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BWW Blog: Coming Back Stronger
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BWW Blog: Coming Back Stronger

BWW Blog: Coming Back Stronger

My first semester at Carnegie Mellon has been exhausting, rewarding, and enlightening all in one. From the new experiences to new relationships I have made, Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon have become home for me. The biggest lesson I learned this semester is: embracing your roots. Over the course of many trials and tribulations, I have become more rooted in who I am and where I am from, a Latinx-Japanese theatre maker from Los Angeles. This semester without a doubt had very high highs and very low lows.

One of the most impactful and difficult moments this semester was the Tree of Life tragedy which took place less than a mile away from the Carnegie Mellon campus on Saturday, October 27.

It was a Saturday morning when myself and many other CMU students received a safety text alert saying, "Active shooter Tree of Life synagogue. Move indoors and shelter in place until further notice."

This event was and still is so poignant that I want to share with you the words and stories of my fellow colleagues.

Adira Rosen, 19, shared her experience with several CMU Drama members at a collective gathering of reflection held on Monday after the shooting encouraging many "to turn this anger into passion and kindness." She emphasized the strength and power in language and community over anger and hate.

Others, such as Nicklaus Smith, 18, came together to organize an event at CMU to raise funds for those affected by the tragedy. Several artists from the CMU Drama community united for a night of storytelling, grieving, and love. "My goal is to bring people together through art," said Nicklaus when I sat down to talk to him about the recent events. He elaborated by saying, "It was the only way I knew how to process what was happening." That night was definitely one that I will never forget as it was a time of community and a call to action to spread more love.

Looking back in retrospect, I am so humbled and grateful to be at an institution with incredible artists who are seeking to make a change in the world. This past semester showed me that CMU is home, and despite the low lows, everyone in the Pittsburgh is ready to come back stronger, create more art, and spread more love.

I leave you with these last words from Adira, "Now it is up to us to create Shalom (peace), it starts with you."

I would like to thank Adira Rosen and Nicklaus Smith for giving their time to tell their stories and express their words with me.

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