It was one of those bizarre weeks in the life of a person or a community. The good news came from France that they had legalized gay marriage, yet the response by their divided community seemed so out of place, for France. To have that many people riot in the street against gay marriage didn’t make sense to me.
Rhode Island passes gay marriage making them the 10th state to do so. But there are 50 of us. That leaves 40 to go. Will that all change with a repeal of DOMA? Should be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Then we come to a week ago Friday. My story goes like this. I take the dog to the groomer and hear about the middle of the night manhunt for Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I had just gotten back from the groomer and was getting ready to go to breakfast with my brother and his wife at this lovely woman owned place in Somerset called Lina’s. I got an alert text that the university is closed. I’m confused. Boston is pretty much shut down on a manhunt for the Marathon Bomber so it doesn’t make any sense why we are closed. I text my boss and ask her to call me when she has a chance knowing she must be very involved with whatever is happening there. We turn on the TV. A ticker underneath one of the channels says that the suspect who is still alive, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went to school “somewhere outside of Boston.” My brother jokes and says “maybe he went to UMass Dartmouth.” We both laugh, but mine has that kind of nervous undertone to it. Then I get another alert text that the university is being evacuated. I try to log into the website but it won’t let me. I later learn this was from too much traffic. When I finally get in it states that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a registered student.
We go to breakfast and when I get back I am glued to the tv. I get an email from my bosses boss stating if we are already on campus, can we come to a meeting. Thankfully I’m not already on campus. I reply I am not on campus as I was planning to go in later that day but I can. My boss calls me and tells me she is not sure if they need me yet. She texts later to say no and less than 15 minutes later calls and asks if I can go work at the area high school to meet the students who are being evacuated and have nowhere to go, primarily international students.
I work at the high school for about four hours helping students get set up at a local hotel. What I learn about how close my connection was to this young man is that he is on the intramural soccer team who we played recently in the Kick the Silence, Stop the Violence event. I also learned, later during the week, that if the FBI had released the photos earlier, like on Wednesday night, the hunt that went on in Watertown could have happened on campus instead.
On Sunday I worked for five hours answering parent phone calls, mostly about the safety of campus. And I went to a meeting with the Muslim Student Association regarding their safety on campus. Many of them, particularly the women, were afraid of a backlash against Muslims.
On Tuesday we hosted almost 200 students to campus for our annual GLBT Youth Symposium. This was, as usual, an uplifting event.
So for this week I critique nothing. I feel good about gay marriage passing in another country and another state and I feel sad that a young man is going to lose his life or spend it in jail for reasons we do not yet know.