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So, Where are YOU wearing?

Mrs. Williamson's class pictured with author, Kelsey Timmerman (middle front row).

"So where are you wearing right now?"

Small smiles broke out across the lecture hall at Winthrop University at the question. It was a question that everyone had been waiting for someone to ask.

"China," Kelsey Timmerman answered instantly, "that's where my shirt was made. And my jeans were made in Cambodia, and these shoes..." he paused, looking confused, before bending down to take off one of his flip flops and inspecting the sole. "Oh, right, Ethiopia. These come from a really neat company called Soul Trade..."

He went on to tell us about Soul Trade, which promises fair wages, hours, and workmen's comp to all the garment workers it employs.

Out of all the things he had said during his speech so far, I think that was what impressed me so much: how educated he was on his own clothing. To me, this showed that he not only talked the talk, but walked the walk.

On Thursday, October 4th, students from Mrs. Williamson's AP English III class took a field trip to South Carolina to watch Kelsey Timmerman, author of our school's summer reading book, "Where Am I Wearing?", give a speech about how not to be a 'touron' - a word he's invented to describe moronic tourists. He gave advice for those who are passionate about traveling, and tried to encourage everyone to be. He stressed the importance of being a good guest, taking tons of notes about everything you experience while traveling, and being willing to fly by the seat of his pants.

"If I'd gone by a strict schedule of, 'oh, one day I'll do this, and another day I'll be here, and then I'll go here for four more days...' none of my trips would have been as good. They wouldn't have truly been adventures."

Adventure, he goes on to say, is a state of mind. Adventure is what happens when you're open to new customs and ideas, and are willing to take a step back and take the time to acknowledge that you look at the world through a cultural lens.

"The world is waiting to welcome you," he said. "You just have to go out there so it can."

Timmerman is truly an inspiration to anyone who's ever had any crazy, off the wall idea. He got the idea for his book merely by looking at a pile of his clothes and wondering where they were made. The result was, without a doubt, quite the adventure.

"Travel where the story takes you," Timmerman emphasized, "that's the most important thing you can do.”

Written by: Rachel Carroll, Junior PRHS Student
Posted: Oct 19, 2012 by April Dawkins

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