelt values and will help you to secure your most cherished goals.

~ Ken Lindner

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 1:07 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
March 6: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
We never know how high we are

Till we are called to rise.

And then, if we are true to plan,

Our statures touch the skies.

~ Emily Dickinson

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:55 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, March 5, 2007
March 5: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Please see a cause that the Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation is helping to sponsor. To donate or get involved, refer to TrippingOnWords.com

Hope Runs



Training for the Annual Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon with AIDS Orphans from the Tumaini Children’s Center in Nyeri, Kenya


For more information, see TrippingOnWords.com. Pictures and Video Available

Contact: ClaireandLara@TrippingOnWords.com

Current Sponsors
:

Purpose: The Hope Runs program has three main goals:

1.
To start a committed running program at the Tumaini Children’s Center in Nyeri, Kenya. This will serve as a means of introducing the healthy benefits of running into the lives of children, and of providing a structured after school activity for these orphans.

2.
To raise awareness about and funding for Kenya’s Tumaini Children’s Center through the public documentation of these orphans’ efforts to train to complete some portion of the annual Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon on June 24.

3.
To collect books to create a working library in the local secondary school, as well as improve the small libraries of the Tumaini Children's center and the Primary School.



Background

In Nyeri, Kenya, an orphanage exists where local children can get the food, schooling, and care they need. The Tumaini Children’s Center was started in response to the significant number of AIDS orphans that began appearing at the local primary school. As more and more children came seeking food, the members of the community parish stepped up to provide them with at least one good meal a day. As the numbers grew, and as the grandparents in the community became less able to serve as parents to so many children, the project expanded.

At Tumaini (Kikuyu for "hope"), every building is named something symbolic, and the philosophy of their projects melds together Florence's Duomo (use all your resources to build it, and you'll find more) and Shoeless Joe Jackson's Field of Dreams (if you build it they will come). They build a foundation, and then wait for more funding to come in to keep adding stories. With their sporadic donations, the Presbyterian parish overseeing Tumaini Children’s Center has built up a very well run orphanage for kids ages 3-18 (now with 150 empty beds for kids once more funding arrives), a smaller orphanage for disabled children, a brand new community health clinic, and an up and coming old folks’ home.

Why Running?

We first planned to use this community solely as a welcoming and comfortable base for climbing Mt. Kenya, but we had never seen a place so committed to community building and welfare. Read Claire's letter that lovingly coerced people to come to the orphanage with us here. As we recount here, we extended our stay, but still knew we had to come back with more resources. With experience in numerous types and examples of non-profit organizations between the two of us, we knew the real thing when we saw it. Starting from only hope and faith a few years ago, this parish has built something amazing. The kids are healthy, they eat three substantial meals a day, they are close to the elders of the community, and they play and scold each other like a family. We decided to go back, and we wanted to find a way to contribute something that further strengthened this feeling of community, and that helped the commitment to health and well-being that this organization had prioritized.

We had both just become serious runners—Claire training for a second marathon and Lara her first—and it had brought us considerable freedom and joy over the last few months. When the primary contributor to Tumaini from the U.S. suggested a running program as a way to inspire pride and focus in the kids, we knew it was the right idea.

The Kilimanjaro Marathon on June 24th is only a few hours and a few months away. Most conveniently, it is a race around the base of the mountain that circles the same track four times. Knowing we are training a group of varied age, ability, and commitment, we felt this was the best way to offer options for different lengths and time. We only expect a few of the teens to actually want to train for the whole thing, and we plan to host a smaller race for the much younger kids around the area of the orphanage to celebrate the running club. The point is that everyone is welcome to participate, and everyone will learn about safe and healthy ways to make physical fitness a part of their lives.


Logistics of the Hope Runs program:

From the first week of March through the race at the end of June, we will run with the kids five days a week on the dirt roads around the orphanage. In addition to actually just running with them, we will be focusing on stretching techniques and on teaching them about the health benefits of such a habit. There will be varied lengths of runs and different running activities to make sure that every child or every age that wants to remains involved and interested. For those interested in running the full or partial marathon, we take a conservative approach to training that focuses on completion rather than racing. This means that the mileage goes up slowly, keeping the emphasis on the habit of running rather than the speed or duration of the runs.

As a subsidiary to this program, we will be maintaining a daily website of our experiences with the kids that we hope to help involve them with. We hope to attract sponsorship and donors to help subsidize our work with the kids, but also the Tumaini project as a whole. While there, we will also be working with the orphans on reading skills, a newsletter and an art therapy program as a means to deepen our connection to this community and to improve these children’s practical skills.

We are absorbing all the expenses and consulting with more knowledgeable marathoners, physical therapists and nutritionists to make sure that we train the kids safely. However, along with the orphanage we would love to give the kids the support they need to make a real commitment to running through equipment, particularly sneakers.

What We Need:

1. Shoes: The orphanage struggles to find shoes normally, and in the face of high activity, we wanted to make sure to minimize injuries and maximize enthusiasm by providing literal support.

2. Books: If you've got a box of books - send them to us in Kenya! At 1 dollar per pound via Media Mail to get there, your old children's, teen, and adult books and a small shipping cost can go a long way.

3. Publicity: We want to spread the word about this amazing place as far as we can, both for inspiration and for the hope that support and donations will arise.

4. Financial Donations: We need to find a way to support shipping equipment, marathon fees, transportation and other costs. Anything beyond what we can use for the running program will go directly to the orphanage in its efforts to bring more orphans into the 150 currently empty beds.



How You Can Follow the Project:

Over the last year, we have kept a daily account of our travels, including our trip to Tumaini, at TrippingOnWords.com. We have developed a loyal readership, and we will use this web-based format as a way of keeping the world in touch with our program’s progress through videos, writing, and audio updates!

Project Directors:

Claire A. Williams: With a B.A. and an M.A. from Stanford University, I work as an anthropology consultant with several different international volunteer organizations. I firmly believe in the power of such efforts to transform the lives of the individuals who take part in such endeavors – on both sides. Over and over again, it seems that doing something worthwhile in this world is not just about the money you give out, but the connections and experiences you have trying to do so. A volunteer's experience in another place in the globe can certainly be worth the cost of a plane ticket to get there, and in the long run such an expense really can do as much as or more than sending money abroad – since it helps transform the nature of our global citizens’ response to growth, aid, and healing change.

Lara Vogel: After graduating from Stanford University with a B.A. in Human Biology and International Public Health, I balked in the face of returning to school. I took the next logical step and took up writing. Most recently, I have spent my last year traveling to over twenty countries as a travel writer, but I am excited to be contributing my efforts to one project over the coming months. Having worked in health clinics around the world, I am confident in the positive effects that health education programs, particularly for children, can have on the health of a nation and certain of such work’s relevance.

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posted by Clairew at 9:56 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, March 2, 2007
March 2: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

Hope is the dream of a man awake.

French Proverb

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posted by Claire and Lara at 1:18 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, March 1, 2007
March 1: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
The imagination exercises a powerful influence over every act of sense, thought, reason -- over every idea.

Latin Proverb

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posted by Claire and Lara at 1:17 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
February 28: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,

And endeavors to live the life which he imagined,

He will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

~ Henry David Thoreau

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posted by Clairew at 11:38 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
February 27: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
Whatever you do or dream you can, begin it;

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Begin it now.

~ Goethe

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posted by Clairew at 11:42 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, February 26, 2007
February 26: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
You see things; and you say, "Why?"

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?'

~ George Bernard Shaw

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:54 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, February 23, 2007
February 23: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
If you shut your door to all errors truth will be shut out.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

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posted by Clairew at 4:45 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, February 22, 2007
February 22: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.

~ Pythagorus


 
posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:55 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
February 21: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:55 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
February 20: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

No sensation or mental torture can affect you if the mind is dissociated from it and anchored in the peace and joy of God.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda


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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 11:59 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, February 19, 2007
February 19: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
"Peace is not an absence of war." Spinoza said it, but it is mindlessly quoted out of context, for he added, "it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."

~ Fredrick Franck


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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 7:54 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, February 18, 2007
February 18: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. ~ Author unknown


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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 1:56 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Saturday, February 17, 2007
February 17: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

When tigers of worries, sickness, and death are chasing you, your only sanctuary is the inner temple of silence. The spiritually deep man lives day and night in a calm interior silence into which neither menacing worries nor even the crash of colliding worlds can intrude.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:56 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, February 16, 2007
February 16: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 11:51 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, February 15, 2007
February 15: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 10:50 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
February 14: Live Like Sumer Thoughts for the Day
The Light Blue of the Earth

Periwinkle are the oceans of the earth from an Up-top view or close to the shore on a crystal morning. Periwinkle makes me feel like I’m sailing over clouds on eagle’s wings on a brisk afternoon. Periwinkle is the taste of clean water or fresh air from a forest. Periwinkle is the smell of dew on a freshly mowed grass or flowers on a clear spring day. Periwinkle makes me feel calm and with peace with myself. Periwinkle sounds like the desolate silence of winter. Periwinkle is the softness of the Earth.

~ Sumer Alvarez, Age 10

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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 8:50 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Letters from Sumer. India 2005

Georgetown Professor Bill McDonald attaches the follow letters to and from Sumer, as well as words spoken at her memorial.

Dear All,

...Also attached is a copy of my remarks at the memorial service for Sumer here at Georgetown.

And, finally, I have attached a copy of Sumer's email from India to her family, friends and professors; and my response to that email. I love her email. It is a wonderful piece of writing. It is Sumer at her most spontaneous and at her best. It captures her great exuburance for life. ...

Bill McDonald
Professor


Correspondence with Sumer Alvarez

SUBJECT: RE: India!!!!

FROM: Sumer Nicole Alvarez

DATE: July 2005

Sumer Nicole Alvarez wrote:

Preface: I am sending one mass email out due to the slow and expensive internet connection in my village. I apologize for this and hope I can make up for it when I get back to the main city and find a faster and cheaper connection. Please feel free to forward this message...or parts of it...to anyone I have left out, which is a bajillion people. I must first address my professors, so everyone else please just ignore the first bit. Cheers.

Professor McDonald,

Thank you for sending the letter of recommendation. I greatly appreciate it. Please let me know how your vacation went, when you have the chance. Also, read below if you would like to know how mine is doing. Thanks again!

Best,

Sumer



Dean Cloke,

Thank you also for the letter of recommendation. I actually have heard a lot about the Corcoran's art program from the people here(a lot of them are from Georgetown)and am very excited about the prospect of being a part of it. Also, please send any thoughts you have on my (very) rough draft. I have a lot of time on my hands now that this first week has died down and would like the chance to work on improving what I have so far. Thanks!

Take care,

Sumer



ok, now for the good stuff

Hello All,

I am sorry for those who are worried about me that this email is arriving so late in my trip. I would have sent an email yesterday, but after the flooding of the town, the one internet connection here broke and no one knew where internet was in the next village over (or at least it seemed they did not know---my Hindi is only slowly improving).

So, how is India, you might ask? I might reply that there are bugs everywhere...and big ones at that... I might say that the small town I'm in is rampant with cows, boars, goats, lizards, and monkeys...that people live in absolute poverty, that the ground is covered with water and dirt and sewage....that is impossible to escape the smell of the sewage...that children do not go to school...that they follow me around and ask for rupees wherever I go...that I have been bitten by mosquitoes 32 times...that I have sweated through all of my clothes already...that I shower by candlelight...that there are no sit down toilets and no toilet paper ...that we can only drink bottled water...that people drive in the middle of the street or wherever they want...that the word seatbelt does not exist in hindi...that I was told that 9 out of 10 odds, I would get lice...that I have already gone through two bottles of sanitizer...that I have not eaten meat since I got here...that I was told by 6 men so far to pull down my skirt past my knees...that no one in my host family understands me except the host father...a little...that we get three power outages a day......that I stepped ankle deep in elephant poo...that I had my glasses stolen...

but, I would rather tell you that

India is fricking amazing!!!!!! I would use my whole bag of expletives to describe this place if this was not a mass email....Oh my sweet Jesus, it is absolutely beautiful...the people are beautiful....the places are beautiful....everything is fantastic. It has made me exhausted to see anything here because it is plain and simple stimulus overload. I can't even begin to describe everything....Well, I guess I started off by naming all the bad bits, but mostly so I could get to all the wonderment...that sounds ridiculously cheesy, but I can't help it. India is beyond words. Whoever told me it was something that I would never be ready for was right. Dead on.

Ok...let me try to get some organization here. I hate writing by the clock. First, I am fine. I have not been sick or had any type of stomach thing yet. This is only my third day in the village, Samode, and I already feel like I am welcome here. My host family actually consists of three brothers and their wives, children, a nd parents. Half of them sleep outside. THere is a temple in the house to krishna...they bang cymbols every time there is a time for worship...which is like four times a day. There are five small kids who live in the house...they are all adorable...my photographer's eye wants to shoot them all the time...the walls are all light blue and purple...the woman all wear traditional Saris and have their hair covered at all times. There is a shower head in the house, which is a luxury here. All meals are served on metal trays and consist of chubati (bread), rice, and some sauce/food. We had four days of training in Jaipur in the confines of a engineering college. This is where we ate our meals and stayed. All of us who are teaching were paired with a member of the college (all boys) and were assigned schools.

While in Jaipur, we went to see the amber fort/palace and many other temples, palaces, forts, markets----AMAZING!!!! I keep on saying the word beautiful in this country that by the time I get home I'll be sick of it. There is no order in India...at least in the places I've been....It has all been complete and utter chaos...which is really cool....

so different...everyone stares at the weird foreigners...most of them smile while they stare...everyone is so friendly...completely different mindset. I think it is only because we look so different, but it's really refreshing. Even in the more westernized places---bars---dance clubs---everyone is very friendly.

I have felt the most content here and now than I have at any other point in my life...well, I can't really say that being amongst all this abject povert...but everything feels very pure.

At the amber fort especially----oh man, the pictures I have taken are precious to me---I have seen so much only in the past couple of days---all the people and the wildlife (elephants, camels, monkeys) and it's so common here!!

the Indian students working with us in the villages are really cool too. Their English is pretty good and we've been having a lot of fun together. We actually had our first lesson today after visiting all the schools in Samode yesterday. The primary schools----alll these little kids---no shoes----lessons in the dirt----branches over them as protention----all their hair is cut short to prevent lice, which the majority fo them already have, skinny, tattered clothing...some of them haven't seen pens in their entire lives....kids start school as early as 2 and a half----so you have these crying kids that the older children are trying to maintain...some of the private schools have their children wear uniforms, which are adorable....private schools aren't that much better...my class is a secondary school so I have 10-14 year olds....300 of them. They know some vocab words, but we really need to work on structure, which is something I did not prepare...but it will be good. None of the faculty members speaks any english, though, so I have to have everything translated pretty much...a few english phrases here and there....but that's probably the toughest part right now---sorting out when and where and who we are going to teach...

ok...There's been another customer waiting to use the internet for a while. I should go. I am sorry this email is so scatterbrained----just think of it in the spirit of India. Wow, India.

Mom, I will call you today, if possible. I will send individual emails when I get the chance.

Again, I apologize for the lack of organization---I just hope it gives you all an idea of what india has been like...now, I should go before these two centipedes by my feet crawl up on me. hahahah India!!!

All my love,

Sumer

_______________________________________________________



SUBJECT: RE: India!!!! FROM: William F. McDonald DATE: July 2005

Dear Sumer:

Thank you for the truly exciting and fascinating email from India! You've captured the contradictions that are India; the beauty despite poverty; the hope despite the hopelessness; the power of the human spirit to overcome and even thrive in such squalor. Also I am glad to hear that you have taken plenty of pictures. You should plan an little show for the American studies people. I suppose you have already thought of writing your senior thesis about your experience. I am already thinking of possible titles, Another Passage to India; The Jewel, The Crown and The People; Moby Raj; Puritan Boston and Hindi India! :-)

Keep me on your mailing list.

As for my vacation, it pales next to your account of life in India. But we did get to see some fascinating places that you should plan to see before you leave the Washington area: the new American Indian museum; the new Smithsonian airplane museum out at Dulles; the Meriweather Post house and gardens, Hillwood; Red, "White and Tuna"- a two-man comedy act at the Kennedy Center, each guy plays about 10 characters from a small town (Tuna) in Texas and does quick changes -- very funny and no bugs; Camden Yards, Baltimore, for an Orioles vs Yankees game.

Good luck. WF McDonald



_______________________________________________________



Professor Bill McDonald Remarks at the Memorial Service for Sumer Alvarez



William F. McDonald Professor Department of American Studies & Department of Sociology and Anthropology Georgetown University

Oct. 25, 2005



Greetings. I am Professor Bill McDonald. I teach in the American Studies Program and in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Sumer was in my American Studies course last spring, American Culture and Social Structure. We read books like Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America , and a book entitled Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia by E. Digby Baltzell and some other books.

I teach about 200 students a year. At 200 students a year I have a hard time remembering names. When I look at old class lists, I see names of many students about whom I cannot remember anything. But, some I remember, sometimes very vividly but for different reasons.

For example, I remember the well known basketball star who played for the Miami Heat, Alonzo Mourning. He took my Research Methods course. I taught him everything he knows about Chi square. It doesn't seem to have helped his game.

I don't remember him for anything he did or said in the course. I remember him because the first year after he graduated from Georgetown and began playing for the NBA, he made more money in that one year than I had made in my entire life.

My memories of Sumer Alvarez are different. Probably the most vivid memory is about her method of transportation for getting to class. I have been teaching for 35 years. Sumer is the only student who ever rolled into class everyday on a skateboard.

And Sumer 's skateboard was no modest affair. It was huge, not something you could fold up and stick in a bag while you were in class. I believe her skateboard must belong to the Mack Truck family of skateboards. The first time I saw it I thought it was a surf board with wheels.

On the way to my first class I saw this girl slaloming down the hallway in ICC. I thought to myself: "Who is this nut cake? I'll bet she's from California; and, I pity the poor professor who gets this one." At that point she took a right turn into 117 ICC, my classroom. I figured it was going to be a crazy semester.

Well, I was half right. Sumer was from California; but the more I got to know her the more I realized she was definitely not a nut. She was just a free-spirit, grabbing as much out of life as she could.

She made me think back to the days when I thought of myself as being a free-spirit. Skateboards had not been invented in those days. But if they had been, I might have cruised around on one myself.

Towards the end of the semester Sumer asked me to write two letters of recommendation for her, one for the India Volunteer Program of The Learning Foundation; the other for an internship in the Education Programs at The Corcoran Gallery of Art.


To the India Volunteer Program, this is what I wrote:

I have known Sumer Alvarez since January 2005 as a student in my course, American Culture and Social Structure. She is a faithful attendee at class and a useful participant in class discussions.

I have also gotten to know a little about her interest in India and in teaching. When she asked me to write this letter we had a talk about her extra curricular activities and interests. I was impressed to learn about the extent to which she gives her time and talent in tutoring activities in the Washington area. She has a good sense of social justice and a remarkable interest in India .

She has traveled abroad and to Mexico . But she says India is particularly intriguing to her.

I think she will make a good teacher/tutor in your program. She has a nice spirit about her and is easy to interact with. I think the people of India will like her and will learn from her.

- - - - - -


For the Corcoran I modified the letter a bit. This is how it read:

I am writing to send my enthusiastic support for Sumer Alvarez's application to the academic year internship program at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

I have known Sumer since January 2005 as a student in my course, American Culture and Social Structure. She is a faithful attendee at class and a useful participant in class discussions and a good student – albeit slightly off-beat, arriving at class on her skate board.

[Normally I wouldn't have included anything that might be considered a negative comment in a letter of recommendation. But it was for an internship to work with artists, not a law firm. So I figured they would read this comment favorably.]

My letter continued as follows:

I have also gotten to know a little about her interest in art, particularly photography. She included several photographs in her final term paper to enhance her argument. And, she let me select for my personal use one of her photos which she has taken during the year. I recognized in her the kind of enthusiasm for photography that I have always had. But in my earlier life I used to try to do the kind of artistic work with the camera that Sumer is attempting.

But Sumer has a considerably longer and more serious commitment to the art world than I ever had. Looking at her resume I see her interest in art was evident back in high school and has continued to grow. She is interested in performing arts and literature as well as photography. She has what I guess is an unusual combination of interests. She not only wants to produce her own work but also wants to support the advancement of the larger enterprise by organizing and managing activities of others devoted to art in its various forms.

Sumer has a nice spirit about her and is easy to interact with and has many interests. I think she would make an ideal intern. The internship's value would be a reciprocal one, a win-win situation. The internship would enhance her interest in the world of art and she would find ways to enhance her value as an intern to The Corcoran.

- - - - -

The photograph that Sumer gave me was given as a token of appreciation for writing the letters of recommendation. She brought several photos to my office and let me pick the one. They were black and white photos and she had mounted them, titled them and signed them.

There was one of a lamppost silhouetted against a mackerel sky. While the photo was rather artsy, the title was unpretentious and direct, "Lamppost." It was classic Sumer Alvarez. That's the one I chose.

Although it was already signed, I asked her to write something more on it. So she wrote the following:

Professor,

Thank you so much for such a rewarding year.

Yay! De Tocqueville!

Sumer



I have gotten only a few presents from students over the years. Usually it's a bottle of alcohol. I am not sure what that means.

In all my years I have never received a present that a student actually made herself. Sumer 's photograph was another first for me.

When Sumer arrived in India she sent an email to many of us. Most of you have probably already read it. It was wonderfully written, with great enthusiasm and humor and warmth. I am not going to read it here. I would like to read what I wrote back to her.

Dear Sumer:

Thank you for the truly exciting and fascinating email from India! You've captured the contradictions that are India ; the beauty despite the poverty; the hope despite the hopelessness; the power of the human spirit to overcome and even thrive in such squalor.

Also I am glad to hear that you have taken plenty of pictures. You should plan an little show for the American studies people.

I suppose you have already thought of writing your senior thesis about your experience. I am already thinking of possible titles for your thesis: Another Passage to India ; The Jewel, The Crown and The People; Moby Raj; Puritan Boston and Hindi India! :-)

Keep me on your mailing list.


- - - - - -

A couple of weeks later when I received that email from Sumer 's mother it went through me like a knife. I could not think of Sumer as a student any longer. I could only think of her as a daughter.

I have one child, a daughter, and at the time she was pregnant with what would be our first and possibly only grand child. They already knew the baby was a girl. I forwarded the email to them. A week later my wife and I were up in New York to visit my daughter and son in law. I hugged my daughter a little tighter than I usually do. We talked about what happened and we all came to the same conclusion. When her daughter arrives, we will never waste one moment of time with her.

Well, the blessed event has happened. Last Saturday morning we got a call from my daughter that things were happening. We hopped in the car and got up to hospital by 4:30 pm. We visited for a while and then went to their apartment to await the arrival. At six the next morning we got the call from our son in law.

The baby had just been born and if we hurried we could visit with her even before the nurses took the baby off to be weighed and all that. We sprinted the seven blocks to the hospital. We found the most beautiful baby girl waiting for us. We took turns holding her.

When it was my turn, I held that precious package in my arms, and listened to her cooing, and I thought to myself, "You know what, girl, when you are old enough, I am going to buy you a skateboard."



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posted by The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation. LiveLikeSumer@Gmail.com at 6:01 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, February 11, 2007
The Sumer Alvarez Foundation
"Live like Sumer" is a phrase that family and friends have started using to measure their lives and actions.



Sumer never wanted to be 'just like everyone else’, she had the courage to embrace change, test her abilities, and explore new things. During high school she excelled academically in honor level classes, participated in JV volleyball and Varsity soccer, surfing, and track and field. Prior to the beginning of her senior year she decided to redirect her efforts – she petitioned, developed the by-laws, and initiated the start of an art appreciation program and a chess club on campus. She became a math tutor, and increased her level of volunteerism with campus ministry and at her church.

Sumer started Georgetown University during the fall of 2003. Although as a freshman she was a little overwhelmed with new campus life and a vigorous class schedule, this did not deter her from sharing her indomitable spirit. She spent any free time immersed in the arts and humanitarian interests through painting, photography, and volunteering. She was actively involved in tutoring adults through Catholic Charities and Prison Outreach, and she gave guitar lessons at the YMCA. However, her passion was the children’s theatre program at Georgetown, where she designed sets and starred in productions given to inner city children.

During the summer of 2005 she decided to volunteer her time in India tutoring impoverished children. She lived with a host family in the small village of Samode, where she described the conditions as very rustic and the people as beautiful and kind. Tragically during the early morning hours of July 31, 2005, while attending a birthday party at one of the finest hotels in Jaipur, India, Sumer was electrocuted after falling into an air-conditioning unit. She was only 20-years old, but she managed to accomplish many things in a mere twenty years that others would not be able to complete in a lifetime. She was a role model for others and a truly remarkable young woman.

We hope to continue her legacy through scholarships to individuals that perpetuate her dedication to the arts, social justice, and humanitarian efforts especially those focusing on children.



The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation is being established to carry on Sumer’s legacy:

Sumer dreamed of making a difference in the world. Her time on earth was brief, but she had a powerful impact on all who knew her. Her family and friends feel blessed to have shared in her life and know that her dream of making a difference in the world came to pass and will continue through the work of the Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation.

The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation Mission Statement:

To improve the quality of life and facilitate lasting change for women and children around the world through developing and nurturing their unique individual strengths and abilities.

The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation Vision Statement:

To perpetuate Sumer’s thirst for knowledge, curiosity, compassion, dedication to social justice, education, and humanitarian efforts especially as it relates to women and children globally.

The Sumer Nicole Alvarez Foundation Culture:

‘Live Like Sumer’

Embrace your strengths, dare to be unique, seek knowledge, be creative, show compassion, see beauty in yourself, your surroundings, and others, trust in yourself, give back, act do not wait, find fun in what you do, be open to new ideas and experiences, acknowledge your intelligence, indulge your curiosity, seek adventure, be brave.

What it means to Live Like Sumer™:

Be Unique

Show Compassion

Seek Knowledge

Embrace Your Creativity

Act Don’t Wait

See Beauty in Your Surroundings and Others

Be True to Yourself

Give Back

Have Fun

Seek Adventure

Be Open to New Ideas and Experiences

Show Your Intelligence

Indulge Your Curiosity

Be Brave



For additional information, please visit the following web sites:

Sumer Alvarez in The Tidings

Sumer in Taborri Press

Rising Junior Dies in Overseas Accident

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