In a city where the cloud cover is often low and diffuse, yesterday’s sky of lofty, slow–moving and almost–purple clouds was a welcome change. Walking down 40th Street, my eye was drawn up and away from the trolley tracks, food carts and general business of campus and my mind lost in the sheer vastness of the sky.
The worries associated with life as a college student were immediately gone from my head. Sure, I may have a strange love of cloud watching, but this was the kind of heavenly display that makes you feel oh–so–very–so–small. That makes me, in particular, think about the vastness of this world, and all of the people who live in it, and all of the things they fill their day with. I’m not ready to justify the inner workings of my rambling mind, but suffice it to say that this chain of thought landed firmly on the question of the purpose of my enrollment here at Penn.
On a recent late–night schlep from Drinker’s to Smoke’s, former Street Photo Ed (and recently cultural elite) Sary Kinosian mentioned an E.B. White quote which pretty damn well sums up the conundrum of my college experience — “If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” Or, in my case, it makes it hard to ‘arise’ out of bed in the first place.
Really, as students at a place like Penn, the world is ours. And it’s quite an overwhelming feeling. I feel so intensely like I want to do everything — and everything well and to the best of my perfectionist abilities. Yet at the same time, Penn, college and youth in general have culminated into such a beautiful moment in my life thus far that it’s hard for me to justify doing much other than taking an indefinite pit–stop to smell the roses. Thus, when not at the Street office, I fill my days with lots of fluff that could traditionally by classified as procrastination — cloudwatching, and the like.
For the staff’s primary procrastination this past week, and undoubtedly yours for the next hour, see the facing page AND the back page for Street’s 10th Annual Cultural Elite.