I’m writing this post mostly for me- to make sense of the tragedy that has occurred at Northwestern, or rather, to reflect on it, since surely sense can’t really be made here.
Having just returned from the memorial service for Harsha, I am profoundly moved. Moved by grief for the death of a fellow student, moved by sympathy for his family, moved by sadness for our community, now hurting with the loss of a valuable member, but also, moved by disappointment and maybe even shame.
Northwestern in many ways is a loving and welcoming community. As a former Peer Adviser, I’ve felt excitement among incoming students, eager to become Wildcats. As a member of Greek life and various student groups, I’ve reveled in feelings of solidarity found around similar causes, interests, or, simply, letters. And in various exchanges with the many friends and acquaintances I’ve made now by the beginning of my last year here, I’ve come to lovingly call Northwestern home.
However, I felt uneasy tonight as the beautiful memorial service for Harsha repeated over and over about our Northwestern community and how this tragedy has shown us how we come together and love each other and embrace each other as family. While there is much truth to those sentiments and many Northwestern students showed that this past week, I think that as a larger, year-round community, we often fail to live out those ideals.
Being, in general, driven, hardworking, and self-motivated students, I think we are all too often closed-off, competitive, or ambivalent towards our peers. We look away when we see an acquaintance on Sheridan. We rush past fellow students in the halls. We, literally and figuratively, keep our doors closed in the dorms, disinterested in getting to better know our dorm-mates. And though connected and united to our specific interest groups, we often rival them against each other, establishing once again an air of competition and isolation.
As I reflect on Harsha’s death and what it means to each of us and Northwestern collectively, I hope that we can each take it upon ourselves to live up to our ideals of community here. It’s a hard task and will take a long time to accomplish, but I hope that, in the days and months and years following Harsha’s passing, we will grow to make Northwestern a better, more kinder, inclusive place that will facilitate peace, happiness, and learning in the hearts of all its students. It sounds as if that’s what Harsha was working towards.
1. Starbucks coffee mugs
2. President Barack Obama
3. The feeling of fall in the air
4. Bon Iver
So, I created this blog a little less than a year ago with the idea that I would add five things every day that I was grateful for.
But one thing led to another… Finals week led into an internship, the idea for this blog led to an opinion column for the Daily Northwestern, and last quarter led into this one, which I am spending abroad in Paris.
And my blog got lost on the wayside.
However here, in this beautiful city, having an extremely priviledged, less than once-in-a-lifetime experience, there are more things than ever for which to be thankful. And I’m assuming that in France the expression “better late than never” still flies.
So here I am to recommence my list of five things (big or small each day). Feel free to comment and let me know what you think- it’d be cool to find out if anyone actually reads this besides my mom (who actually rarely reads this, now that I think about it…)
Here’s today’s list:
1. Crepes- I’m proud to say I had two today.
2. People watching- My philosophy is that you can’t judge a book by its cover but if you’re never going to read it anyway, you might as well make up a completely different story and enjoy that instead
3. Paris rooftops- the skyline is nearly even here so from the 7th floor of my school in the 6th you can just see the sun lowering over all balconies and domes and steeples in the city and the sight is breath-taking
4. Federique- the secretary at Sweet Briar, who is by far the most down-to-earth, BA middle-aged woman I’ve ever met- she honestly understands exactly where we are all coming from
5. This song. So what if they’re ugly and the video is semi-pornographic- I still appreciate it.
It’s been too long! I’ve been all over the place, and less consciously grateful than I would like- so here I am!
Today, I’m thankful for
1. School: I can’t keep talking about friends from school, things I do there, and I can’t get the thought of the lakefill in the summer out of my head- how amazing that I have such a wonderful place to go back to.
2. Yellow Springs, OH. A small town about 45 minutes away. You pull up and are instantly transported to 1968 in this little hippie village complete with flares, psychedelic benches and street lamps, and locals exchanging peace signs as they pass. Case in point: this sweater-bearing tree: (ignore the random man in the picture)
3. Molly Wu’s. So cool.
4.My best friends from home. We may have changed a lot but we are forever connected by that time when Hannah said she would call her mom to pick her up or the time in fourth grade when I told Bridgid to go to hell. (allegedly)
5. Summer sun and the privilege of an air-conditioned home to escape it.
This morning, I’m thankful
1. Manhattan Murder Mystery and Woody Allen in general
2. The MoMA PS1
3. Incredible works of art like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and Picasso’s “Demoiselles d’Avignon” and the privilege of seeing them in real life
4. Bastille Day in NYC! AndFrench culture in general
5. Liking work days as much as weekends
My first post from NYC!
I’m finally getting settled in Brooklyn and am beginning to shift from flustered to thankful. And in New York, I’m inspired every minute. For now, here is what I’m most thankful for.
1. The unlimited monthly metro pass
2. Caring brothers
3. Subway musicians
4. Adaptation; the moment today when, switching trains, I thought to myself “Man this would be confusing if you didn’t know what you were doing” and then realized that last week I didn’t know what I was doing
5. Dylan’s Candy Bar: 3 stories of excessive amounts of sugar and every variety of sour animal that you could think (including chicken feet)
“is believing that one of two things will happen: that there will be something solid for you to stand on or that you will be taught to fly”
1. Faith- for knowing that things will turn out how they should
3. Adventures- small or big, near or far- for the ability to embark on adventures and for the blessing of a home to return to
4. Memories- for the gift of the past
5. Steady, refreshing rainfall