If you’ve been with TEDxSalem since the beginning, you’ve probably noticed something that occurred to me the other day:
I’m building up an impressive collection of t-shirts.
Not just regular t-shirts, obviously, but TEDxSalem official swag t-shirts.
We accumulate t-shirts all our lives. High school clubs, college mascots, summer camp uniforms, fundraisers, family reunions, homecoming theme days, sometimes even Halloween costumes.
Some people purge these extraneous pieces of clothing with clock-like regularity. Others have decades of history buried deep in their closet, unearthed in a wash of nostalgia during a move or rigorous spring cleaning. I’ve known certain crafty folks to stitch their shirt collections into quilts; the ultimate tribute to memory.
When I graduated from college, I had enough spirited apparel for at least two weeks of outfits. I kept only a pair of sweatpants and, of course, a couple t-shirts.
We’re now four years deep into the growing TEDxSalem tradition, and we’re growing the t-shirt collection that goes along with it.
There’s some kind of magic with these shirts. Each event had its own swag outside the shirt: Coffee mugs, bags, pens. But there’s a permanence to the symbol and the story you literally wear on your back.
Maybe you wear them to other TED events, to proudly represent from where you came. Maybe you wear it to the gym or to sleep in.
Without them, would you remember the themes and logos of prior years? Would you still be able to trace the narrative of an evolving TEDxSalem, from newborn Illumination to sophomoric Moxie and swaggering Fearless?
If last year’s Fearless was our junior year, growing in confidence but not quite established yet, then we come into senior year, triumphant, with Revolutions. Our victory lap. Only, we aren’t finished yet. Next year we’ll have another TEDxSalem, with another theme and another logo.
And another t-shirt.
Get your tickets for TEDxSalem 2017
Tickets are on sale now for Salem’s annual TEDx event Saturday, January 7, 2017. Tickets are $50, $40 for students. The all-day event includes talks, performances, refreshments, lunch and a swag bag. Follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date news from our community, and check our website regularly for new information. You can also reach us at email@example.com.