As Hurricane Irene moved up the East Coast Saturday and Harvard undergraduates moved back to campus just ahead of the storm, Cabot House Resident Dean Jill Constantino saw some parallels.
“I thought, there is a weird, ominous excitement with the storm and the students coming at the same time, because storms have a lot of beauty and power, and so do students. But storms are also very destructive. Then I stopped myself right there,” she said with a smile.
Constantino and her husband, Michael Baran, and their three children greeted the arriving students in Radcliffe Quad, along with House Masters Stephanie and Rakesh Khurana and two of their three children. Hugs and hellos were punctuated by impromptu races and wrestling by the children. Beginning her second year as House master, Stephanie said she felt a little anxiety about the pending weather but was still excited to hear about the students’ summer experiences.
Jazmin Perez ’12, one of Cabot’s 375 residents, planned to weather the storm by having a sleepover in someone’s room while “watching apocalyptic movies.” Nancy Greene of Short Hills, N.J., packed a flashlight for her son, Sam Waters ’14. She also quipped that she planned to turn around and race back to New Jersey as soon as he was unpacked. Not rushing anywhere was Acky Uzosike ’13, who said he feels like freshman year was just yesterday. “I have to figure out how to slow things down,” he said.
The Khuranas reiterated the goals for Cabot’s residents: academic and intellectual growth, personal wellbeing, and positive social and community experiences. The House masters will encourage students to “self author,” despite not knowing “how their stories will unfold.” The Khuranas hope to help the students to develop resilience — a lesson also learned on a stormy move-in weekend.