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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 04.30.2020

Winds of change

Photo: Isabel Liang

Today would have been Hey Day if we were all on campus, which means, primarily, two things: classes have ended, and the juniors are now (kind of) seniors. The tradition is meant to mark our “moving up” to the senior class, but with finals and an uncertain fall term ahead, it’s hard to feel like something significant has changed. 

I’m bummed, but minimally, that I didn’t get to munch on some Styrofoam and try to sword–fight my friends with that cane they give us. I’ve been to Hey Day before as a clarinetist in the Penn Band (objectively the coolest ensemble on campus; I’ll fight you on this), and it’s genuinely really fun, even if those events weren’t yet meant to celebrate the Class of 2021. 

My distance from Penn across both time and space, however, and the reasons for which this distance exists, make Hey Day seem like a minimal sacrifice. The feature Street published a few days ago made me weep only a few hundred words in. I’m a crier, so maybe that’s just me, but the reality that the world has become isn’t one in which I even want to let myself mourn Hey Day for more than a few minutes. It’s just that it feels like a small sacrifice in comparison to those made by others.

I’ll be a senior in the fall, regardless of how weird that feels right now. The days get warmer, and things that seemed ages away are arriving, it feels, momentarily — summer, the 2020 election, the end of my tenure at Street. Minutes evaporate into memories, and time stretches and bends. Things seem ephemeral.

But things are turning, too. Classes on Zoom have concluded for the semester and the dogwoods have mostly finished blooming up and down my street. A coronavirus vaccine is being tested at Penn Medicine, and as much as it’s impossible to have hindsight in the moment, I do really feel that change — real, meaningful, positive change — is already here.


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