ISC recently took some international students to the Phoenix Zoo (Wednesday Outings) to enjoy wonderful weather, creative creatures and freedom from being out of isolation. It’s the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States… so it made for a very enjoyable day. Each time I go to the Phoenix Zoo I like to spend time watching the bald eagles. It’s special to think that they were rescued from the wild with severe wing injuries which affected their ability to fly, and they were no longer able to hunt and survive on their own. The zoo provides them with a safe place to live and they provide visitors an up-close glimpse of America’s National Symbol.

Nations regularly adopt animals as symbol. England has the lion as it’s symbol and India adopted the peacock. In 1776, Benjamin Franklin was appointed on a committee  to select a design for an offical national seal. He didn’t want to include an eagle. Franklin scowled at it. “For my part,” he declared, “I wish the eagle had not been chosen as the representative of this country. He is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched in some dead tree where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing hawk and, when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish and is bearing it to his nest for his young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes the fish. With all this injustice, he is never in good case.” 

Franklin argued that the turkey would have been a more appropriate symbol. “A much more respectable bird and a true native of America,” he pointed out. Franklin conceded that the turkey was “a little vain and silly,” but maintained that it was nevertheless a “bird of courage.” Courage is important to live life well. Now, more than ever, it seems we’re surrounded by temptations, trials and troubles. It’s hard to have courage when you’re feeling isolated and alone… but remember you’re not. Next week is the perfect time to join a club at ASU, build friendships, find hope and begin to soar again. ASU provides a safe place for you to learn more about the world around you… and yourself

International Students Club is here to help you too. We have a full semester planned with lots of ways for you to connect meaningfully with people who care. From English Classes to Community Service, we want to provide you with the opportunity to better yourself to make the world a better place.