Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Student response to RASH

Response/Review of Diversity Day from a senior student at Middlesex School who is going to Yale.

" After Tuesday’s assembly, the student body was a buzz about what was to come on the ‘finale’ of our annual diversity day. After having learned that we’d be watching a one woman play, I found myself mildly skeptical. As I sat down in the theater, surrounded in the crowded audience and looking upon the particular bare stage, excepting a trunk and a chair with knitting needles, the temptation to stare at my watch for forty minutes was bordering on the inevitable.
Then suddenly the lights went dark and Jenni Wolfson appeared on the stage, kneeling, reenacting her the moment when her life was almost taken by an impassioned rebel. Jenni’s play “Rash: What If Your Dream Job Could Kill You?” details her journey as UN human rights worker, “living and loving under fire in post-genocide Rwanda.” In an interview for the New York Times, Wolfson explained that she wanted “to give people enough insight to make an unfamiliar world familiar…[to get people] to step out of their comfort zone.” As I looked around the dark theater, I saw many jaws dropping to the floor as she moved around the stage. The urgency, the danger of her encounters made the performance immediate, even though the events had long since past. Thus, she brought the entire Middlesex community back to Rwanda with her, transcending reality and time.
When the lights came up, snapping Middlesex and me back to February 4th 2012, I wondered what I was going to do having learned her story. I came to a number of conclusions. First, Jenni Wolfson is an extraordinary woman. She not only has the strength and smarts to live 12 years as an UN diplomat—three of which were spent in post-genocide Rwanda, but she also has creativity to write a play about it and the chutzpah to act out the one-woman show. Second, on a more personal level, as Middlesex students, we have a responsibility, the talent, and the resources to accomplish similar extraordinary feats. ....
In conclusion, Diversity day was not only a wild success but also an awakening to the depth of our community and the opportunities that lie in front of us all. After moments like we shared on Saturday, Middlesex students come closer to “finding the promise” in ourselves and in our peers."