This We Believe at UW Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna Kathy (Dugan) Schumann ’97, of Sun Prairie, shared her thoughts in a This We Believe at UW Oshkosh essay about how a trip to Haiti opened her eyes to how complicated her life had become.



Once upon a time, I had it all figured out.

We were going to be busy and fulfilled.
And we were going to love it, because it would be simple.

And then I found out I didn’t love it.
Didn’t love it, because it wasn’t simple and I couldn’t do it.

I sought answers by looking outside my current lifestyle.
I dusted 2010 off my shoulders and welcomed 2011, leaving two days
later for northwest Haiti, one of the poorest places in the world.

They had friends, family, projects, jobs, schools, extra-curricular
activities. Just like us. But it sure looks different here.

I won’t forget the day I returned. I missed my family
and lacked sleep, but that wasn’t the reason my eyes were
dizzy with all that cluttered my home. It is too much,
too unnecessary to my happiness.

We have great gifts, opportunities here.
But I’ll choose the gift Haiti gave me—

The UW Oshkosh essay project—in collaboration with the national This I Believe public dialog about belief—invites the entire campus community of students, faculty, staff and alumni to participate. To learn more, visit

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