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An essay of your own choice

I came, I saw, but I do not have to pee.

“So naturally, we pee on him.” Him referring to THE John Harvard statue. I recently read this article in the Harvard Crimson, which the Harvardian might seldom lay they eyes on, perhaps it is because they need not again be reminded that they are the blessed few. Yet to me, an outsider, the most eye-catching part of the sentence is the adverb, instead of the verb. “So naturally”. I murmured again and again. Oh… After the Harvardians perfectly and effectively ruined my impression pf Yale by their parody of the Yale admission video, as I realize the toe is just about my height, have they already soaked me with their urine?

Reading the article and knowing that so frequently they pee on the statue, I was indeed confused. Compared to my most “indecorous” thing I did on Harvard campus, which was climbing the stele in front of the Boylston Hall, touching and reading off the almost illegible characters that weathered eighty years of acid rain, as if paying homage to the Chinese pioneers in the 1930s, I would’ve lost miserably because, at the same time, sneakily, I was so afraid that some visitors were just going to run into me and shout “GET OFF!”.  Of course I will not repay my grievance by childishly peeing on the stele too, for I do respect or even vowed to emulate the Chinese Harvard Alumni for lifetime.  However, this”to pee or not to pee” question truly started my own inquiry. 

Let us not forget, the ritual is never complete, or cannot exist, without the tourists’ caress.  When I finished my Latin class, I would sit on one of the chairs in the yard, enjoy the agreeable shades of the enormous sheltering tree, and observe the crowd that appear, disappear or maybe reappear. Their consistent poses, the touching of the toe, however, present a paradox (not an irony) of my impression of America. On one hand, it is a video clip Mr. Marinov showed in my Economics class, replaying a campaign of Clinton who was clenching his fist and cheering the crowd, “So we can be the GREATEST country in the world FOREVER.” It is the American dream even as tragic as Willy in the Death of a Salesman or the Great Gatsby. On the other hand, it is Friedman’s blog articles Tristan shared on Facebook, (We are so deep in trouble and we cannot even pass an energy bill while the Chinese have started green energy programs.) It is my dearest American friends in three schools who just need a little more practice in Math, complaining Asians (so vague) are too good at it. The more bombardment of “We can achieve ANYTHING” and “We can NEVER do this” I receive, the farther I am deviated from my self-recognition. If I have to say something about peeing on the statue, I can only be thankful. The urine that drenched the gleaming toe makes me seriously consider notions, such as we ought to be ourselves, become cliché are not because everyone knows it but quite the opposite. We all have our shortcomings or idiosyncrasy because we are Homo sapiens. Being flawed men does not make others Gods. The urinators clearly have already admitted it with sound action. Yet I need constantly be reminded, perhaps by the urine, that even if I always forget my keys and get locked out; even if I hate flip-flops to death; even if I cannot help laughing when I tell jokes; I still need not idolize others and dwarf myself. If I do not lower my head, crouch or bow, how will anyone, even Harvardians, is to pee on me without the difficulty to mount? 

At one point, a friend commented that peeing on the John Harvard statue is quite like the situation in the fortress besieged2. Yet then, I find only one side of the story concurs with the resemblance: although so many outsiders are either so eagerly wracking their brains to impress you or unconditionally idealizing this place, the people inside the walls have already answered, demystified themselves and proven exactly why they deserve to be within; because, so naturally, they pee on the statue.

And I ought to stretch my long posed and exhausted body and fingers; I ought to ask with relief,” After all, what’s the big deal?”

The Truth about John Harvard

A French proverb: those who are outside want to get in, and those who are inside want to get out.