lightedtrees3With special guests Nuts 4 Nuts and (for the first time ever) Dean Moody-Adams, Sarah Camiscoli reports that this year’s Tree Lighting was a peaceful moment amidst a time of chaos for students who could make the time to attend.

Once the a cappella Christmas carols were over and the high quality chocolate chip cookies were gone, Associate Dean Roosevelt Montás took the podium to ask the Columbia community to “take our eyes off immediate occupations” to just ponder “where we are on the surface of the planet.”  The attempt to speak over the still ruckus hot cocoa line was gallant, and Montás’ speech was golden. The man referred to tree lighting as a great “act of illumination,” gave a shout out to President Obama, and concluded with an excerpt on the passage of time from out very own To the Lighthouse. What better way to welcome Dean Moody-Adams than with a good old fashioned LitHum lecture?

In the excitement of her big premiere, Dean Moody-Adams focused on the “common theme” and “delightfully human process” of welcoming light during the holiday season.  She emphasized the importance of cultural diversity and the struggle between “truth and ignorance” inside the “majestic gates” of Columbia. To combat ignorance and bad stuff generally, Moody-Adams asked students to ponder how best to welcome the light of knowledge into our community, and even suggested that we all reflect on a “divine presence” year round.  With her heartwarming tone Moody-Adams roused the sugar-high crowd to count down to the illumination of a symbol of tradition, unity, and knowledge.  Students snapped photos of this year’s big spark and went along their merry way.  Although Nuts 4 Nuts may have distracted us slightly from our deep meditations, the lighting was, as always, an enjoyable respite from the weighty winding down of first semester.