Last night, we got a pleasant reminder that the holidays are quickly approaching. Taking a break from rabid finals studying, I joined what looked to be the majority of the student population clustered together on college walk. As we stood, sipping hot chocolate and apple cider and listening to holiday music, I couldn’t help but be reminded — as cheesy as it sounds — what an amazing place Columbia can be. Some days, especially at the end of the semester, can make the best of us wish we could just drop out and join the circus, and the tree-lighting came not a moment too soon to provide a needed dose of cheer.
Amidst the various carols and performances, each of the deans took a few minutes to speak, and each shared something different. While Dean Hinkson talked about the relationship between education and different holiday traditions, and Dean Goldfarb praised Thomas Edison, Dean Awn shared his favorite part of working here – “the ability to inflict unmitigated pain on students.” Deantini took the night, though, with a brief Columbia history lesson that ended in a riddle. “I’m going to ask you to determine the number of lights on the trees on college walk without actually counting them,” he challenged. Guesses can be sent to email@example.com.
Finally, as our chills turned to uncontrollable shivering, we joined the deans in a countdown to the lights turning on. With all the Santas wandering around selling Christmas hats for a student veterans’ organization, it was easy to forget that Christmas is still a month away. As the trees began glowing and people rushed to be the first to take a holiday college walk photo, I forgot how cold I was. Standing in a newly created winter wonderland, huddled close to the remarkable people I’ve met here so far, I was happy to take an hour off of being stressed and cynical and just stare at the (indeterminate number of) lights on the trees.