A lot of my relatives and friends (not from Boston) reached out to me today, asking “What is going on over there?” Because the internet is so jumbled with crazy and conflicting information, I’m writing a play-by-play of last night (April 18th-April 19th) from my perspective. For some background, I am a Harvard student and that plays into how I got my information throughout the night.
Police searching the MIT shooting scene.
It started when a MIT campus policeman was shot. Harvard students got an emergency text and e-mail at 11:35 PM that read: “At 10:48 PM today gunshots were reported at MIT. The area is cordoned off. Please stay clear of area until further notice.” Three minutes later, there was another text, this time from the Harvard University Police Department that read, “Shooting with injuries near MIT campus at 10:45. Suspects at large. Police searching area. No impact on Harvard. Stay out of area.”
At first, it just appeared to be a random (school) shooting. It didn’t seem related to the bombing. I heard sirens outside my window as police rushed to the area. While chatting with my boyfriend, I began feeling nervous about Harvard because if it were related to the bombers and they had been headed for MIT, it’s not a far stretch for them to head to Harvard after (considering we are only about 2 miles away from MIT).
At around midnight, I found out with great sadness that the MIT policeman passed away. If not for him, who knows what the suspects would have attempted at MIT or the rest of Boston…
Harvard Network and Police Scanner
There were various emails being sent over Harvard lists. One reported to stay away from Central square (close of MIT), where there had been an armed 7-Eleven robbery that might be related to the shooting. News sources have now confirmed that the suspects had, in fact, first robbed the 7-Eleven before heading to MIT. Another email reported that police were concerned that the shooter was on the red line (and possibly headed toward Harvard Square). This information was received by students listening to the police scanner because both the university and news sources were not reporting on everything that was happening (presumably because the university didn’t want students to panic and because news sources needed to get everything straight).
Then there were shots heard at 109 Garden Street, which is close to Harvard’s quad, near 12:40 AM. Continue reading
Today I finished my thesis. Two copies handed in, both 71 pages and 20,270 words (one on super nice 25% cotton paper that is library archive approved – yah, my work is going to end up somewhere in a Harvard library, kind of crazy).
I know most people wonder what on earth am I going to do with all this literary analysis if I’m not intending on going to grad school, and there were a couple of times the past year where I wondered why I was writing a thesis. But it was actually a really great achievement. After printing my thesis, I was walking to the English department to hand it in, and I just felt so happy. I wrote this! I did this! It reminded me that it’s not so much whether I get an award, or money – it was that I applied myself to something and achieved something. Whenever I’m struggling with something in the future, wondering about its application or why I’m doing something in the first place, I’ll remember this moment.
Yesterday, an anonymous Crimson op-ed written by a current undergrad went viral. (I really recommend you read it.) The noteworthy piece recounts the struggles of having schizophrenia at Harvard. Most likely your first reaction will be something akin to “That’s crazy” – not at all because of the student’s mental disease, but at the horrendously poor mental health service this student has received from the college. This poor student not only cannot afford treatment, s/he must deal with classes, papers, and finals on top of hearing voices? One of the most noteworthy quotes that stuck out to me was: “I can apply for $5,000 to study bat droppings over the summer, but there is no application to pay for the treatment that enables me to function.” Continue reading
Immediately following morning of the blizzard, my boyfriend and I went adventuring! It was crazy – we even found a stoplight that had been pulled from the ground and crashed on a bed of snow! I have never been so close to a stoplight before. The thought of taking it home with me momentarily crossed my mind, but then I thought I’d probably get arrested. I hope you enjoy the rest of my blizzarding photos!
A bit late because all of the thesis work I’ve been doing, but here is part one of the photos I took the morning after the blizzard. Also I was learning how to watermark photos, so please forgive any inconsistencies.
In the morning, it was still snowing like it meant business.
There’s a blizzard happening outside my window! In fact, this is my first ever blizzard. I’ve never experienced one before. I spent the earlier part of today in the library before I ventured out to try to take some photos. Oh my goodness does that wind make it chilly! Also, all the snow kind of saturated everything, so boo, but nonetheless it was an experience. I might go out again later tonight, but by then, it might be impossible to take good photos (without a tripod). I hope you enjoy the photos!
Photo by Alice Li
Recently there has been news of the flu pandemic. Apparently hospitals are being filled to the brim. While I advise people to wash their hands, I can’t help but note that there has been another raging pandemic going on at Harvard (and no doubt other colleges) for some time now. Starting around junior year, consulting fever spreads like wildfire among undergraduates, and it continues to burn throughout their senior year. Continue reading