My Dear Diana,
An apology is in order. I know you might have started thinking that I was never going to address the mistakes of the past, but I won't settle for forgotten wrongs. No, I think the time has come for some rather strong words from me to you. I need to apologize for how I mistreated you when you first opened on campus.
Our relationship, tender as it may be now, started off in bitterness. Even before you were fully constructed no small amount of nay-saying exited my mouth. I called you ugly. I called you poorly designed. I mocked that unusual 80's-era lined pattern on your windows. I scoffed at your inability to fit in with existing architecture. And, with fiery passion, I decried your absurd color.
No virgin ear was spared my vitriol. Barnard, CC, and GS students alike heard me condemn you as useless, an eyesore, a mistake. You were dead to me before you were yet born.
Those words haunt me now. I look back at that proud, self-righteous person and he—not you—is the object of my scorn. Speaking only from ignorance (and perhaps a barely-secret desire to be Barnard's first male student), I poured on hate in industrial-sized quantities. I can only imagine what that did for your development.
As I think about those dark days now, I can only guess the origins of my bitterness. Was it jealousy that from the beginning you made more sense than your ugly duckling elder sibling, Lerner? Did I envy the Barnard students who would live so close to you? Could I simply not stand the knowledge that in addition to student space, classrooms, and a cafe, you would also have a full cafeteria and event oval? My guess is a combination of all those things.
Now, though, I repent of my folly, and only you can forgive my egregious missteps. As we both know, I have fallen in love with you. We spend hours together. I proudly reside in your quiet study spaces, ignoring the fact that I am the only man present. I like to think it's because I'm the only man for you.
Your inward reality, my dear Diana, makes me forget your outward. It is a profoundly true adage: It's what's inside that matters. You, my dear, have it all. Bright colors, contemporary furnishings, friendly staff, delicious food, unfilled computer labs, and a rooftop that opens to the city. My past harsh words reflected only my shallow judgements of your exterior.
I pray you'll accept my pleas for forgiveness. Though I may have been a beast in the past, your beauty has turned me back into a man. I long to be embraced by your too-heavy doors yet again, knowing that this regrettable chapter has been closed.
Derek Turner is a senior majoring in Political Science and Anthropology. He enjoys the blanched faces people make when he tells them he’s voluntarily moving to downtown Detroit for two years after graduation.