My curiosity got the better of me a month ago, and I emailed a request to the Harvard FAS Registrar’s Office to view my admissions file. I figured that with only one semester left in my college career here, I’d be distant enough from my application process and freshman “community conversations” about imposter syndrome to handle any brutally honest comments about my application from the admission department. Of course, the continuing saga of the Students for Fair Admissions lawsuit against Harvard also only piqued my curiosity.
The endings of truly great stories linger a long time in our minds. We yearn for just a few more pages, a few more moments to revel in a masterfully-shaped adventure, to live vicariously through unreal characters who move us in very real ways, or simply to ponder and reflect on the surreal. The finality of an ending can offer a slight sadness that there is nothing more to experience, but also a satisfied sense that all has been done.
Look, I get it. Voting is important. From the upcoming Harvard Undergraduate Council elections to the national midterms, hourly emails remind me that I’ve got to perform my civic duty. (Though, I’m not sure the Mather House get-out-the-vote zealots would be so eager to provide me free stamps to mail my Colorado ballot if they realized it might not necessarily be part of the alleged “blue wave.”) Inbox fatigue and jaded cynicism aside, I do believe casting a vote is a critical function of civilian civic duty.
“We will make Jesus Christ truly present today on the back of this Ford F-150.” Thus spoke a camouflage-clad Catholic priest in combat boots and priestly vestments during a field Mass offered during cadet summer training at Fort Knox, Ky. Indeed, the altar for the Mass was the flatbed of a muddy Ford F-150, and the congregation a collection of hungry, tired, and filthy cadets toting M-4 carbine rifles and MREs.
Let us make no mistake: The courts of American public opinion are just as powerful as our actual courts of law, for better and far often for worse. But in the courts of public opinion, that hallowed Anglo-American legal standard of “innocent until proven guilty” is far from universal. The past two decades of sordid politics-as-usual have revealed that gender, judicial philosophy, political affiliation, and other identity labels are litmus tests for whom the public opinion courts will extend “innocent until proven guilty.”