Where Were You? Students' Stories of the Boston Marathon Bombing • An ICMPA Media Literacy Project
I am a singer/musician, and I live in a very small bubble at the University of Maryland. Nearly all of my friends are also students in the music school at Maryland, and last week, the big news in my world was that Maryland Opera Studios was going to perform two different operas, La Boheme and Idomeneo, for the week of April 12-20. I have four musician roommates who are also music majors at UMD, and we’re all connected in some way to these operas that were going up during this week. One of my roommates was the main rehearsal pianist for the operas, while another one of my roommates was in the chorus, and many more of my friends are also in the chorus or have main roles. These operas were going to be a big deal for the music school! Opening night was Friday, April 12 for La Boheme, and Idomeneo opened the next day. Monday, there was no opera performance, so my roommates (and couple of their friends) were supposed to be living it up on their night off. Typically, Mondays are my longest day of the week. I have a class that goes from 9-11am, a rehearsal with my pianist from 12-1, a voice lesson from 2-3, a theatre class from 3-6, then a chorus rehearsal from 6:30-10:30pm in McLean, VA. I said I would join the party as soon as I got home.
Surprisingly, I somehow missed all of the news of the Boston Marathon bombing up until I arrived home at around 11:20pm that night. It’s actually not that surprising given the fact that my class from 3-6 is a performance class, and no one really can look at their phones during that time. Then during my 6:30-10:30 rehearsal after that, we were recording for a CD that the choir is putting out, so that was the main issue of concern in that group. After my long rehearsal in McLean, I stopped at a gas station. I like to check to see what my gas mileage is, so I took a picture of my odometer reading and got on my merry way back home.
Upon my arrival, I expected to see my roommates and a few friends hanging out in the living room enjoying their night off. This scene usually involves someone banging away at the piano, another person singing loudly and badly, and lots of giggling. This was not the picture, though. I arrived home and saw my four roommates sitting quietly in the living room watching the news.
“What’s going on?” I asked. My roommate, Ed, has a sister that goes to Boston College and immediately responded with, “Matt, have you not been paying any attention to news?” “Uhh… No, I’ve been in rehearsal or driving for the past 8 hours.”
Then, I started watching the news. It was crazy to me. I just kept thinking, “Why would someone do this? It doesn’t make any sense.” And of course, it does not make sense. It’s impossible to understand these kinds of things.
We sat there in the living room talking about it, trying to understand what would instigate a person to do something like this. On my phone, I checked out the Huffington Post app, and found a video taken of the bombing. It was so scary to watch, but then it was also so beautiful to see people helping each other in such a dire time. In the video clip I saw, there were people rushing to help each other. Even in the worst of times, it’s still possible to see the beauty and hope in humanity.