Happy weekend! I hope you had a good Spirit Week and Halloween. For some strange reason, Halloween is a very big occasion at Harvard. There were people in costume all of today, and the Freshman “Fright Night,” which is held in Annenberg, was filled to capacity. There was also a big pumpkin carving contest between the Freshman entryways, and one guy in our entryway spent 5 hours carving Voldemort’s face into a pumpkin. I must say, it was quite impressive.
Personally, I spent my Halloween night watching “Mother Courage and Her Children,” which I built half a hot dog cart/wagon for and watching Jeremy Lin play basketball. Fun fact: my resident dean and her son were living in Leverett house while Jeremy was studying here. Apparently he was a very nice person to be around.
Now for the revelation. It’s never too early to do some soul-searching about what you want to do with your life, and there isn’t much else to do when cleaning bathrooms. After a few toilets, sinks, and showers, I concluded that I really like writing. I suppose I’ve been thinking about this a lot, since it came up in my last post, but writing allows me to figure out the world and myself. It’s a form of communication that is permanent and deliberate, but difficult to get right.
It can be silly or sarcastic or sad or sardonic or serious, or all at once. Once it’s out of your hands, it becomes something that belongs to both you and the reader. Readers, if you’re lucky enough to get more than one person reading your words. Writing can be used to assert, to record, to synthesize, or to reflect.
So what comes of all this? I haven’t decided yet, but I’m seriously considering a secondary in English, or maybe comping (Harvard slang for “joining through a trial process”) one of the campus publications. I’ll let you know later.
In totally unrelated news, I’m trying to find a treatment for pancreatic cancer in my science class, my first a cappella performance is during Parents’ Weekend, and it is now 2:00 AM.
Finally, I have determined your punishment. During tech, you must gather a group of at least 4 people and do a dramatic reading of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Magic.” I have included the text here:
Read this to yourself. Read it silently.
Don’t move your lips. Don’t make a sound.
Listen to yourself. Listen without hearing anything.
What a wonderfully weird thing, huh?
NOW MAKE THIS PART LOUD!
SCREAM IT IN YOUR MIND!
DROWN EVERYTHING OUT.
Now hear a whisper. A tiny whisper.
Now, read this next line in your best crotchety old man voice:
“Hello there sonny, does this town have a post office?”
Awesome! Who was that? Whose voice was that?
Certainly not yours.
How do you do that? How!?
Must be magic.
I realize that reading this poem aloud entirely destroys the intention of Silverstein, but I like the idea of reading it aloud anyway. Video evidence is preferred, but not required. Quotes from audience members may serve as a substitute in the absence of video. Have fun! Be cheesy.