Nicolas Keller Sarmiento Photograph


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There and back again

January 17, 2011   

… And at last, finals were over. After spending countless hours at Burke library buried under piles of books and endless nights revising my notes, we finally finished our finals! Regrettably, there’s never much time to stay on campus and celebrate with friends once exams are over. In a matter of 3 days, exams are finished, bags are packed and people are hitting the road. Jack.

RA’s have to stay behind a bit longer to close up the residence halls. So, luckily we had time to unwind, pack, and sleep (not necessarily in that order). The day came when we had to cordially kick out the remaining students who, for some reason or another, didn’t feel like going home yet. Once that was done, I was heading to JFK to fly home.

Argentina greeted me with warm hugs, sunny weather and a terrific asado. Our Christmas holidays are normally spent either at the beach or at our farm, under the burning sun. The whole concept of a white Christmas is quite foreign to me. There is literally no white this time of the year. The once cloudy sky is turned completely blue and white skin is tanned to a soft brown. Christmas was spent as it normally is: by the pool, doing last minute errands, going to mass and feasting before presents are opened.

I spent the final days of my holidays in Punta del Este, Uruguay (a popular beach destination for Argentines and Brazilians).  I took the opportunity to spend quality time with my family and friends. I also did a lot of what I like to call ‘photosynthesizing’. It’s simple: you lie in the sun, and you stay there. I believe that I adopted this habit as a reaction to Hamilton’s snowy weather. You see, it goes beyond mere ‘sun-bathing’ or ‘tanning’. The essence of photosynthesizing is to not only to catch up on all the sunshine I’ve been missing, but also to store up sunshine for the upcoming months. It’s sort of like a Vitamin D overdose. 

Anyway, my sunny South American adventures drew to a close on January 9th when I made my way up to Hamilton. I’m returning early to rehearse for “Our Lady of 121st Street”; a play that we’re performing early this semester. This annual performance is very popular, because it includes dinner. Students simply call in, give their Hill Card numbers and they are reserved a table. We will perform for 3 consecutive days and they always sell out.

As I look out the window of my quiet train up to Utica, I see the landscape changing. The only sound I hear is the aggressive thumping of my fingers against the keys and the soothing sounds of the “Atonement” soundtrack (great soundtrack by the way). The long Hudson River is full of sharp snow-covered icebergs. The sky is surprisingly blue. I am thrilled to be returning.

Hamilton, here I come. Round 2 ½.