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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

It’s Just a Reflection

<ouldn’t fall asleep last weekend after staying up for the meteor shower and so I’ve walked over to the Bald Spot to watch campus wake up as I started writing out one last submission.

The only other sleepless night I’ve spent at Carleton was at the end of sophomore spring when I stayed up reading the Structures textbook Doing Mathematics. I had flown from studying abroad in Moscow to New York to Minneapolis to get to Northfield the night before graduation was so thrilled to see everyone again. Needless to say, slumber was not on my agenda. Unfortunately, it was at the end of senior week so everyone else was exhausted and hit the hay early. And so with 12 hours of pent-up plane energy I sat around Fitness House doing the only thing that was there to do which was read the books my senior friends were stacking to give away. All I remember from Doing Mathematics was that quoted a Yogi Berra line that Stevie P by coincidence referenced the following morning in his commencement address (“if you don’t know where you’re going, then you’ll wind up someplace else”).

I don’t really know why I’m telling you this – it was just one of the many times I felt absolutely at home here. That blend of tranquility and excitement returns every time now that Northfield Lines marches me down Highway 19.

I feel grateful – for this scenery, this campus, these opportunities and most of all for the fellow humans. The best part of this term is the events like spring concert, graduation and Rotblatt when you can look in every direction and see at once so many people who mean so much to you, or whom you know you would be close to if you had had more time or fate had assigned you to the same floor or A&I, or whom (as Griffin wrote beautifully about last term) you might not see eye-to-eye with but can still look eye with the mutually appreciation that you both exist under the same sky.

Leaf Elhai ‘13’s six word memoir in the Lens last year went something like “Sartre was wrong; friends are salvation.” Perhaps friendship is the most real and lively thing left to us in the 21st century. I’m looking forward to all the efforts it’ll require to keep those bonds strong against the enormous distance and time that will separate us.
In the future, we’ll all be nicer and wiser and more interesting than now – but never as free, and that’s something to appreciate.

And so soak in and suspend in memory these warm Carleton nights, and perhaps down the road, when you have a bald spot of your own, they’ll come back to you like some wonderful dream.

Geez, that’s pretty sappy. I told myself before winter term that I didn’t want to get too callous or too sentimental. But I actually don’t think I’m going to change it now. It’s been fun writing for you, friends.

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