Latin Goes to Funkytown

Noa Rosenberg Now’s the time of year when you have to finally accept that you’re back. The first full weeks down, tests and essays are creeping up in classes, the novelty of seeing friends and teachers has (somewhat) worn off, even Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back. It is these reminders and more that force students to settle into their routines just like usual, but this year something feels different. Things feel just plain funky at the top of this school year. Funky is accepted generally to mean that things are a little off. Not in a bad way necessarily; it could even connotate things being off in a good way or, at the very least, an interesting way. Maybe it’s something in the five new varieties of bottled water, the fact that the boat is still in the lobby, or that half of our phones are now capable of emoting (iOs10, am I right?). Either way, it just seems to be an inherent mood of the year so far. When people would ask me what I was writing for this issue of the Forum, I would stutter and say, “Well, you know how everyone’s just kinda feeling weird right now?” and worry that they would not know what I was talking about. Frankly, it does sound a little vague. Despite my early anxiety, I was shocked (well, not all that shocked) to find that, more often than not, people would think for a second and then express their having noticed this phenomenon too. One such student is junior Anastasiya Varenytsya, who said, “I feel really rushed and that I was cheated of a proper start and smooth way into things. Like I was kind of forced into the speed that it usually ends up being later down in the year.” This sentiment is not uncommon. It does feel in some ways as though last year never quite ended. We are all just returning from a very extended long weekend to find that all of our classes have changed and our lockers are different. When I asked her what she believed to be the cause of this heavy feeling, she replied, “Honestly, I don’t know, but Mercury is in retrograde.” Although I heavily buy into the power of the cosmos, I just was not sure what this meant, so I turned to the website of astrology expert Susan Miller. According to her, Mercury being in retrograde refers to a time in which the planet appears to be moving backwards in the sky. This is a time to analyze what is around you and take stock of decisions you may find yourself having to make. It is a time signifying that change is on the way, but one cannot be sure exactly what that change will be. Unsettling? I think so. Anastasiya ended by saying, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a lot of people are just feeling really really psycho.” Other students that I found to agree with the presence of this mood shift are seniors Charlie French and Olivia Long. Olivia, however, cited a sudden outbreak of illness early in the year, the lateness of Convocation, and, while not new, retreats coming before the start of school proper as possible creators of the schoolwide funk. “All these little changes add up to feeling like this isn’t a real school year,” they said. Whether you buy into the astrological explanation, one more based on earth itself, or even you simply do not find yourself feeling the way this article is claiming, there is a greater lesson to be learned here. Through writing this, I found many people who were feeling the way I was (a great comfort when you’re feeling just plain off and cannot explain why). I had great conversations with people just discussing the way the climate of Latin seems to be. The odd air does tend to wear off as the year goes on (it’s shaping up to be a good one), but next time you find yourself feeling funky, ask around. Chances are someone else feels the same way. Also, check Astrology Zone, there’s always something going on up there.]]>