Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The End

As I finished up my final preparations for the big move back to the big easy, I began to reflect on my unique experience this past semester. I recognized how it’s likely that no two people had the same experience, even if they went to the same school. I am excited that everyone will have something different to contribute back at school. I’m anxious to return, and even more eager to rebuild my life down there. I’m looking forward to the challenge of rebuilding our life in New Orleans, everything from reestablishing our daily routines to developing new entertainment experiences. It won’t ever be the same again. I’m cool with that.

Whether you even return to Tulane or not, there is obviously a great deal of introspect that you can take away from this semester. There are myriad ways in which we can all learn and mature from our experiences this semester.

If anything, I can tell you that I gained a great deal of introspect from operating this blog. Being able to express my emotions and read responses (even the bad) was a wonderful opportunity. On this site, there were many different types of readers. First, were the positive supporters, the wonderful people who wrote me emails and posted positive comments that provided new insight into my analysis. There were the negative supporters. These people disagreed with my analysis or my perspectives, and posted so in a respectful manner. They contributed to balancing the issues when my views were biased. Then there were the nay-sayers. These people clearly disagreed with my analysis, and also found it necessary to bring down the tone of the blog by voicing extremely negative views, many times without any foundation or warrant. There were the quiet readers. These people read the blog and never posted a thing. Some emailed me, and some never spoke a word. Then there were the worried parents- parents so apprehensive about letting their child return, that the logic on this website did nothing to change them. There were supportive (and unsupportive) alumni, who were concerned that Tulane would never be the same, in a good or bad way. And finally there were the administrators, many who didn’t admit they were reading this site. The few who did admit they were frequent readers said this site helped many of them maintain hope that the students would return and the students would care.

This site did the same for many of us; it gave us hope during a time of absolute uncertainty.

Each of these types of people helped this blog become what it was: a voice. Sometimes it was a voice for the students. Sometimes it was a voice for the parents or for the alumni. Sometimes it supported the Tulane administration. Many times is disagreed. Regardless, we created discourse. We had intelligent discussion, unintelligent discussion, and even downright fighting. Nevertheless, it was a place in which we came together under the common desire for information and emotional relief.

As I sit here, only hours away from my return to New Orleans, I reflect on my experience at USC this fall semester. I remember the good, the bad, and the indisputably difficult. I remember when we were first just evacuees in Galveston. I remember when I had a special “Tulane student orientation.” I remember when I walked into my first class. I remember unforgettable football games. I remember finals. I remember saying goodbye to my wonderful professors. I remember having a ton of fun. I remember saying I’d trade it all for a semester in New Orleans.

As I went through and read each of my posts, I reflected on my emotions at the time in which I wrote them. What a rollercoaster it has truly been.

It doesn’t matter whether you agreed or disagreed with my views. It doesn’t matter whether you believe Tulane is good or evil. We all took something positive away from our experiences this semester. We are all more intelligent, well-rounded individuals. We all share a common bond. This semester will be a time in which we will unite under this bond and we will show the world that "us Tulane students are a special breed..."

We are all a part of the Tulane family, whether you like it or not.

I wish you all the best of luck and I hope to meet every single person who read this site over the course of the semester. Don’t you dare be a stranger, I’m easy to find (AEPI/my own parties/good concerts/class from time to time).


Brett Hyman
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