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deconstruction by Allan K. '17

end-of-semester atmospheres

i woke up naturally at 9am this morning to a sunny day, feeling rested, and realizing i have no commitments. so i went into boston to find a haircut at this place my brother recommended–the guy there said he was booked all morning so i scheduled an appointment at 3:15 in the afternoon. then i walked down newbury street from mass ave to the library and then up boylston from the library back to mass ave, picking up a sandwich at the clover food truck on the way.

i saw lots of real people, shopping and eating lunch. i saw the verizon employees on strike in front of the verizon store, and i saw a farmer’s market, and lots of tourists, and lots of runners.

when i came back i took all the posters and postcards off my wall, and all the glow-in-the-dark stars off the ceiling, and sorted all my class notes into “keep” and “recycle” piles. then i walked back across the bridge to get my haircut, and read half of a woodrow wilson essay on reconstruction while i was in the waiting room (it’s included in the atlantic‘s race and the american idea anthology). i remembered the woodrow wilson protests at princeton. here is an excerpt:

…the American constitutional lawyer must always apply, not a single, but a double standard. He must insist on the plain, explicit command and letter of the law, and yet he must not be impracticable. Institutions must live and take their growth, and the laws which clothe them must be no strait-jacket, but rather living tissue, themselves containing the power of normal growth and healthful expansion. The powers of government must make shift to live and adapt themselves to circumstances: it would be the very negation of wise conservativism to throttle them with definitions too precise and rigid.

when i got back to campus i felt my new hair and looked at my bare walls, and i laundered all my sheets and blankets, and i ate dinner and started looking for classes to take next semester.