If you’ve been in the New York area or pretty much anywhere on the East coast, the past couple of weeks have been very hectic due to Hurricane Sandy. As a student of New York University, we’ve just begun getting back to schedule due to the hurricane. We lost a week’s worth of classes, and it has been very hard on teachers who needed to either cut some coursework out or pack a week’s worth of lectures into what little time we have left until Thanksgiving. Downtown New York lost electricity for over four days, including the financial district, resulting in over four billion dollars lost in productivity. Wall Street was closed for two days, making that the longest time its been closed since the blizzard of 1888. There’s been a lot of news about the hurricane, but as this is my first year in New York (I’m originally from Los Angeles), I didn’t realize just how much damage Sandy did until I read the news. Some parts of Jersey and greater New York still don’t have power; a friend of mine who’s from Long Island still didn’t have electricity, so I lent him my room so that he has Wi-Fi and a hot shower. My residence hall lost power, but only for four days. Other people were hit much harder. In today’s Wall Street Journal, a front page story was about rebuilding in Jersey. This hurricane did a lot of damage.
But life goes on, and we go back to work. We get up and rebuild. If that’s not enough, we go on to do better things. We reelected Barack Obama. Obama won over 300 electoral votes (270 is required to win), and the joy that I felt was reflected in the faces of many others. A landslide victory that night, despite the hurricane which was only a week before. People filled the streets of New York, cheering the reelection and our democracy. Aaron Sorkin, writer of West Wing and The Newsroom, perhaps captures it best: “America’s darkest days have been followed by its finest hours.” Sure, we’ve had the hurricane, and we lost lives and billions of dollars in damages, but our ability to spring back, and rebuild, are examples of our tenacity.