From Young Man to Old Man

September 13th, 2010

I was born on September 11th, 1987.

On September 11th, 2001 the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were attacked.

For the past nine years, celebrating my birthday has been a strange day. For me, it is a day of celebration, because in our culture, we celebrate the fact that you have less life ahead of you. It is also a day of commemoration and contemplation, because we can never forget what happened on 9/11/2001.

I think that this year I succeeded at balancing celebrating and commemorating. I had an amazing birthday weekend. Let me tell you.

On Friday, we had our large campus concert, called Party on the Green. Our headliners were Rhymefest and Foxy Shazam; a hip-hop artist and a rock band.  Before we got to our headliners we had some of our student talent perform to warm up the crowd. The concert seemed to go really, really well, but before Rhymefest was done, I had to leave to pick up one of my best friends. Henk is a friend that I have since early on in primary school and we have grown up together. Ever since I came to the US, I have not been able to see him for long periods of time. This semester, he is studying in the US, so he decided to take a Greyhound bus to come visit me for my birthday.

When Henk and I came back on campus, the concert was over and it was right about midnight. First, we celebrated in my apartment and then we went to our campus pub, the Underground, to continue our celebrations.

On Saturday afternoon I went to lunch with Henk, my girlfriend, and a Wooster friend that I visited in Vienna this summer. I had dinner with 15 of my closest Wooster friends. It was a very nice day and I really felt like it was my birthday.

After the dinner, we went back to campus for a 9/11 vigil. Several members of the campus community spoke and we had a moment of silence to remember the victims of the attacks. I spoke for about a minute and a half on my 9/11 experience. I think it was a wonderful way of unifying the campus community and commemorating 9/11.

On Sunday, I had the first intramural soccer game of the season. Unfortunately, the other team didn’t show, but we played for a while among ourselves. After playing some soccer, I went to the Wayne County Fair with my friend from home. We looked at some cows, pigs, sheep, etcetera, and we ate some greasy foods. It was a nice and sunny day, but we were both exhausted from the weekend. I dropped Henk off at 2:00 a.m. at the Cleveland Greyhound bus station and I was back on campus around 3:15 a.m. I was exhausted from a long, fun, and meaningful weekend, but I felt very satisfied.

3 Responses to “From Young Man to Old Man”

  1. Pepson 14 Sep 2010 at 12:12 am

    What a nice, moving post. I am proud of you, the way you unite small and large, intimate and worldwide in your life. And there is so much love speaking. Two questions: I’d be curious what you said at the 9/11 vigil. And I do not understand the heading of your post: who is the old man in the story?
    Thank Rick for his wonderful pictures of Throwing Paint!
    Keep up the joy!!

  2. Rutgeron 14 Sep 2010 at 6:34 am

    And you even got to speak to your family and your brother sang to you!

  3. charlotteon 15 Sep 2010 at 3:16 am

    Good to hear you had such a great day! Unfortunatly I didn’t got to talk to you! 🙁 But I will soon!

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