“Free Kodak Black, he ain’t do nothin wrong!”
The lockers blatter together like church bells, clattering under the fists of students running amuck in the halls. Snickers erupt from outside the room, snake under the closed door, and fill the room like smoke. The footsteps grow louder, flowing towards the room, and a young girl walks in, asking for tutoring in math—and the noise ebbs away behind her.
The pamphleteers outside of the Science Center are getting aggressive. They shove a colorful flyer in my face, promoting a talk being given by professors on the intersectionality of science and spirituality. “Do you believe in miracles?”
I falter. Yes? Maybe? Memories blur behind my eyes like a black and white movie reel, spinning spinning spinning. It lands on my acceptance letter. Knee-jerk reactions land in the throat and the wound begins to hemorrhage, a lump develops. Swallowing assuages this fear, caresses the thing that refuses to be anything more than dark and hard and lumpy and invulnerable into confession.
The signs in the yard intend to be endearing: "Whoever you are, you are Harvard." Yet, despite (and in spite) of the College’s efforts, I’m hesitant to hang my hat on this hollow truth.
Nine out of ten times, a two hour class is a mini-fugue. The clock ticks in memorandum for the time you could have spent anywhere and everywhere else. You could’ve had the pulse of the world under your thumb, but those two hours (of which you cannot remember learning a thing) robbed you of these opportunities. When the class ends, that fiery fervor you had for life two hours ago has now whimpered into barely-glowing coals raked over your shoulders, under your tongue, below your feet. You feel your will steep, the passion seeping out from all over. The only mercy you crave is for the sweet embrace of a nap to wrap its hands around your shoulders and lull you into comfortable quasi-amnesia. But that’s your bit of sacrifice for a good grade, two hours. Seems relatively harmless, doesn’t it?
Yet, a two hour class I had a few weeks ago was not like the others.The professor usually starts class with an anecdote and leads into the topic; ironically, I don’t remember what the intended lesson was. What I do remember, however, is the lesson I took home:
“All people here do is brag about how little sleep they get.”
This stopped me in my tracks. Usually, my mornings at Annenberg consist of controlling my quaking hands so my coffee doesn’t spill and making up fake lives for other breakfast-goers. The person two tables ahead preps for a marathon this weekend, picks at their egg whites and grilled chicken. The kid with the headphones and a laptop is furiously scribbling the answers to a p-set due in 10 minutes. I was beginning to marionette an alternate reality for the girl sitting diagonal to me, but her conversation piqued my interest.