Surreality.

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2 days later and its still surreal. Pulling up the daily news and reading alerts that there were bombs in Boston, my mind front wheels through the motions of two days ago. Wait, Boston… that’s where I live. 

I was sitting in government class right around 2:30 PM and the professor was winding down into his conclusion. He was saying something about the implications of the Democratic Peace Theory on American foreign policy in China. It’s actually pretty incredible that I remember that. He was a good lecturer.

My friend nudged me. “There were bombs at the Boston Marathon.” Two seats over one of my classmates had the live camera feed up on his TV. And all I could think was please god, no.

2 days later and I’m thankful. The injuries, the deaths, the lines and tweets that stick out in my mind are too gruesome too recount. But there are moments of real strength in this story. Of how a community came together, of how the first question everyone asked was “How are you?”  and how that question– usually passed over with a shrug and hardly a glance– was asked for once in earnest.

Swiping into the dhall, the guy behind me shouted to the staffer on duty: “Hey Mike, you ok? Your family, everyone–ok?” His words brought a smile to my face.

In crisis mode, I have friends who got out, who left the scene quickly. They were so brave. Calm. Collected. They knew what they had to do.

I have friends who were a block away from the explosion. Rattled and shaken up, they came home and in the dhall sat on their facebook and phones waiting to hear from all of their friends.

Together, in those moments, we became a community.

———————

Sometimes I think community at Harvard is a vague and nebulous thing. It’s not always readily perceived or felt. But on Monday, you couldn’t deny it. You could see it in our school newspaper’s coverage. How they weren’t just covering the news but actively checking to make sure that everyone was ok. And when we found out that it wasn’t– that one of the three killed had been one of our own and was the sister of a staffer in one of our own residential houses– people rallied.  Her story was written.

And just like that words have become a vehicle of sorts for this community that often becomes a whirlwind of busyness wrapped up in academic endeavors and extracurriculars. Words, hugs, honest how are YOU’s have reverberated around me as I’ve watched the news. They’ve been the stuff of a horrible Monday and its aftermath. They’re the things that the news can’t quite capture for you.

The fact that… Boston… We’re ok. 

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