Saturday, October 28, 2006


Every generation believes that theirs is the last. There's nothing so very wrong with this eschatological bent (a new word I picked up in my Near Eastern Studies/Feminist Gender and Sexuality Studies class--it means 'having to do with the apocalypse or end of the world.' Cool, eh?). It's the way of the world, as I've said. But lately...lately it's seemed scarily true. On a personal level, the end of my first semester as a senior is rapidly approaching, and while I'm excited, I'm also scared. Before now, I'd been worried; I worried when I applied to college, of course, and at other strategic points along the way (the MCAT, for example). But before now I had never been truly scared. And while I'm aching to go to medical school, I'm also abjectly terrified. The office of Community Development puts on all these programs for freshman students: How to Spot Eating Disorders, Being LGBT at Cornell, Overcoming Procrastination--any virtue or vice you could imagine has an associated program. The seniors get the career fairs, I guess (and the free schwag from Merill Lynch and HP and so on...I considered going and pretending to be an econ major in order to score pens and highlighters, but decided against it...no, not really). I propose that Cornell institute a program for seniors at the beginning of the year called "Mortal Terror and You." Bet you five bucks the auditorium would be packed.

I fell asleep this afternoon and felt like I'd broken into a million tiny pieces that someone had somehow managed to scoop together and arrange under the sheets: The Sudan. Applications. Guantanamo. Global warming. My parents' mortality. The limbs of the trees here, now stripped of their leaves, waving in the wind like the arms of the fallen. The impending gas crisis. It's almost Halloween, and the veil between the worlds is thinning...

There will be an answer; it just might not be the one we hope for.
There will be an outcome, but the outcome is up to us.
We can keep our mouths shut and our hands balled into fists. Or we can speak truth to power, and open our hands.

Tell it like it is.

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