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Let me preface this by saying that to not remember is not to forget. Maybe they are according to the thesaurus. But not according to me. (I should also say that this will probably sound a bit like a fourteen year old’s angst ridden Zeen submission (and that I’m not sure if that’s spelled “Zeen” or “Xine.”)
The other day, I was walking with another girl from my program. We were talking about how, in Petersburg, the abnormal occurs with such normalcy. People bump into each other and nobody seems to mind. Shopkeepers are impatient with their customers out of practice, not principle. Buses break down and Point A magically morphs into Point B somewhere alone somebody else’s journey, and it’s same as it ever was (and, simultaneously, not). And we talked about how odd it was to consider the regularly occurring bizarre so average, and how we had routines here, though neither one of us could remember their moment of origin. And then she told me that, while texting with her Russian phone, she thought of her American one. And she couldn’t remember what it looked like. And I, in turn, told her that, while filling out a form for some thing or another, I realized that I could not immediately remember my American cell phone number.
As I have written before, I am taking a class on Russian-Jewish literature (Русско-еврейская литература). The class and all of the readings are in Russian, so I won’t pretend that I’m able to understand every word of every concept that we cover (and will, in fact, admit that I probably miss as much if not more than I get). Regardless! This is, in addition to being challenging like whoa and (hopefully) just as rewarding, one of the most intriguing classes I’ve taken. I mean that in both the best and the worst possible way.
There are many reasons for me not to write this post: I should be writing a paper about theatre theory instead/This will be overly emotional and self-indulgent/I will get to write the same thing as a senior column in a year and a half/The only people who might possibly read this have heard it before/This blog is really only about Ke$ha and Russian literature.
But tonight was the last night of Spec production for the 134th managing board, and my last night as editorial page editor, and I want to write this down.
There is an over used and very clichéd (but very beautiful) quote by T.S. Eliot, which reads, “And the end of all our exploring. Will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time.”
In high school, there was a girl on the fencing team (which, yes, I was on) who was a year or two older than me and was, by fencing team standards, pretty cool. She was captain of our team and worked on the literary magazine and wrote things like “turquoise,” “scarves,” and “the name Vincent” as interests on Facebook. So I was slightly disillusioned when I saw that her favorite Facebook quote (which I obviously use as the final test of a person’s character) was, “Find good people who care about you and surround yourself with just them. If you can’t find them at first, find good music and fall into it. Let it hold you until they come.” (Apparently, Davey Havok said this. I don’t know who that is.) In high school, I thought that this was just the most idiotic, pretentious, meaningless quote ever.
It still might be. But, looking back on it, it is also right. And I know that because best band evah, “The Strokes”—and particularly their debut album, “Is This It”—is that for me.
The decision to study abroad was not one that I made lightly, and I thought I’d considered everything that I’d be leaving behind, and come to terms with the fact I would be without all of that for a semester. But the other day, I was getting food at local eatery Nussbaum & Wu (as I do more times a week than I am going to admit), and I thought of how I’m going to miss stopping by there (more times a week than I’d like to admit). And then I thought about how I’ll miss Morningside Heights - not just Columbia, but it’s physical location. And then, listening to the traffic outside, I realized that I hadn’t thought about studying abroad in terms of studying outside of New York.
I knew that the locksmith was going to check the doors on my hall between the hours of ten and four yesterday. I did not know, however, that he was going to be in my section of the hallway at the very moment at which I was getting out of the shower, clad only in a towel. And yet I did, in fact, end up having a conversation with an elderly, rotund, and very embarrassed locksmith. Having assured him that he did have the right to check the lock on my door, I wandered back into my room, half-naked and laughing.
At one point in my life, this might have made me blush. But my life is regularly awkward enough that it didn’t. And I thought about what that says about me, and I realized—it’s probably a good thing.
After watching the film adaptation of “Never Let Me Go” (and seeing Carey Mulligan live, ndb), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why I love this book as much as I do. I read it in sophomore year of high school, so I was either 15 or 16, and still, whenever anybody asks me what my favorite book is (and often when nobody has asked me anything), this is what I think of.
Listen, world. I am in an emotionally vulnerable state right now. I couldn’t watch the season finale of True Blood, because Columbia claims it has HBO but doesn’t, and I am DISMAYED that people care more about the VMA’s than they do about whether or not Eric’s okay. And it was in this state that, after two years of never getting locked out of my room, I found myself on the wrong side of a firmly shut door.
A horrible epic ensued.
I don’t normally watch the HBO hit series “Entourage.” I think it’s stupid. And if I were going to hitch my wagon to somebody else’s star, that somebody should be able to act his way out of a paper bag. But this summer, at the mercy of my parents’ DVR, I have watched a few episodes. And I have come to one very important conclusion: Turtle (the Entourage character, not the delightfully pokey critter) is a cautionary tale for America’s youth.