One of the coolest experiences I have had at the University of Texas at Arlington happened about a month ago. A national celebrity and politician stopped by UTA as part of UTA’s Maverick Speaker Series. Some of the speakers in this series include James Franco (I know, right!), Neil deGrasse Tyson (Yup!!), Bill Nye (the freakin Science guy), and Seth Meyers (REALLY!?!?!?).
But on this date former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul was on campus speaking. Ron Paul is the father of Senator Rand Paul, a popular libertarian/republican politician, writer, and former presidential candidate.
Now I am not the biggest fan of Dr. Ron Paul (I agree with some of the things he says and disagree with other things…like any other politician.) However, the political nerd in me had to go see him. I mean he was a presidential candidate and represented Texas in the US House of Representatives for more than 20 years. There was no way I was going to miss this event.
I stayed late on campus (my last class was at three and the talk didn’t start until seven). My excitement for the event grew exponentially when I saw him walking around campus. I mean I was close enough to touch a former presidential candidate!!! I didn’t of course… that would be weird. When it came time for the event I got there a little early and sat near the back and engaged in conversation with an older lady who sat next to me. Then it started. State representative Tony Tinderholt gave the introduction and Dr. Ron Paul stepped out.
Dr. Ron Paul is an older man, in his eighties, skinny, but sharp as a tack. His thoughts are original and not something you will hear from other Washington politicians (I mean you will not hear many politicians argue for the gold standard or isolationism). Again I do not agree with everything he says, but I do respect a man who has stood by his beliefs for so many years.
It was a good talk and after I can understand why he has been so popular for so many years (this was my first time hearing him speak). At the end of the night there was an opportunity to get his autograph, but I was too slow in reacting and the line got too long. You can click here for a quick recap of Dr. Paul’s talk.
Nevertheless, it was one of the coolest things I have done since I transferred here. The last speaker event for the academic year happens tonight. The featured speaker is Jane Goodall. Yes, that lady you have learned about since the eighth grade will be here tonight! Unfortunately, the event is sold out. But make sure to get the list of speakers when the semester starts in the Fall! I am sure you will find a speaker that will not only be interesting to you, but will be an amazing experience.
If you were lucky enough to snag tickets to the Jane Goodall talk, I’d love to learn about your experience. Leave a comment & join the conversation.