Nov 24, 2009

The Kindness of (Former) Strangers

I wrote this for my blogging duties at the BC admissions blog, but I figure I'd share here as well. I am so lucky to be at such an awesome program.

It’s not everyday that you get to see just how great of a community you’ve become a part of. My story begins just yesterday.

Before we begin, here’s a little background you may need to know: I walk to school from Brighton center, a 30 minute walk. I also carry a large backpack and a laptop bag, which conservatively has me trekking along 50 or so pounds of extra stuff. And while the dress code here at BC is business casual, I always make the trip in sneakers (just more comfortable that way).

Yesterday started as any other for me. I woke up reluctantly fighting my alarm clock, took a shower, grabbed some pop-tarts and it was off to school. I was fairly preoccupied thinking about the Economics midterm I had later that day that the time just seemed to fly by. Before I knew it, I was near the BC T-stop, getting ready to cross the street when all of a sudden, I noticed my shoe was coming untied. Fairly annoyed by it, I decided to tie it once and for all when I got across the street. But just I started to bend down to tie my shoe…

“AHHHH!” I shouted loud enough for people within a half-mile radius to hear me. I sprained my back. How could I have not thought to take off my stuff? Ok, time to think. I’m almost at class, let me just see if I can hobble- OW, nope that’s not going to work.

Thankfully, being so close to school, I ran into a few of my classmates. They were gracious enough to take my bags and limp with me for about as far as I could go. This turned out to be a distance of about 50 feet - I was in that much pain. Shortly thereafter came even more aid - another classmate saw us as he was driving and gave us a lift. We were able to drive up to the top floor of a nearby parking garage, thereby greatly shortening our walk to Fulton. With their help, I was able to limp into my seat and got through my IT class where I literally didn’t move in my seat for the next 2 hours.

As soon as class ended, I planned to go see health services. Note I used the word “planned” here because I never even made it out of the classroom. I tried, but after walking a few feet I realized my back had tightened during class and made moving on it even worse. I had to sit back down. Our IT professor, Professor Fichman, then called health services for me and wheeled me in the chair I was sitting to the back of Fulton hall. There, I waited with another one of my classmates for an ambulance that would take me to a hospital (health services knew they couldn’t do anything for me). They stood there with me for 20 minutes in the cold, just to make sure I was ok.

Later, at the hospital, I realized I wasn’t going to make it back in time for my Economics mid-term. Several classmates were willing to tell the professor my situation and see what I could do about making it up. I was even able to speak to the professor afterwards, and he was completely understanding. After my stay at the hospital, yet another classmate came from their mid-term and picked me up to take me home because, by this time, I was on some heavy pain medication and couldn’t get there myself.

I’m the kind of person who hates to feel helpless. My back may still sprained, but I would be far worse off if it weren’t for the concern, the support, and the help of countless classmates and professors. My belief in the strength of the Boston College community has increased tenfold, all from the small acts of kindness from these former strangers.

This is not the pain meds talking when I say that these are some of the absolute best people you could ever hope to surround yourself with.


Jazmeister said...

That's awesome! Sucks about your back, though, obviously. Enjoy the meds!

Anonymous said...

Wow I should have started reading your blog a long time ago! ;)

When I read about your predicament on Twitter at first I thought it was a simple back-fuckery but it became obvious the problem was much more serious when you started reporting from the Hospital.

Hope you're doing better, mate. You've got yourself a bunch of good folks 'watching your back'.

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