Harvard-Yale 2014 was hands down the best football game I have ever been to. Not, perhaps, because of the actual logistics of The Game (also, notably, it was ESPN #gameday), but because it was my last H-Y as an undergraduate at Harvard. It was the last time I would sit with my blockmates and huddle on those metal stands as we gritted our teeth for an 8th straight Harvard victory against Yale. The last game day pancake breakfast surrounded by streams of red and bright, Yale blue filling all of our Harvard Houses with school pride. The last time I would see the tailgates flooded with my classmates and friends as we all reveled in the biggest sports tradition of our year. Harvard-Yale 2014 was one to remember.
And, in the spirit of this Thanksgiving season, a few quotes that have had me thinking lately~
Quotables of the Week
Words from Harvard’s favorite dean, Rakesh Khurana, in a recent email to students:
I have been inspired by these late autumn walks to see our community in a new light as well. In particular, I have been thinking about how much of our time at Harvard we spend engaged in the act of critiquing. We identify the problems we want to solve not only in our coursework, but also in our community and ourselves. We focus on work that has not yet been completed, on how what we have accomplished could have been done better, on whether it should have been done in another way entirely. Critiquing, when it means careful reasoning, deliberate inquiry, trying to improve an outcome, and questioning taken-for-granted assumptions, is one of the hallmarks of a good education. But unchecked, the habit of critiquing can narrow our vision so that we only see what is wrong in the world and blind ourselves to what is right.
Useful words of wisdom from our Resident Dean’s wife at Senior wine tasting:
If you don’t like a wine, don’t drink it. Life’s too short.
And finally, words from Joan Didion in ‘On Keeping a Notebook,’ which touched a nerve with me, a rather indulgent fellow notebook-writer :)
We are brought up in the ethic that others, any others, all others, are by definition more interesting than ourselves; taught to be diffident, just this side of self-effacing…but our notebooks gives us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable “I.””
In other words, we write for ourselves and in order to keep in touch with the many selves that we become and then leave behind with age: the 17-year-old self, the 23-year-old self, and the many other ‘selves’ that are marked by intervals far deeper than age.
We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be.
But this is what a notebook, and the people in our lives can help us do–remember. During this Thanksgiving season, I can recognize the selfishness inherent in this compulsion of mine to write it all down. I know that part of me does this so that I–as Didion so aptly puts it–can one day look back and “remember what it was to be me.” But I can also recognize how many people help me in that act of remembering and fill my accounts with their laughs and the memories that we, together, make so memorable in the first place.
A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!