“It Was Supposed to Make Me Cry” – Letter from Rowan Kaiser ‘05

  It was supposed to be the culmination of everything we’ve worked for. It was supposed to be what I’ve given my life to for the last four months. It was supposed to be an explosion of joy, or a session of focused rage. It was supposed to make me cry.

Somehow, that was taken away. I don’t mean lost. I mean taken. I have this feeling of something gone that should have been there. I had visions of the bell ringing, hugging sessions with whomever could be hugged, of lying down in the horseshoe deliriously.

Since I moved here, my primary focus was building up for Homecoming weekend. Getting the signs ready and distributed. Inviting the alumni. Preparing the community. I lived for the hour we spent on the Stoop, waiting for information, people-watching, distributing the nervous energy to and from all those present who had made the pilgrimage to see the fate of their college.

If we’d received this announcement then, these exact same resolutions and agreements, we’d have had the explosion of joy we wanted. But we had a week of anxiety, of paranoia, of just not knowing what the fuck we were supposed to do or how on earth we were supposed to feel. There was a hole where those emotions were supposed to be. I couldn’t cry when the suspension was announced as lifted, I couldn’t even stand for the round of applause.

At some point, I’ll devolve into nostalgia and kitsch, into narrating what’s happened. Ahhh, I remember meeting you that day, we had no idea what was coming, what a fine job we did! That could have been after the tears, before the party. But no time for that, it’s all business. We have to move fast into the power vacuum. I have to find an effective place for myself. Full speed ahead. No time for release.

It was supposed to make us cry. But they took our tears. I guess making us determined will have to suffice.

Rowan Kaiser ‘05