Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Standing Two Feet Away from Elie Wiesel

Today was probably just about the greatest Tuesday a girl could ask for.  For starters, it was above 60º, so I actually got to wear a dress.  I felt like such a girly-girl walking around the City in four-inch heels and a flirty summer frock.

This Picture Really Put My Teacher in A Tizzy
As for class...My Jewish History Professor spent the entire hour discussing the American Civil War.  Today marked the 150th anniversary when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in the Charleston, South Carolina harbor, thus beginning the War Between the States.  Because I was the only Southerner in the room, my professor continuously asked my questioned about the South's perception of the War and the consequences it had on my upbringing.  Specifically, she asked a question on Southern memory. When I told her about the Stone Mountain monument, I literally thought she was going to die.  She was seriously appalled at the blatant representation of Confederate generals.  But, the true icing on the cake occurred when I told here I'm currently reading Gone With The Wind.  She looked at me like I'd lost my mind.  I guess she's unaware that Mitchell's 983 page novel is one of the most famous love stories of all times and considered one of the greatest pieces of modern fiction.  Oh well; regardless of her opinion, I've found the Southern charm that oozes off of every page to be quite a delight.  But, I'm sure my opinion is swayed by its Georgia-based setting (and Scarlett's constant mention of places I've actually visited).

Good Housekeeping was a little less than spectacular.  I came up with a few games ideas for the new Drop 5 App they'll be launching.  And I checked my email, but besides that nothing.

Of course, today was really made wonderful this evening when I literally stood 2 feel away from ELIE 
It's a Little Bit Blurry (I Took it With
My Blackberry) But Still, It's
WIESEL.  That's right, the internationally acclaimed author of Night (the best memoir written about the Holocaust) came to NYU, and I got to hear his lecture.  Brilliant phrases seemed to effortlessly fall from his lips.  I continuously caught myself turning to my friend and saying, "That quote was awesome."  Here are a few of my favorites from the hour:
  • History does not make destiny, living makes destiny.
  • Accept the otherness of the other.
  • Ethos for me is living by the 11th Commandment-          "Thou shall not stand idly by"
  • No heart is as whole as a broken heart.
Wiesel knew he always wanted to be a writer; however, as a child he wanted to write Biblical commentary, and it was only after WWII that he felt he had a story that must be told.  When asked about how his faith has remained strong even though he's seen so much suffering, Wiesel said "What's the alternative?  I cannot say, 'God I divorce you.'  My faith is there still but it's slightly wounded.  Really, how can I not believe in God when I was spared?"  Seriously, perfect one-liners after perfect one-liners.  My pen couldn't move fast enough to keep up with his wonderful words.  If you ask me, just having the opportunity to hear Elie Wiesel speak was reason enough for me to come to NYU.  In 10th grade, Ms. Dykes had us read Night, and immediately I fell in love with WWII studies.  It's actually because of her term paper (and Wiesel's 112 page novella) that I'm majoring in history, with a concentration in the Holocaust.  
Night Trilogy and Program From the Event 
As April 12, 2011 comes to a close, I'm drinking a large coffee from 7-11 and working on yet another paper.  Also, Happy 20th Birthday to my wonderful roommate Patrick Chase O'Neil.  

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