Letter to the Editor

Dear Observer staff,

This is a thank you letter for the little masterpiece you created on pages 16-17 of The Observer of Sept. 20— a collage of thoughtful, literate observations of campus life made with razor-sharp observations and wrenching candor. Salient questions about the divisiveness of glorifying stupid, offensive attempts at humor preceded a cry for intellectual community through a “pilot-light of wonder grow(ing) into the flames of change” hoping for something beyond a “momentary abandonment of apathy” as a by-product of “overloaded 21-credit semester(s)” and over-extension into job hours and student organizations. We learn that commuters actually suffer “homesickness” trying to simultaneously juggle home and college without the support afforded by informal student interaction (presumably the residence-life programs), and that the affliction is hardly confined to freshman, “introverts” or the depressed. The brave truths in the piece about freshmen— “We spent four years building up a reputation. . .and some. . .are left to wonder what defines us now. . .” “You cannot ‘get by’ any more. You see people who have their lives together. . .while you have no idea what you are doing tomorrow.” “Some days I feel like I am more than a hot mess— I am a burnt mess”— may be too real for some to accept, but they are the stuff of raw, courageous observation, made by one who will surely find his way beyond them, and sooner than he thinks. There may be subservient responses to all of this, declaring that all presented to us is ever-clean, well-intentioned and good. But I hope not. Because admitting to the pain of one’s journey has been for eons the stuff of growth, becoming and great literature. And I cannot think of anything more delightful than to find Andrew, Maia, Jacob, Daniel and Stephen, or even some of them, in the same room at the same time. And I would be quite willing to pay for dinner, anywhere.

Eileen F. Vizcaino
Director, Student-Community Ministries