There’s a folder in my old computer’s D-drive that’s titled “Smart.” It’s between a folder called “SamsungRecovery” and another called “SMART Notebook 11.” Curious of its contents, I clicked it open. Inside reads: “This folder is empty.” Figures. ;)
Solo existimos por un momento porque en el siguiente, ya somos diferentes: cambiados por el momento que vivimos.
I keep a journal. It's a Word file that I’ve kept it since 2007 and it's my most valued material possession. It turns out that we don’t remember things as they were, because we aren’t who we were. Our memories are tainted (airbrushed, embellished, whittled down, etc.) by all the experiences that separate us from that time, that moment. My journal allows me to step back in time, into a world written by my former self. It’s not objective, and that’s the point. It is my history, as I perceived it, as I experienced it, unaltered by subsequent knowledge and perspective.
I haven’t written in the journal since January, marking the longest stretch of time without an entry since I began writing. These last 4 months have been a whirlwind. I was taking 5 classes and doing a 16/hr./wk. internship during my last semester. I only needed 3 ½ credits but there were too many classes that I wanted to take and I couldn’t resist. So I was caught up in dealing with Boston’s snowiest winter on record, writing papers and doing projects, socializing, and suddenly, one by one my classes ended and final project were submitted and it was over. My year at Harvard – finished.
It was a great run! The International Education Policy program pulled people from all corners of the globe together; people who’ve seen, experienced and done amazing things and know how to live hard: people who imagine a more perfect world and believe that education can take us there. People who, by birth, breeding, or dumb-luck, have learned to be shameless in their celebrations of life and full of love for people known and unknown. While sometimes too ambitious, sometimes too diplomatic, sometimes too traditional in their ways of thinking and ways of being, they are kind and exuberant to the core.
I went to Cambridge with many prejudiced expectations. I thought that I’d find myself surrounded by students of privilege, self-importance, and arrogance. I worried that I wouldn’t belong, that I would rage against this school for the elite, while nevertheless secretly feeling lucky that I had been accepted by it. What I found was that many others had those same fears. Many were, for better or worse, a lot like me.
I won’t summarize my experience here. Summarizes are like inkblot images compared to the real thing; they never do justice to the real thing. I will, however, offer some highlights:
- Dancing a choreographed Bollywood-style dance at the HGSE Multicultural Celebration
- Pre-gaming, gaming, and post-gaming the Harvard-Yale football game
- Singing “A Whole New World” and playing games around the Thanksgiving leftovers
- Performing “Stay with Me”- a rendition of “Stand by Me” that we wrote for our economics professor
- Crashing every Design School Friday social during Spring semester
- Freezing, being ambushed, and planning an emergency evacuation during a humanitarian disaster simulation in the national park
- Dancing at the Latin America Learns conference after-party
- Editing the “Greatest quotes” surprise video for Prof. Felipe’s spring course
- Preparing for and pulling off the IEP graduation flash mob
So another chapter in my life is over and while time will alter my memory of it, it represents another amazing experience that I feel overwhelming grateful for.