Thoughts on Sandy…

I am unsure how to start this post. Mixed feelings have taken over during the past couple of days, starting with denial, mixed with a want to ignore the news, but a need to keep a responsible mind to stay on the safe track, go on with my daily activities, yet take caution as the weather continued to get worse. People were going to stores, buying nonperishable food, batteries, water, and what they can lay their hands on. Aisles of stores getting emptied, and the atmosphere of crazies is exponentially increasing. It felt as if I was in a new world, or…a rather normal one, as I remembered the unfortunate days of curfews at home, when the news announces an israeli invasion to take place the next day; streets filled with cars, people freaking out, schools canceled… a scenario I am familiar with, but then again, this was nature, another unexpected opponent we’re dealing with, it’s something relatively new to me, growing up in a Mediterranean calm and nice weather…I managed to stay calm and do as common sense said.

Senior row trees fighting Sandy to stay tall.

It felt as if the weather was so mad, so angry, the wind picking up making noises I couldn’t ignore completely despite the sound of music playing. Passing time inside, trying to do work and fighting the sleepiness and the urge to nap, to then give up three times, and wake up to look outside, gloomy as ever, trees moving sideways so violently I kept praying in my head to keep those pretty senior row trees standing up tall, the view I have been waking up to for two years now.

 

Packing food for the storm. (Luciana Fortes '13 on the right)

Going to the dining hall, people were packing food, getting ready, because everything will be closed in the next few hours until the storm passes, everyone will be inside, awaiting for it to happen, the infamous “landfall” of Sandy was the absolute hot topic on everyone’s mind. I started to get overwhelmed, and confused, what is going to happen? In absolute denial and refusing to pack any food, until forced by my friend.. I guess I just didn’t know what to expect, but I went with the flow, packed food-a lot of food- made fun of the situation with laughs with friends…that’s how we get by through life anyway, isn’t it? Or is that just me?

Time went by, sleeping, reading, talking, trying to do homework all while trying to be “present” on the hall, since I am a Hall Adviser, not to mention the feeling of responsibility of my residence. Then the moment happened, and of course it was night, and already dark out. The darkness took over, people descended out to the halls and the “party” began. Although it was no party for me, the overwhelming feeling of the many people out there took over me. I couldn’t help but feel worried for so many people, the homeless, the poor, the people in NY, NJ, on the waters, praying that Sandy will be kind to them. Texts from parents expressing their worried feelings and sending prayers and positive vibes towards us were rather comforting. Yet, the overwhelming feeling, the endless thoughts of those out there were so loud in the silent darkness. Although a couple of fires started near campus, everything was going okay, I was sure that Public Safety are doing their absolute best to keep us safe..Overwhelming feelings were also mixed with how lucky and fortunate are we to be at such a great place, where community really is at its best.

 

Tree that took down our power. (Photo credit: Lee McClenon '14)

One of the popular trees on campus, taken down by Sandy. Next to Pembroke East (Photo Credit: Lee McClenon '14)

Words are failing me to express my gratitude, my thankfulness and my greatfulness for such a wonderful community we live in. Waking up on Tuesday to see a text informing us that Erdman will be open to serve brunch AND dinner, being open for 7 hours continuosly to provide the students with food! What an unexpected, wonderful surprise…Then, walking to Erdman, watching the sad nature outside, to then walk into the dinning hall and

Students lined up for lunch

see almost all of students there, the huge line for food, the loud talks and the relief, worries yet somewhat hope were in the air. Realizing that without the efforts of so many people who put themselves out there, left their homes, perhaps slept on campus, students who came in despite the cold weather, to work and help provide such a great service, without them, we wouldn’t have been able to eat, to get up on our feet and start our day with hope. I was in awe and still am for the beauty that is the bryn mawr community, that is the honor code, the beauty of human beings. Eating with gratitude, to go back to the dorm to find housekeeping going through the dorms, checking on needs students might have, left me with another speechless face, unable to express the warmth that was surrounding us all.

Super generator for Erdman to feed us all. (Photo credit: Lee McClenon '14)

It is in these moment when one must realize that the small things that make us upset, the small things that show us the “cup half empty” are the moments to be over looked, to see that life is so much more than a lost bag, or a bad grade on an exam, or a comment someone said that upset us, or having a bad day. Life is more precious than dwelling on what lets us down, and life can be so harsh, yet if we try to look at the “bright side” we can see that there are bigger things in life, that life is unpredicted, and we need to be prepared, to be there for one another, and keep up the good faith.

Thank you to Public Safety, Facilities, Dining Services and Houskeeping, thank you for being there for us, for keeping us safe, warm and fed as much as you could. We could never thank you enough for all you do for us, every single day. And, don’t forget those who are still suffering from Sandy, keep them in your thoughts and prayers, every little thought counts.

Until we meet again, Peace!

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Sandy…

  1. Pingback: Staff and Students Shine as Bryn Mawr Weathers Hurricane Sandy | Bryn Mawr Now

  2. Even though I was last at Bryn Mawr 42 years ago when I graduated with my PhD, I cannot imagine a safer and better atmosphere to be in for a storm like Sandy. Living there for three years, I still remember storms that kept us campus bound; I also remember the camaraderie both in the undergraduates and in the graduate dorms. As well as the pranks we played. I welcome your stories and your articles. Thanks.

  3. Such a powerful message, my friend. Life isn’t something to be played with, and I think you’ve expressed so well that it’s in these moments that we realize how precious it is and how vulnerable we are to Mother Earth. And yay for bmc community! I was glad to have you beside me during those worrisome times!

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