There is a section at my local Whole Foods Market that never fails to stop me in my tracks every time I find myself perusing the aisles on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I have what you would call an adventurous palate, and nothing brings me greater joy than taking advantage of an opportunity to try a new and unfamiliar flavor, no matter how pleasant or perplexing or, in this case, pungent.
On one particularly ordinary day, I found myself in my favorite section of the store that you can smell long before you can see and in front of my gateway to faraway lands: the under $5 cheese basket, a sort of divine marriage of affordable luxury and risk-free discovery. It was there that I first found my penchant for the nutty Comté and the bloomy rind of a complex camembert, both of which were no doubt personally selected by the store’s global cheese buyer whose job description grants her the luxury of traveling the world to discover great cheesemakers and to encourage people like me to explore worlds beyond my own.
Beyond the cheese aisle, I am inspired by our very own Pepperdine community, especially the 20 outstanding alumni who left the worlds they knew so well and ventured to far-off lands to, quite literally, change the world with their unique skills and passions. I remain in awe of the Seaver College students who, each day, accept the challenge to engage in ethical communication and expose themselves to perspectives that stand in opposition to what they believe but listen and understand and welcome anyway. And I look forward to learning about the change brought about by the citizens of a small town in Northern California who banded together to give their forgotten community a voice.
I am proud to share these stories with readers far and wide, introducing them to our corner of the world, widening their perspectives and, perhaps, their palates.