Today I witnessed a tragic episode of student life. Flustered, studying, and counting the minutes until the weekend, junior Caitlin Curtin, a stranger, sat next to me in the dungeon of Maryland Hall to crank out one last assignment for the week.
Challenged by the swerving desktop of the throne she chose, Curtin balanced her untouched Starbucks iced coffee upon a pile of papers and books. Getting ready to work, she gave one last stretch and swung the desktop aside to sit down. This sent the coffee flying off the desk landing with an explosion on the unforgiving ground.
Startled by the noise, I glanced down to see a fallen soldier bleeding liquid gold and spilling out ice. My eyes moved to Curtin. Standing tall, looking onto the scene, she exhibited a strength I haven’t seen in years. She wallowed for a moment then shook her head with a sigh suggesting that this wasn’t her first strike of bad luck with coffee.
She gathered paper towels from the bathroom and picking up the remains, she laughed at herself, acknowledging defeat. I couldn't help but cast a look of pity upon the girl, who then spoke up, "No one saw that, right?"
My pity turned to admiration towards the girl, on her hands and knees, scooping up handfuls of coffee and ice in the middle of the hall, giving the universe the middle finger right back. The crime scene became a watermark but the dagger in poor Caitlin’s side was the smell of the spilled coffee that haunted the spot.
As we conquer this dreadful, dark, November, let's follow Caitlin’s lead and take every hit to the psyche with the same resilience. And maybe, if you see her around campus, get the girl a coffee. She likes it with cream.