“Ricky [Nierva] and I talked a lot about the idea of having rolling hills and curving paths and buildings behind buildings, so that you felt like there was always something around the corner. Because that’s what college life is like; that’s what being that age is like. You feel like you could do anything, like there’s something new wherever you go.” —Dan Scanlon
Brown’s first snowstorm of the year! We got a couple feet of snow tonight which is a bit problematic with tomorrow being the first day of the spring semester. I didn’t let it stop me from getting out and making the most of it though!
Chanukah is coming. You all know it, whether you are jewish or
not, because western society likes to paint Chanukah alongside Xmas,
because it isn’t enough to commercialize just one religion’s
Some of you might think to wish jewish friends, or jewish
acquaintences, or even jewish bloggers you follow -or not - on
tumblr, a Happy Chanukah. And you’ll wonder why you get a scathing
or scolding, or bitterly sarcastic response from any of us. I’ll
explain it ahead of time so you don’t have to wonder.
All year round, since last Chanukah, there have been spikes in
antisemitism all over the world. Jews in New York City, in London, in
Paris… Jews all over the western world are afraid for their lives.
There are stabbings or shootings every day, and people fleeing home.
In some countries -like France and Belgium-, military personnel
stationed outside of Jewish places of worship serve as a daily
reminder that if they weren’t there, the building would be heavily
vandalized or burned to the ground. Jews in colleges throughout the
western world do not feel safe attending classes because of the rabid
antisemites that harrass or threaten them with violence or death
daily. In Israel, innocent people, who have nothing to do with any
occupation have been slaughtered, whether it be by knives, or
hatchets, or guns- Whether it be in the street, or in their homes, or
in the middle of a prayer service as they pour out their hearts to
the one above. Jews in Arab countries have been told by their
governments to convert to Islam, or be deported, or die. Communities
that have been around for 3000 years have been depleted to literally
And in the rest of society? In Europe, in The United States, in
Africa, in South America – It doesn’t matter - far from taking
action, or even condemning these attacks… people justify them. They
claim that the Jewish child in Paris deserves to die because of
something a government far away is doing. They claim that a Jewish
shop in Los Angeles needs to take responsibility for something they
heard second-hand, from someone who was browsing on Stormfront or
from reading a neo-Nazi blog.
They even have said – and we’ve heard them say – That “Hitler
was right”, and they chant it again and again, on prestigious
college campuses in The United States, or in Britain. And some of
them would even support another genocide of another 6 million Jews.
They say the world would be better off without. And anyone who isn’t
justifying it? They’re silent. They ignore that it is happening. And
silence is consent.
Now you’re all waking up for your once-a-year lip-service to wish
us a Happy Chanukah? Of course we’re bitter.
If it comes to it, G-d Forbid, we’ll all move to the moon -or
something like that, just in order to live without the fear of being stabbed while walking down the street or beaten to death while saying our evening prayers. And after a few years, you’ll realize how
horrible it would be to live in a world without the Jewish people.
And you’ll literally destroy yourselves over it. And you will have
done it to yourself. We won’t step in, and we won’t feel sorry for you.
“I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go
near colleges, they’re so PC.’ Hey, I’ll give you an example. My
daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple
of years, I think maybe you’re going to want to hang around the city
more on the weekends so you can see boys.’ You know, my daughter says,
‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words. ‘That’s racist.
That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re
The RA greets you on move in day with a big smile, and you see she has at least three rows of jagged teeth
Your new roommate begins putting up photos on the walls of your room. “This is my mom,” she says with a smile, pointing to one image. “It’s a pretty picture,” you say, and your roommate just replies, “This is my mom,” as the image stares at you and blinks
There is an English professor with red eyes who is notorious for never giving higher than a B on any of his papers; the last student who got a A disappeared long ago. You’ve never been good at writing papers–but when you get your first paper back, you see an A marked over it, the color of blood
You go into the chemistry building 20 minutes early to find your lab, in room 140, on time. You walk down the hall, past room 138, 139… and then 138 again, 137 again, all the rooms repeating themselves like a mirror all the way back down to Room 0. When you get to Room 0, you can hear desperate but distant screams
Everyone goes to check out the dining hall over the first few days. You pick up what you think is pasta, but when you stab your fork into it, it writhes and starts to struggle
Your first all-nighter is spent in the library frantically writing a paper due at 8 AM and chugging down energy drinks. Shadows move in the corners of the library, but you think you’re just seeing things–until one of them moves under your chair, and you feel something cold and scaly against your skin
There is a frat house down the street from your dorm. You go there for a party, but when you tell your roommate about it later, she says she’s never seen that frat. No one has ever heard of the fraternity or its members. When you look in the school directory, you find it doesn’t exist
There is always an eccentric preacher on the quad who rants about how all the students are sinners and have been damned to hell. Sometimes, you wonder why he uses the present tense