Point Park Globe

An open letter from an admittedly apathetic writer


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You’ve heard it before. 

If you’re a freshman, you may have only heard it once or twice. If you’re a graduating senior set to egress through the portal of college into the vortex of adult life, it’s possible you might pull your hair out if you heard it one
more time.

“The corner of real and world.”

City living is no joke. It’s filled to the brim with experience, both positive and negative. There’s just something about cities that fortify diverse communities and energize change. 

Pittsburgh is weird and homey and exciting, all at the same time. We’ve got a pretty intricate music scene, a heck of a lot of bridges and a relatively affordable cost of living. Plus, we invented the polio vaccine here, and the Big Mac, although there are supposedly no connections between
the two. 

Cities, Pittsburgh included, are accompanied by constantly moving pieces – this is what we’re destined to receive when bundles of communities and lifestyles are all pushed up next to one another. 

While the drizzles of this past spring made way for the fervor of the heat of summer, it’s only normal that a whole world of news would pass by in just three months. 

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but a seemingly unending amount of happenings presented themselves while you were gone, nationally and
locally. 

17 year-old Antwon Rose Jr. was shot down in Braddock – introducing East Pittsburgh protests for days following his death. 

We expanded protections for LGBT people, except for hate-crime law. That doesn’t
include them. 

Pittsburgh Public Schools have decided to offer in-house drug and alcohol counseling. 

Most recently, we mourn the loss of perpetual Pittsburgh advocate and Point Breeze native Mac Miller, by way of a suspected overdose. 

Meanwhile, the opioid epidemic unrelentingly seizes an estimated 115 lives per day. Pennsylvania continues to drive record overdoses statewide. 

The 2018 midterm election season is upon us. People care about football again. We still hate plastic straws, and now we either wage war against or offer up exaltations to Nike (and as a result choose to loathe or worship one another based on our perspective of the aforementioned). We still care about Hillary’s emails. 

The continued paralyzing gentrification of poor communities. 

The abuse of thousands of children by trusted priests and deacons.

The violent murder of a beloved and decorated professor. 

That’s what you’ll find at the corner of real and world. 

Not dissimilar to yourselves, I’ve long felt something deep inside me that urges me to do something, anything, about the cruel offerings this life sometimes presents. And just like you, my human nature causes me to lose sight of the vision and replace it with the confusion and apathy of throwing my hands up in surrender. 

My student time-clock is ticking. I don’t have much longer until I head out into the Twilight Zone of young adulthood. This platform, this free voice – one that is heard, respected and largely unexpurgated, will no longer present itself as an option for me. 

Chances are, my imminent December graduation is going to send me into a bit of a reeling identification crisis; I will no longer be given the chance to bask in academia and student
activism. 

I don’t want you to feel a single bit of bad for me, naturally, but I want you to know that if you’re still a student, you have a platform unlike any other. You are surrounded by interesting, diverse individuals with compelling needs and ideas. 

Listen, you – yes, you – have it in you to make this world, this country, this state, this city, this campus, this community, a better place to be alive. You have it in you to make it a better place to get an education, a better place to grow old – no matter where you are. You have it in you. We do. 

If you find yourself in most any Pittsburgh residential area, you’ll uncover these magical little signs. They’re posted up in the lawns of townhouses and they read, “No matter where you’re from, you’re welcome here.” The message is written in Spanish, English and Arabic. They are reminders of hope and hospitality – an olive branch hoisted high from our strange little city. 

From everyone at The Globe, and directly from my desk, no matter where you’re from, no matter who you are, you’re welcome here. 

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