Even in the Midst of Finals: Remember to Stop and Smell the Roses

As a Boston University student, we are given so many amazing opportunities at our school. There are innumerable concerts, shows, lectures- so many amazing things to enrich the student body. I remember going to the Mind and Brain Society of Boston University for their “Magic Berry” demonstration and finding it so crazy and interesting that there were students at BU studying this.

Go see the Dear Abbeys sing (did you know they are named after Dean Elmore’s wife?! Crazy!). Watch Vibes dance and become insanely jealous that bodies can move like that. Education is not defined solely by the courses you take, but by the different experiences that teach you while you’re here- whether those experiences be in the classroom or not. Take advantage of every single thing that BU has to offer.

Out of everything BU has to offer, hearing Elie Wiesel speak is by far one of the most rewarding experiences. Elie Wiesel is a Holocaust survivor, Noble Laureate, political activist, author of 57 books and a Boston University professor. Two BU students write about their experiences hearing Wiesel speak and how his life has impacted them:

Growing up, Elie Wiesel was a name I heard often. Whether it was in Hebrew school or in Social Studies classes, we always seemed to talk about this great man who survived the Holocaust and somehow managed to not lose his faith. I have read Night many times and have heard about his humanitarian work, meeting with world leaders to promote peace. He has always been, for me, a great representation of what we as people should all work towards.

I knew Elise Wiesel was a professor at Boston University. But because I was focused more on the sciences, I knew it would be difficult to take one of his classes. I did not know that every year he delivers three lectures, and holds a private conversation after the third lecture at the Hillel.

Every time I go to his lectures and hear him speak, he astounds me by how eloquently he conveys his message. His speeches make me think about my religion and the world. He discusses ideas I have never heard about the Torah or explains his views and thoughts about the direction the world is heading and the future of humanity. I feel privileged to have been able to hear such an influential person speak.

-Michelle Brosbe, SAR 2012

We read Night in my middle school. I was the only Jewish girl in the room, and so my classmates bombarded me with questions. I, of course, knew who Elie Wiesel was -but I had never expected him to enter that classroom. With the publication of Night, he brought one of the most tragic moments in history outside of my temple, and outside of my Hebrew school, and made it real to people who had never even heard of the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel, with his story, made big a tragedy I had once imagined confined, only affecting one community and its descendants. He proved me wrong.

Last year, I once again found myself in a classroom; only this time, Elie Wiesel was the professor, with about fifteen students. He didn’t speak much. He preferred to ask questions, for which we would desperately try to supply answers, to no avail. We were never told if our guesses were correct. I suspect he was trying to teach us that some questions are simply unanswerable.

The one time he spoke of his life was to recall how someone had once tried to kidnap him in an elevator, backing him up against the wall, and demanding that he deny the Holocaust. He never told us how he got away.

That’s what I think of when I think of Elie Wiesel- one unanswered question after another; the ability to make a person truly consider.

-Lauren Burnstein, COM 2012

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