A unique question and answer session took place last Thursday, Nov. 14,  in the Mabel Brown Room when two of the cast members from MTV’s show “The Buried Life” posed their famous question to the Keene State College student body: What do you want to do before you die?

While many question-and-answer sessions involve the students asking the performers questions, this time the tables were turned and KSC students voices were heard.

According to multiple KSC students who went up to the microphone, all nerves seemed to subside as they shared parts of their lives that may have been unknown to their peers.

Haley Erdbrink / Equinox Staff: David Lingwood from The Buried Life speaks about the obstacles of facing life-long dreams.

Haley Erdbrink / Equinox Staff:
David Lingwood from The Buried Life speaks about the obstacles of facing life-long dreams.

KSC Freshman Alex Turner made his way to the microphone and stated what he wanted to do before he dies. He shared that he wants to cure his mother’s cancer. “It was kind of life changing, I’m glad I got to speak in front of everyone,” Turner said.

He added, “It’s something that means a lot to me, so I had no problem going up there and sharing,” Turner said.

KSC sophomore Eric Mealey also approached the microphone to share something.

“I think it was cool how they actually were asking us as students what we want to do before we die because it really started to get me thinking. At first I thought I knew what I wanted to do before I die but the most important thing is to meet my biological parents,” Mealey said.

Lauren Powers, a KSC junior, added a little more humor to the event. When it was her turn to share what she wants to do before she dies she received an uproar of laughs from the crowd when she said that she wants to learn how to whistle.

While Powers said she does truly want to learn how to whistle, she also shared a more serious lifelong dream of hers.

“I think there’s kind of a whole bunch of things I’d like to do [before I die], one dream I’ve always had is just to be able to buy someone a house who can’t afford one,” Powers said.

Jonnie Penn and Dave Lingwood were the two cast members who spoke at the event. They provided an opportunity for KSC students to put themselves out there in front of everyone and share an important part of themselves.

Penn and Lingwood’s main focus of the event was to get everyone thinking about what is important to them in life and figure out a way to make this dream become reality.

The two cast members walked the crowd through their journey—dating back to when “The Buried Life” was just a poem Penn was assigned to read in an English class. Now, “The Buried Life” is its own television show, website, and best-selling book on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

Originally from Canada, the four men were shocked and excited when a Canadian network reached out to them to create a show.

Once they found out what signing with this network would really entail, they respectfully declined the offer. They didn’t think they would be allowed enough control and they were set on being the executive producers of their own show on MTV.

Despite how much Penn and Lingwood encourage going after dreams and goals, they realize that running into some roadblocks along the way are inevitable.

“We got stonewalled trying to play basketball with the president, just a flat out ‘no.’ When the White House tells you no it’s hard to like, say anything back to that  but we didn’t give up. We left our episode to be continued and we ended up doing it later,” Penn said.

Penn explained that setbacks will always be present but the key is to find ways around them.

According to Penn, accomplishing one’s wildest dreams is actually more simple than a person may think by following these guidelines: “Ask yourself the question, ‘what do you want to do before you die,’ write a list, surround yourself with people that inspire you, and just enjoy being alive,” Penn said.

The event was put on by Director of Student Involvement Jennifer Ferrell and her student activities assistant Chelsea Harris.

The Mabel Brown room was a full house and students buzzed about their approval of the event at the conclusion of the show.

“Overall the way they communicated with each other on stage and the crowd went really well,” Powers said.



Sabrina Lapointe can be contacted at slapointe@keene-equinox.com

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