Set-Up: Hard to imagine anything more American — on some level — than the ubiquitous bumper sticker found on the back of cars, trucks, and just about anything that hits the road.

Challenge: If you were legally forced to place one — and only one — bumper sticker on the back of your own car that expressed your personality, life philosophy, and views about the world around you, what would it be?

  • Identify the quotation or expression. Be appropriate (which should be obvious).
  • Explain what this phrase would say about you and why you’d want to have it on your car.

Hint: Be creative but keep in mind that your answer should be taken seriously by your reader.

Image: http://tinyurl.com/5kokgc


49 responses to “W4, #4: A STICKER IS WORTH 1000 IDEAS

  1. I think mine would definitely be ‘Coexist’.

    I know many people who are close minded about religions, and I know many people of diverse religions. People I know sometimes believe that the ‘only way’ to the afterlife in which they believe is to be of their same faith. I happen to think that all religions can make it to, in this case, heaven, since I am a Christian. I think we need to be accepting of all other religions.

    I think the term ‘coexist’, however, applies to all sorts of other things in our lives. We should be accepting of any race, sexual orientation, status, or any other kind of distinction which may distinguish us from the rest of society. Thus, COEXIST sums up my philosophy.


    Mr. Long: Appreciate how you took time to look at your chosen phrase from a couple of points of view. Also intrigued that you are able to speak of your faith in very confident terms without using it to deflate/compete against other faiths. Even your explanation (as a writing technique) suggests why the phrase is central to your belief system.

  2. Phrase: I am the one that people point and laugh at but secretly wish they were.

    I do silly and crazy and risky things all the time. People say it’s dorky or weird, but I have so much fun, I’d bet they wish they had the courage to be different. I am different and I want others to know I’m not afriad of that.


    Mr. Long: Clever twist on an old idea. The word “secretly” is what pulls it all together. Also appreciate how you focus on the value in being “silly” at times.

    My only wish? I’d love to see a more detailed response. Yes, I ‘get it’, but I feel like I only get the surface of what you’re hinting at. Is there more you can share to really hone in on the idea of “courage” and what “different” really means (especially in terms of not being “afraid of that”)?

    Finally, given that brief reply, please be more aware of commas/spelling, etc, since all small mistakes will grab the readers’ eyes more quickly than in a more detailed reply.

  3. I’d just have a simple picture of me.

    That way the part of the world I care about ( the people I know) would say “Oh that’s Whit Fagan, I know what he’s all about.” That would take out the middle man and just get my point across. Plus I’ve never really been one for words, as you can see ( you read my essay). Oh, and it’s not so silly as to people think I’m crazy.

    Or maybe something like ” Don’t Coexist” Or ” I am the one who points and laughs but secretly wishes I didn’t.” I just think it would be cool to drive by somebody else who has the opposite bumper sticker. It would be cool to just blatantly have the opposite sticker.


    Mr. Long: As many famous people have become visual icons (think Michael Jordan’s head, for instance) over time, I’m intrigued by your solution to this question…especially in terms of only needing/wanting the people you already know/care about to know what it’s all about. Also like this line: “That would take out the middle man and just get my point across.

    I’m glad you added those final 2 lines, BTW. While it can still be taken a bit out of context, your intentions seem legit.

    My only question: Why would it “be cool” to have the opposite sticker? I think I know what you mean…but would love a bit more explanation. Thanks.

  4. Student #2 (revision)

    Revision after Mr. Long’s comment:

    Phrase: I am the one that people point and laugh at but secretly wish they were.

    I do silly and crazy and risky things all the time. Life is short enough without holding yourself back. Cutting loose to do something out of the ordinary, regardless of the opinions of others, is something everyone should try to experience. It’s almost like turning the tables on every thing, wondering how life would be if you didn’t care what others thought or how they saw you. It kind of makes you see how you are untainted by peer pressure. While those who choose to stay in what’s accepted may feel comfortable, I would bet they wished they had the courage to be different. I am who I am, and I won’t let people change me without my consent. I am different and I want others to know I’m not afriad of that. No one should be.


    Mr. Long: Thanks.

    Nice details added here: “It’s almost like turning the tables on every thing, wondering how life would be if you didn’t care what others thought or how they saw you. It kind of makes you see how you are untainted by peer pressure.”

  5. “I love you.”


    Maybe. But that’s not how I intend it to come across.

    No, it’s not “OMG I LOVE YOU BFF LOL” Or the silly, worthless I love yous that some girls will say to their boyfriends they don’t love at all. The reason I chose “I love you” is because I do. I’ve mentioned before, I love people. I have this want to reach out to and empathize with everybody I meet. I can’t watch the news when they talk about local tragedies. When you hear, “A woman died blah blah blah” you may think, “That’s sad.” And then the next story comes onto the screen. When I hear it, I think of her family and her friends, what she was and could have been. I hurt for her and those who lost her. This is usually a really bad quality of mine. If you’re wondering why, when you read what I just said about the hypothetical woman, what did you think?


    Something that happened about a year ago that you probably heard about was a local man who killed his wife, and then dropped his daughter off at daycare drenched in blood, and then proceeded to shoot himself in the head as he drove into Lake Arlington. I was so immensely disturbed by that, and I think of that little girl all the time. I just with I knew her name.

    But I’m rambling. In short, even if I don’t genuinely love every person who reads my bumper sticker, to me it says I want to get to know people and make them happy and love them. I may be easily forgotten, but I don’t want others to be. I want to be there for and see the good in everyone. I understand you can’t trust all people. I know there are a lot of people out there who want to hurt you. But on the other hand, there are a lot of people who don’t. You may think I’m stupid or naive, but the world isn’t as bad as people paint it to be.


    Mr. Long: Have you ever heard of the “Free Hugs Campaign” that literally gives away free hugs inspired by one man?

    “Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, a man who’s sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives “


    YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4

    MySpace site: http://www.myspace.com/freehugscampaign

    At first, it strikes people at strange: a ‘stranger’ giving hugs away at malls and just about anywhere you can imagine. Why would anyone accept it? Why does he do it? Even more: what happens next?

    It has become an internet sensation (30million+ views and the YouTube video of the year, actually — which says something) and has inspired people around the world to do something similar. A simple (almost bizarre act) of kindness inspiring hundreds, thousands, more to do the same.

    Sound like a certain bumper sticker you might have mentioned?

  6. “Down to Earth”

    I’d use a down arrow, the number two, and then a little picture of Earth. It’s a simple message, a “down to earth” message, but one would have to think a second to figure it out.

    I’m honest and logical (usually) like a down to earth person would be. I’m open-minded, pretty quiet (usually), low-maintainence, and I don’t follow the crowd. I’m also in love with nature (which is half the reason why I love the Lord of the Rings so much – the awesome New Zealand scenery!). Pretty much all I eat is fruits and veggies and things “of the earth.” I love to climb trees and walk around in the woods barefooted (even though I get splinters, lol). -That was one reason, after all, why I was a hobbit last year for Halloween: I got to go barefoot all day! I also listen to classical and folk music (though other stuff can be cool, too), and I think that’s pretty “down to earth.” Even so, on the sticker it’s written in a pretty odd way, with pictures/symbols instead of words…suggesting I can be crazy/creative sometimes, too. You know, there is a lot of randomness in nature!

    –Unfortunately, because of everything I just said, pretty much half the grade will know it was me who wrote this. But for this assignment, maybe that’s a good thing. My sticker describes who I am!


    Mr. Long: No worries. Sometimes it ain’t such a bad thing when people can figure out where our hearts really lie.

    Clever use of symbols to suggest something much deeper. Also like the double entrendre of the phrase: you as a person and the bigger environmental/natural issues that many are becoming passionate about these days.

  7. Quote: “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

    I love this quote because it is so true to life in general.

    I know that my life is far from perfect but no matter how bad things get, there is always something bright in all the darkness. I try to be optimistic, but I will be the first to admit that it’s not always easy.

    Days are long, times are tough, and sometimes we just feel like life has nothing to offer us. However, every once in a while we just need to step back and take a minute to breathe. I firmly believe that if you really take the time to calm down and look hard enough, you can find good in absolutely any situation.


    Mr. Long: I can’t help but recall a poem that once blew me away in its simplicity as well as its raw power. While I’m forgetting the author/title, the essential idea was that a single flower grew in a crack of asphalt, and yet the poet made you feel as if the flower literally had the strength to cause the crack in the first place. All a matter of how we look at the crack and flower, right?

    Reminds me of a Tupac poem, “The Rose that Grew from Concrete”, too:

    “Did you hear about the rose that grew
    from a crack in the concrete?
    Proving nature’s law is wrong it
    learned to walk with out having feet.
    Funny it seems, but by keeping it’s dreams,
    it learned to breathe fresh air.
    Long live the rose that grew from concrete
    when no one else ever cared.”

  8. Quote: “I ain’t saying I’m perfect but I promise I’m worth it.”

    (Yes, I know ain’t isn’t a word)

    I think this quote describes me perfectly.

    I mess up all the time. I fall down the stairs, wake up late, and don’t always get perfect grades. Just because I don’t do those things doesn’t mean that I’m worthless. If I were perfect, I honestly believe life would be way too boring. If no one ever did anything wrong or accidentally messed up on something life would be bland. So yes, just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean that I’m useless. Being imperfect is in my opinion the best way to be.


    Mr. Long: Really respect this part of your response (and believe we can all nod our head in agreement based on our own lives, too): “I mess up all the time. I fall down the stairs, wake up late, and don’t always get perfect grades. Just because I don’t do those things doesn’t mean that I’m worthless.”

  9. Phrase: Let knowledge improve imagination, not replace it.

    I picked this phrase because I truly believe in it. Often times, we just accept the truth and the facts. We need to be able to think about the truth, and wander why and how it got to be known as truth, in order to appreciate it. Or sometimes we need to imagine just to get away. For example, if we know that the moon has no gravity, we can imagine being on the moon with no gravity, and how that would feel. I came up with this quote because without imagination, you are basically like an encyclopedia and cannot have a true personality. When you imagine, you allow yourself to go somewhere you are not, which definitely is more interesting if you have knowledge about that special place in your mind.

    I thought about the design a lot and here are the reasons for the color choices and footprints:

    Red-blood; liveliness, youth, for a mind with imagination is a mind with unending youth.

    Blue– skies=no limits; whether living out your imagination by foot, or just by brain, you can meet to limits; you are free.

    Green-eternal life; imagination enhances life and the fullness of it; every step your take, literally and figuratively speaking, put your life into it. You might be able to see where your life has been, due to your imagination and dreams.

    I would hope that people would look at my bumper sticker and at least take a second to think about what it proposes. Who knows how much of an impact one sentence can make during a lifetime? Only God, my friends.

    This took me a couple of days to find the right saying, but I think this is one of the ones that represents me the best, and what one of my goals are.


    Mr. Long: Compelling idea you share here: “We need to be able to think about the truth, and wander why and how it got to be known as truth, in order to appreciate it.” Not only a deep philosophical concept, but it’s also something for all of us to wrestle with on a daily basis in our school/home lives, too.

    Sorry you weren’t able to get the web site (that helped you design your sticker) put in your response yet, but if you can send it to me we can still put it on so others can check it out. Impressive work re: the design to support the phrase, too.

  10. Quote: “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”

    This quote is perfect for me because it can relate to soccer (which is very important to me) or any other challange that involes effort and hard work.

    My dad is the one who told me this quote a long time ago. It was right after a tournament my team had won. We kept a shutout each game and we won by two or more goals each game. After the last game, on the ride home, my dad said “You shouldn’t get a bid head just cause you won some tournament”. My response was “O c’mon dad we’re the best”. The next weekend we had our first season game. We lost, badly, 0-2. On the ride home, my dad and I didnt say anything untill we were almost home. My dad said “It was a tough game son, but you need to work harder”. I snapped at him saying “Why? I played good. The team needs practice.” Then I heard this quote for the first time.

    I had an even bigger ego two years ago, then I do now haha, but after hearing my dad say that quote it changed the way my work ethic has been. I have realized that the result of hard work IS talent and that is what my dad was trying to tell me.


    Mr. Long: Obviously your father is a wise individual. At the same time, so are you for being able to embrace the concept he shared with you. Love your last line: “…the result of hard work IS talent…” Well put. And a great story, too.

    BTW, as one of your coaches this winter, I’m looking forward to having you on my roster. Hopefully the attitude can be embraced by the entire team.

  11. If there was an atom anteater who would win in a fight between atom anteater and atom ant?

    I think this would be an awesome bumper sticker because it is an obvious point that no one really thinks about. It also makes you stop and think about the odds. It represents me because I am into comic book and such. I would want it on my car because I think its funny.


    Mr. Long: Phrases like this — where the phrase is turned upside down in an ironic/humorous way — make for excellent bumper sticker punchlines. Obviously this one will take a bit more work on the part of a person catching it out of the corner of their eye at 65+ MPH, but that also makes it wonderful. As you said, you have to stop and think about it.

  12. Love is a present that can be given every single day you live.

    I think this ‘bumper sticker’ describes what I believe and how I act every day in life.

    Today in class you talked about how shy people (we were discussing Grendel) were ostricized because they were too afraid to take a risk. Well, this caught my attention because I am shy and although, I am not ostricized per say, I do know what it feels like to be.

    I chose this quote because I do know what it feels like, and I don’t like for other people to feel that way, even if they are mean to me. That is why I love giving people compliments and building their self cofidence/esteem (even if they already have quite alot of it). I absolutely hate it when I see people get put down even if ‘their popular’ because I am sort of like May in The Secret Life of Bees, I feel their pain and it makes me as sad as it makes them. I would like to portray that message to everyone on my ‘legally bound’ bumper sticker so maybe less people would be so self conciouss and be more happy.

    Re: student 6’s entry, I thought it was a really good quote to use and they wrote about in a truly beautiful way. The reason it caught my eye, was because it resembles one of my favorite quotes (which I was going to origanally use) “When its dark enouph you can see the stars” which has the same basic underlying message: ” that if you really take the time to calm down and look hard enough, you can find good in absolutely any situation.”


    Mr. Long: We’re a better world when folks do what you mention here: ” That is why I love giving people compliments and building their self cofidence/esteem (even if they already have quite alot of it).” While I had no idea that a play off of Grendel today would make such a connection, I really appreciate learning from you here…especially given what you did with it.

    BTW, will you be going to see The Secret Life of Bees when it comes out in the theaters soon?

    Oh, and thank you for connecting to Student #6…and for sharing the “stars” line. Beautiful concept.

  13. My bumper sticker would say: “Embrace your freakishness!”

    This phrase came form when I went to California this summer for a youth leadership conference. One of the speakers that we listened to based almost his whole speech off of this phrase and it really stuck with me. Plus he was the only speaker that didn’t almost put me to sleep. I was immediately drawn to the phrase. It reminded me of when I was at my four hour long practices and me and my friends would say “I wish we were normal so we could be at home right now.” Our coach would respond “What is normal exactly and why would you want to be it?” This would stump us and then we would go back to whatever we had been doing.

    But when you think about it without being “freaks” and embracing our differences this world would be such a boring place. It would be filled with a bunch of grey, boring, pod people. Our differences make us who we are. I would want people to read this and have it make them realize it was ok to be different. Plus I just simply like the statement.


    Mr. Long: Your phrase reminds me of a classic Jimi Hendrix song (which was a key part of the “Easy Rider” movie soundtrack):

    Background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_6_Was_9

    Lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/jimi+hendrix/if+6+was+9_20071549.html

    Key lines: “White collar conservative flashin’ down the street / Pointin’ their plastic finger at me, ha ! / They’re hopin’ soon my kind will drop and die but uh / I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high ! / Oww !”

    As you said, our differences is what makes us collectively interesting.

  14. “I think we might have made a mistake leaving the Shire, Pippin.” (This is from LOTR movie Return of the King)
    I chose this quote for two reasons:

    1. I think this would be funny to see on the highway and…
    2. In a quirky symbolic way it really does represent my life.

    I am willing to take any risks and sacrifice anything for those I love. Like the characters in LOTR I sometimes question whether the decisions I have made for my friends and family have been a mistake in my own life, but I will never regret sacrifices for others. I believe that if I do live this way and am willing to give anything for others; my life will be full of purpose and reason and eventually will end in Victory. (but probably not quite as epic as in LOTR 🙂 )

    Also Tolkien’s works themselves have played a major role in my life. They have made me want to become an author and have inspired me to write my own ‘epic adventure’ (to sound incredibly corny).

    Well, because I am just such a nerd, in my quest for life summing-up quotes I came across a few that I believe are quite inspirational/interesting and would like to share them;

    “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something sometime in your life.” ~Winston Churchill

    “Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I’ll forgive Thy great big joke on me” ~Robert Frost (made me laugh 🙂 )

    This is actually another by Tolkien I considered using as my ‘bumper sticker’ but I thought it was too long:

    “The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
    Pursuing it with eager feet
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say.”


    Mr. Long: Thanks for deepening my own pool of knowledge. Feel really connected to LOTR after this, even more than I was before this.

    BTW, ironic twist on the Pippin line given that it’d be on a car that is inherently ‘leaving’ home or the “Shire”. Makes me wonder what Pippin and Frodo would have had on their own car(s) if such things existed in Hobbot-time.

    Oh, and I like that you want to write your own epic adventure. Tolkien, like Faulkner, was a master at creating an entire world from language to legends to maps. Hope you take the chance to be in that list yourself one day!

  15. “Don’t meddle in the affairs of dragons because you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup”

    I saw this quote on the Internet and was immediately drawn to it. First of all, I think it is hilarious, but it does go deeper that that. To me it means that you shouldn’t go into a situation blindly and that you should always know where you are going in life, or you may get lost along the way. You need to set goals in your life that you are always aiming for in order to have a guide in your life. Having goals is important to me; different goals that I have set for myself are what keep me going day to day.

    It reminds me of my mom, when she was about my age and older, all she wanted to do was go to medical school. When she would become disheartened or depressed, her mom would drive her over to Southwestern Medical School, and they would just drive around, seeing the possibilities that were there. This would revive my mom’s hope and would get her through another day. My mom’s childhood goal is what kept her motivated throughout her early life and through the times when it was hard. Dreams, hopes, and aspirations are important in my life, I have them, and I work hard each day to achieve them.


    Mr. Long: I was delighted/surprised by how you let the sticker phrase initiate this discussion. Very unexpected ‘point’ to the story.

    Love this: “When she would become disheartened or depressed, her mom would drive her over to Southwestern Medical School, and they would just drive around, seeing the possibilities that were there.”

  16. Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it. Plan more than you can do, then do it.

    I went looking online for famous quotes, and song lyrics that I thought would be appropriate for me. I wanted something clever, snappy, and quirky, because to me, that is what a bumper sticker ‘should’ say.

    And then I found this quote, and when I saw it, I knew this is what I wanted to be on my car. Because this quote, while not being ROTFL hilarious, or the secret of life, this quote has more significance to me than perhaps any other.

    My grandpa, who I am extremely close with, has cancer. He is frail, can barely walk, and sometimes is very forgetful to the point of forgetting I am going to school right now. However, his mind still remembers poetry that he memorized fifty years ago. This quote is one of them. Every time I see him, and he asks me how school is going, and I reply, “Well, Zayde, it’s really good, but very hard.” Then he will grab my arm, because he is unsteady on his feet, and recite this quote to me, without missing a beat. Even as I sit here typing this, I can hear his voice in my head, and in some mystical way, it comforts me.

    However, I did not just pick this quote because it makes me cry, but because it is appropriate for me. I often get really excited about something, and decide I have to do it, only to realize later that maybe I should have thought it out a little more carefully. However, this task only makes me work harder, and in the process, I learn and enjoy challenging myself. I guess Zayde does know what he’s talking about.


    Mr. Long: Found myself biting my bottom lip, smiling in a heartfelt way, and starting to tear up slightly as I was reading about your grandfather.

    I was too young when I lost my grandparents to fully appreciate what you are seeing know first-hand: their true wisdom and humanity. Not sure there could be a better tribute to your grandfather. This is one of those true ‘gifts’ that your entire family deserves to read, cherish, and keep close.

    Thank you.

  17. “Live everyday as it’s your last”

    I believe this ‘bumper sticker’ is a perfect example of how I would love to act everyday of my life, no matter what obstacles life throws at me. I can relate to this ‘bumper sticker’ because during basketball season, my coaches would preach on how I should play every game as it was my last.

    Now when the coaches said this, they did not intend the message to portray a perfect performance. The message they were trying to provide is I should give it my all, enjoy every little moment, and leave everything on the court. Ever since, I repeat “Live everyday as it’s your last” through my head before every basketball game. And I found that by doing that I increased my endurance, and most importantly my love for the game.


    Mr. Long: Really appreciate how you re-told the story of your coaches…and what they really meant.

  18. In my sticker, there would be a Beatles quote from the hit song, “Hey Jude”:

    “…and anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain. Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.”

    Then I would have a picture of the Titan, Atlas, sitting on top of the world, with loose shackles on his wrists.

    I like to listen to Beatles songs because for some odd reason, they are the easiest songs for thinking/day-dreaming/etc. Not only is this song my all-time favorite-upon-favorite songs, the song pretty much sums up my outlook on life. I added a picture of Atlas sitting on top of the world as an allusion to the Greek myth including Atlas and holding the world upon his shoulders.

    I really like to take things easy and enjoy the essence of life while I still can grasp it. My life is very hectic, including a job, an afterschool class, and in the near future an offseason practice outside of school. However, if I can still find time to breathe and laugh, I still have faith I can survive.

    For Mr. Long, I think he can agree to some extent about Beatles songs, because I seem to recall that one of his favorite Beatles albums is Rubber Soul, a classic.


    Mr. Long: Yes, I can identify with the Beatles’ reference…and love the song (as well as the album/CD you mentioned). My hat off to you, Walrus.

    Powerful point you make above:

    “However, if I can still find time to breathe and laugh, I still have faith I can survive. “

  19. Student #8 just let me know that you can literally make your own bumper sticker here:


  20. If you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.

    This song lyric, by Bob Dylan, is from one of my favorite songs. Whenever I would listen to this song, I never fully understood this quote. But I think that it’s saying when you don’t have anything anymore, or have hit rock bottom, you just have to take a chance and go for it, even when you don’t know what will happen. I also like this phrase because it is complex, but at the same time very simple. Depending on the way you comprehend the lyric, it could have a deeper meaning and make an excellent bumper sticker. I like the philosophy behind what it’s saying, and that’s why I would want it to be on my car.


    Mr. Long: Lots of respect for you bringing up B.D. Huge fan of his, in particular his “Keep on keepin’ on” line. As you noted, his lyrics (aka ‘poetry) are full of complexity.

  21. Mine would have to be:
    It Happens.

    Of course, its from Forrest Gump, but I obviously couldn’t take it straight from the movie, I had to clean it up a bit. But its the greatest bumper sticker known to man because its straight forward, its short, and its true. It DOES happen.

    I never like to dwell on things, or feel guilty or sad for a long period of time because life’s too short to waste on that. Of course you can’t really eliminate sadness and guilt altogether because that’s what you learn from. But once you’re done, forget about it, do better, do what you can and move on because it happens. That’s how it goes, so go with it, you know?


    Mr. Long: Funny how true this is: “Of course you can’t really eliminate sadness and guilt altogether because that’s what you learn from.”

    And much thanks to you for ‘cleaning’ up the ‘muddy’ original phrasing. I think your audience will gather their wits and also see your subtle genius. Plus grandmas will smile, too.

  22. “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

    Yes it it from Dodgeball. I thought this quote was very funny and yet at the same time inspirational.

    This quote tells you to learn from your mistakes so you may “dodge the ball next time.” This quote helps me keep my hopes after a downfall, so I may surge right after, in any mistaken I have caused. From my mistakes, I hope to do even better next time, so that I may not cause that mistake again. The reason to put it on my car would be that everytime I go to my car, the sticker would remind myself to ameliorate my actions so I may not make those mistakes I have made today.


    I adore that you pulled something philosophical from a Vince Vaughn film involving a bizarre coach tossing metal wrenches at bad dodgeball players. Hysterical (and yet so very true).

    And bonus points (in the form of a teacher high-five) for using “ameliorate” about this film, too!

  23. This is most of the chorus from the song “One step at a time” by Jordin Sparks

    “We live and we learn to take one step at a time…. no need to rush… like learning to fly or falling in love it’s gonna happen… supposed to happen that we find the reasons why”

    I had to listen to this song about 3 or 4 times before it sunk in and really made me think about it. This chorus really explains me, I believe that everything does happen for a reason and over time we realize what those reasons are. We need to be patient and ‘take one step at a time’. There is no reason to rush, because if everything you did was in a rush you wouldn’t be able to enjoy what is happening right in front of you. When working on something for a long time and you finally accomplish it is a great feeling to have. Especially after a long losing streak in a sport then finally winning a game feels great or just getting better individually as the season goes by. Just getting miraculously perfect at everything feels good for about 5 minutes, then you haven’t learned anything or have that great feeling of knowing you worked hard for something you really want to be or do.

    People driving by me, reading this bumper sticker would hopefully really think about it and slow down their lives to realize what is going on in front of them. Or probably they will just be like “Hey thats from that Jordin Sparks song!” “I love that song” “Oh I hate that song”. Whatever works for them. 🙂


    Mr. Long: Let it be officially known the first(-of-many?) “American Idol” allusions has been made here on Mr. Long’s blog. We shall now pronounce this as “A.I.Day” from this point forward.

    I love the idea of the quote, by the way. The “it’s gonna happen” motif is really intriguing and so very true. And I adore the need to find out the reasons why, too.

    Inspiring idea re: getting people to slow down a bit.

  24. “ Not your ordinary damsel in distress”

    It reflects who I am. On the outside I look like the person who continiously needs rescueing and does as she is told without thought. A goody-two shoes, perhaps? Not at all.

    The sticker could be viewed many ways, some would say: “Goodness, she is full of herself”. To me it just means, don’t judge a book by its cover. Even look-like stereotypes arent really what they are cooked up to be. I enjoy my oddness, a lot if not too much. Wouldn’t the world be the most boring place in the world if we were, what we’re labelled as? It gives people something to think about, do I act the way I do because that is what is expected of me? Or because I want to? We need to learn to be ourselves and not what society tells us to be.


    Mr. Long: First, my wife is a graduate of Smith College, and all-women’s university located in Northhampton, Mass, a school that used to be the ‘sister school’ to Yale, but frankly is world-class all on its own.

    Women who go there at the age of 18 are precisely the sort of women that will 100% embrace this line of yours…and for the rest of their lives they ‘live’ it through and through. “Smithies” — alums of this school seem to be some of the most impressive people I’ve ever met, and frankly I’m jealous — as a male — that I wasn’t allowed to go there (although Smith does have a 5-college exchange program with 4 of the best colleges/universities in America that happen to be within 15 miles of its campus). But I’m proud to be a “Smith husband”, nonetheless, and be surrounded by smart, intriguing, powerful, leaders…who just happen to be ‘gals’ whenever I’m with my wife and her college friends.

    In case you’re curious: http://www.smith.edu/

    P.S. I think you should have played off the line in the middle of your response by responding: “Godess: yes, she is!” (smile)

  25. My quote would probably be:

    “You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said ‘Parking Fine.’”

    I found this quote while surfing the internet and it caught my idea because it had a good, wholesome type of humour in it. According to the site I got it from it was made by a guy called Tommy Cooper.

    This quote has a really laid back attitude which is what I am like unless something gets me all worked up. I am the kind of person who really doesn’t take things seriously. I really don’t care about tiny, insignificant trivialities that uptight people freak out over, thats because to me only the big picture matters. I also believe living life well is way more important than making more money or better grades than other people.

    I would like to have this on my car because it’s funny. It’s one of those quotes that don’t force you to think about and overanalyze things. It’s basically saying take things in a good light and don’t take things too seriously.


    Mr. Long: Hysterical play on words!

    Intrigued by the “big picture” concept. At the same time — to be fair, my friend — the better you do now (and the more you live up to your potential now), the more options you’ll have in the future, thus you’ll be in a better position to choose what makes you happy and live a fuller life, thus really maximize the “big picture” concept.

    And sometimes we mistake choosing lazy/immature options now in the spirit of being laid-back. Only your gut can tell you the difference…especially the gut of your future self who will look back and ‘grade’ you the hardest when nobody is paying attention any more.

    But if you can find the balance, you’ll be in great shape. Just make sure you don’t toss away options you’d love to have in the future by using the mask of laid back now. (wink)

  26. Above the Influence

    I chose this quote because this basically describes my philosophy of how people should act. Don’t let others define who you are or take control of your life. Because if that happens then you’re not really you, you’re just a reflection of the “other” crowd. This can be something like trying to fit in with the “cool” people in school or doing drugs because you think IT makes you cool. If you have time then you can watch these ads that I saw on tv that are great examples of what I mean.

    Sad to say I know a few of my friends at school that does drugs, most of them probably do it cause of peer pressure or just because they think it makes them cool. I guess my comment on this topic is also a shoutout to my friends that are doing drugs right now (and you guys know who you are). Hopefully they’ll know better and stop doing drugs in the future.


    Mr. Long: Reminds me of some of my Straight Edge students from the past that had a pretty solid grasp on life and the world (but not including the SEer’s that used it as a cover for something less positive).

    Love the 2 videos. Both will quickly shock and unsuspecting adult who may react too fast. On the other hand, by the time both are over…the punchline can’t help but get you in the gut…and make you be impressed.

    Thanks for passing them on.

    BTW, powerful point/shout-out towards the end of your response. Appreciate your integrity/effort. It’ll pay off over time to all of those who who choose to listen.

  27. “Fear is in your Head
    Only in your Head
    So Forget your Head
    And you’ll be free”

    I love this “quote”. I am a huge fan of David Bowie, and I find myself listening to “Hunky Dory” constantly. When I am really nervous or scared of something, I try to think of this song. It puts me in a great mood, I just love the beat and his voice. I also imagine how free David Bowie is and how comfortable he is with himself, strangely I then try to become a little bit like Bowie. I think this lyric would make a great bumper sticker because even if you don’t care for or are not familiar with David Bowie, it is still great advice.


    Mr. Long: You may not believe this but JUST today I was at Starbucks with my 2 year old son, enjoying some papa/kiddo time while his mama enjoyed a lazy Sat morning. Bowie was playing in the overhead speakers and Beckett was grooving in the way that only toddlers can. I thought, Hey, he needs to listen to more classic Bowie at home…and so do I. Love the serendipity that just happened. You’ve convinced me that I will get DB’s voice in the house more often…plus he was a pretty big part of my 80’s HS scene so it’s a good groove down memory lane.

    You are so right. He’s free and truly comfortable with himself. A good role model on that front.

  28. a quote i really like that i have heard well needs the first word to be cleaned up to say infront of my grandmaw. haha but i saw an appropriate variation actually tacked up in Mr. Y’s room! I saw it the first day of Chem class and its stuck with me ever since. the quote is “Life Happens” I

    dont know why but i just love it! It is so real because heck ya life does happen! it may suck at points but we get through the sucky parts and get to those moments in life that are just awesome and happy! I think the jist of this is that in life bad things happen , good things happen and well thats what happens in life…life!

    But seeing as how everyone is so deep i went in search of something else haha that i think i can describe on a deeper level. the quote is

    “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional”

    I really like this quote because its so true. Change happens in life..you cant stop it or change it. However you can choose to embrace the change, and roll with it. I think alot of problems with people is that they dont want change. so when change comes instead of embracing it and trying to find the good in it they just become sour with teh situation. The idea is to be okay with the changes and grow as a person with the change.


    Mr. Long: Note: I actually erased the 1st 2 lines of your response because there are a few connotations of that phrase that can be taken in an inappropriate manner, even though I don’t think you meant it that way. And since you did great work down below, I figured I’d let your best work shine. If you don’t understand, come ask me one-on-one and I’d be happy to tell you why.

    Like you, I like the quote in Mr. Y’s room. Even better, I love the last one you discovered (and have respected it for years since first running into it). So true re: “change” and “growth”. And the 2nd part of that is the key, as well as how we handle/react to the changes that come our way. Well done!

    One last thing:

    Please work hard to carefully edit your future responses in terms of typo’s. This is full of them and for an Hon student it is time to do the initial work to make sure your reader only concentrates on the quality of your thinking, not the lack of careful editing. A friendly reminder.


    Although I have never really been a fan of bumper stickers, this statement expresses my knack for playing chess. Chess has always been my favorite hobby. In chess, much strategic thinking is involved. In debates, too, one can vanquish one’s opponent with intelligence. My philosophy of life has always been based on reasoning skills. Working things out logically can always be a better method than using sheer force.


    Mr. Long: While I’m singularly ‘lousy’ at the game, I adore it as a metaphor for life…and as a way to see the world on multiple levels. Just wish my brain was sharp enough to be competent. Guess I’ll leave that up to you.

    Nice use of the word “vanquish”, BTW.

  30. I think my bumper would have to say:


    I picked dreamer, because its something I feel like is apart of my everyday life and it really explains who I am as a person. I dream about everything, truly everything! But you can’t go wrong with dreaming, so why not? It allows the person to forget for a moment all the obstacles they will have to overcome, the people that will doubt them and the criticism they will receive. You can dream to become an Olympian one day or you can simply dream of becoming stuco president. I think everyone driving by on any ordinary day needs that little reminder. Anything is possible when you dream; you’re in charge, not reality.


    Mr. Long: Short and profound. Reminds me of the John Lennon song. Familiar to you?

    Very intriguing final line. What do you mean by “…you’re in charge, not reality.”

    I think I know…esp. if it has to do with one’s attitude and not letting obstacles get in the way.

  31. Don’t take life too seriously. No one gets out alive anyway.

    I would definitely use this as a bumper sticker because of the humor and irony it presents. We’re so caught up in our every day affairs we don’t realize how or why life is what it is, or what its purpose may be. Have you ever sat down and thought about the meaning of life? Probably not. Maybe you’ve been too busy complaining about rising gas prices and the overload of work you’ve received from your boss. Is it really the end of the world when you get a B- on your Chemistry exam, or your stock market portfolio plummets down to wallow at rock bottom? Not really. We humans just have a frame of mind that warps it into the worst possible situation. The message this line implies is that no amount of stress can compensate for the end of the world. A nervous breakdown isn’t necessary for every mistake you make.

    Let go of the past — concentrate on the present, and enjoy what you have. The irony of it all is that we humans are so obsessed and worried about if we’ll pass our math test, succeed at life and our job, earn loads of money to support our family, lead the toothpaste company we run with flying colors, and remember to water the plants… we act as if it’ll be the start of a new holocaust if we forget something or make a mistake. Why are we so worried about it, when in the end it won’t really matter anyway? We’ll be dead sooner or later.

    Having a carefree spirit is good once in a while — don’t always be wrapped up in a tense, frantic bubble. Life is an experience to enjoy, not something to be taken for granted or too seriously. Take things in an optimistic way — being serious isn’t something you should always practice. Live a little.


    Mr. Long: Clever: “The message this line implies is that no amount of stress can compensate for the end of the world. A nervous breakdown isn’t necessary for every mistake you make.”

    BTW, this is an interesting piece to have read after the “overachievers” response you also submitted. Intriguing to see the 2 sides of your world view.

    Hold onto that carefree spirit. It’ll take care of you at some pretty vital times in the future.

  32. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”
    This quote is obviously from Forest Gump.

    I knew what he was trying to say, but when I first heard it, I was thinking, as I am sure some of you were, that I know what I am going to get, I am going to get a box of chocolates.

    This quote means that you do not know what is ahead of you in life. There is a fork in the road and you do not know were either of them goes. It is also like there is a door in front of you but you do not know what is in store for you behind that door. Therefore, you may get or come across something in life which you don’t like. It maybe something bad or it maybe something good. A box of chocolates contains many different flavors. When you pick a chocolate, you never know what flavor you are going to get. Some will have a cherry filling while others will have nuts or coconuts inside. You may get the one you like or you may also get the chocolate you hate the most. On the contrary, I will admit, the boxes of chocolates I tend to get these days tells you which one is which although sometimes it is not to clear. So, that is what life is like. We do not know what is going to happen next, but we should all take our chances. I chose this quote because I think everyone has to take a chance to get somewhere. Of course one should also not take stupid chances. An example is if you see almonds sticking out of the chocolate and you know you are allergic to almonds, then do not eat that one.

    An example in real life would be is if you know one of the doors will lead to a room that is showing samples of blood and you faint at the sight/smell of blood, then do not go in there; choose another door.

    Other than that, if you do not take a chance, then you will never get the filling you want. If you choose the one you do not like, swallow it anyways or spit it back out and choose another one. If you do not like the road you are on right now, take another one and see if it will take you to the place you want to go to. Referring back to the door, if you do not like the door you went to, try another one. I think this quote is similar to “you can’t judge a book by its cover”.

  33. Student #29 (response to Mr. Long)

    Hmm, I will agree after rereading my two entries, I will say I am very hypocritical in both of them. They clash.

    I think my bumper sticker is what I would have liked to have lived life as: carefree, without anything to worry about. That kind of life would be great, because I’m always stressing about different things. The “overachievers” response was/is the reality I am living in. Even though I would like to live a carefree life, I can’t let go of the ideal of taking my situation/grades seriously. The bumper sticker I chose was actually intended to be more of an internal reminder for myself, rather than for other people who would have seen it.

    Hopefully this is more of a clarification of my views I have on both these topics.


    Mr. Long: Makes a great deal of sense. Much thanks for taking the time to illuminate the ideas further.

  34. Quote: “The most difficult phase of life is not when no one understands you its when you dont understand yourself.”

    This quote to me says more than can be described. I am a very independent person and am usually very sure of who i want to be, but sometimes i second guess myself. And when I read this quote it makes me realize that all your life your going to have to take chances and risks to find out who you really are. I learned very recently that who you become is made by the mistakes you have made and the chances you have taken. So why try so hard to make people understand you when understanding yourself is more than half the battle.

    I think that people try to hard to fit in that they loose sight of who they are and what qualities they possess that make them who they are. And I know that its hard to be yourself sometimes bc sometimes being yourself isn’t what everyone is attacked to but why work so hard to make them like you when liking yourself has so much more meaning.

    People always say that when a girl starts dating a boy or vis-versa they change to make one another happy but what I believe is if your willing to change into something your not then your willing to live your life as a lie. So i think that self-confidence is the key ingredient to being happy with yourself and the life you are living. Be yourself and nothing else and the important people in your life will just fall into place along the way just make sure who are and who become is the person you want to be and take a chance on something to see where it could lead you.

  35. Student #46 (out-of-order -- Mr. Long's fault)

    “My life is full of winners and aces, double faults stand no chance.”

    When I think of my personality, the first thing that comes to mind is that I have a passion for tennis therefore this bumper sticker would be appropriate for my car.

    Not everyones life is full of winners and aces, at least not mine. We all make mistakes and errors every day and learn from them hoping not to make the same mistakes again (double faults). Think positive even if you are having a bad day, don’t attract negative thoughts. Sometimes thinking positive can lead to other windows of opportunity. Remember….


  36. “I don’t know”

    “I don’t know” describes a significant part of my life experience. It is probably my most frequent response to questions. In addition to saying it, I also often have the feeling that “I don’t know,” … and that can be a bad or a good thing.

    Even though I say “I don’t know” I often really do have an answer to a question, but don’t give it because I am shy and don’t feel comfortable around people who aren’t my close friends. I don’t like being in the spotlight. At other times, I don’t give answers because I’m not confident that my answer is correct. At still other times, I may say “I don’t know” because I don’t want to offend anyone or cause conflict. For example, a lot of my friends have different political views so I have to be careful that my answer won’t create conflict.

    I am the youngest of six, so growing up I often felt a little stupid because I really didn’t know as much as my brothers and sister. Added to that humbling experience, I think that teenage years must be big “I don’t know” time. Maybe on the outside we do, but on the inside, it’s a time when we’re considering the things that our parents “know” and deciding what life really about for us as individual people. I guess that one of the signs of maturity is to know more things and to have confidence that you know more things.

    On the other hand, I know that I have a lot to learn and will always have a lot to learn. By recognizing that “I don’t know” and then having a desire to fill that gap of knowledge will be a good thing to have throughout life!


    Mr. Long: While I typically do not respond to entries that come in after Sat night, I have to say that I am incredibly impressed by this response. What could have been a very ‘simple’ explanation turned out to be an outstanding/dynamic exploration of the idea…and anyone reading it will come to learn that there are layers upon layers in even the ‘simplest’ of ideas.

    I even shared it with my wife; read it out loud to her. She loved it, too. Thanks for giving us both a highlight in the middle of our Sunday afternoon.

  37. If I could put any bumper sticker on the back of my card it would have to be the one that says: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

    That bumper says alot on how I want to live my life. If I want to change something about my life or in the world im not going to just sit back and hope it changes. Im going to take risks and make the changes happen. I don’t want to have to always depend on people. I want to be brave and daring and accomplish things by myself. Life is too short to just sit around and wonder if it will ever change. Get out there and achieve something memorble for yourself and the world. Trust me you wont regret it. (:


    Mr. Long: BTW, my wife has this quotation on the wall of her Principal’s office at school. Her favorite! And she adores Ghandi, too.

  38. “I was about to believe in wishful thinking, but sarcasm came to the rescue.”

    I guess I would want this on my car because it would warn people what an argument with me would be like. I don’t even try to talk like this; I just do it. On the other hand, I guess it would show that I like to have fun with people, and just the statement itself is just basicly funny, which also shows that I like to joke around a lot. I just think that it be pretty good to show my methods of speech and communication.

  39. “Live, Laugh, Love”

    Simple? Definitely, but so true. Life is full of unexpected twists and has its ups and downs. Absolutely EVERYTHING happens for a reason and God has a path for everyone, so my take on this ‘bumper sticker’ is that no matter what happens, live your life to its fullest.

    This summer I had a tough time with some things that happened and it seemed as if everything was going wrong. But, honestly all of those things that did happen were for the better. Of course at the time all I thought was ‘OMG this is awful’ and ‘My life is over’ and blahh blah. But as I look back on it, it was definitely for the better.

    The main reason I would put this bumper sticker on my car to reflect my personality is because I always do have a smile on my face, trying to follow this saying. No matter how upset I am, I still try my hardest to keep smiling. Because the truth is, life is incredibly short and we have to enjoy the time we have with the people we are with and live our lives to the absolute fullest. It’s simply too short to dwell on the past and on the bad, when most of us have it so much better than others.

  40. “Live life to the fullest”

    This is a quote that I have always loved and I’m not sure where the first time I saw it. To me this quote represents me 100% in everyway. It says that there are hardships in life and no one said it’s easy but you have to pick yourself up and just live life. “To the fullest” represents how we live and the particular ways we react to it. My “fullest” is at the end of the day move on from what happened and continue to laugh and live life with happiness. I’m going to live life the best I can and go as far as I can go. Nothing will hold me back. That’s why I like this quote…its free spirited and cuts loose the built up inner stress and other attributes from the people around me, school, and all around pressure. Live life to the complete fullest and that’s what will make you a better and happier person.

  41. I would probably just have an American Flag or maybe a cool-looking eagle holding an American Flag or something. I know it sounds generic, but it says more about me than any cheeky one-liner.

    I want to be respectful, dutiful, and a strong person while at the same time being successful and fun. The idea someone gets from seeing that on my bumper would be the closest they could get to my desired impression.

  42. “My good side”

    I say this because It always feels good to be ahead when everything is at my back. It often isn’t like this whether it is running or schoolwork but when I am like this i really feel at peace with myself and I love not having to worry. When I’m ahead at school I feel a great weight lift off my shoulders and it makes school a lot more bearable. When I’m running I always feel better knowing I’m in the lead and it is a lot easier to start out ahead and stay ahead than catch up.

  43. My quotation would be, “Please slow down and stop riding my butt”

    In todays world, it seems like everyone and there dog is in the biggest hurry. No matter what were doing, we are always hurrying. If everyone would just slow down, so many less mistakes would occur and life would be all around better.

  44. If i could hav one bumper sticker i think it would say: “Messy Marvin strikes again”

    This quote is an original. My mom made it up a while back because of my sloppy past. I could never eat a meal without everyone being able to tell wht i ate because it was on my shirt. It kind of just followed me until i got older. Once i got older i started to get more clumsy and i used to spipll stuff on the florr and drop things easily. Every time i would do this you would definitely hear either my mom or my dad sayin “Messy Marvin Strikes Again”

  45. “Live life”

    If i chose a bumper sticker that defined me i would chose this because hopefully it give’s other people inspiration. So if someone is frantically rushing to work or in a stressed time in their life this will hopefully brighten their day a little. Small things can go a long way just like a simple phrase on a simple bumper sticker can go a long way.

  46. Have Faith

    This I think is amazing because it means a lot to me. Yes, to me it has religious connotations, yes that would anger some, but the thing is if I was required to have a sticker I would make it something about me, I don’t care if I’m pleasing the reader. Besides, I think this is a really good message to spread even if the reader doesn’t neccessarily like it.

  47. “Just Keep Runnin’”

    I would put this because I often find myself unwilling to move foward in life. A lot of times, I feel that there is nothing to do, and no goal to achieve. But thinking of this quote, I will force my self to keep going, to not stop until I have reached my goal. As long as I keep going, I will end up with good results, even if there were obstacles on the way. As long as I keep working for the future, I will accomplish my goal. And as long as I follow this quote, I will become successful.

  48. It’s a sad day when the people you make fun of are your boss.

    I think that this is a message to all the people who have been pushed around. I used to be pushed around, but i still remember the bullies that would make fun of me. But now those bullies are failing school while I’m passing with flying colors. So take that Bullies!

  49. “Don’t worry, I make mistakes too.”

    Of course I make mistakes and you do not have to know me to know this because I am not perfect and nor is anyone is else. I live everyday and I learn from my mistakes which makes me a smarter person and I acknowledge that. I would also use this bumper sticker to tell people that are stressed out to take a breather and relax because everything is okay.

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