by Katy Kappele
Sometimes, as if I am shaken out of in a movie at the theater, I stand quite suddenly in awe of my own bipedality. I would not be here today, who I am, with all the opportunities stretching out before me in a magnificent vista to be explored, if not for a bunch of apes hundreds of thousands of years ago who wanted to eat meat. So I say, go killer apes. Homo sapiens sapiens alternately drive me up the wall, make me laugh, make me cry, and make me stand a little smaller in awe, grateful that I am one.
Just after the Welcome Back edition went to press, I lost a friend in a car accident. She was one of the most genuine and happy people I have ever known, and she died when she was hit by a drunk driver in broad daylight. She will never go to our high school reunion. Nor will she ever have children, dance at her wedding, or write an article for a newspaper.
It made me think a little harder about being human. We are so fragile, our lives so short, what’s the point? Aren’t we, after all, just apes trying to recombine DNA into the most successful offspring possible? Then I began to look into people just a little more, going beyond skin color and sex, beyond the annoying ways they chew and snore, beyond the things they say, into who they are.
I made a new friend, learned a few new words in another language, watched people, and began to see that although I may have a love-hate relationship with the species in general, I am extremely glad to be human. Last week, one of my friends had a baby girl. From death comes life, from life, death.
Inside these pages are people. Their stories make them who they are, and they were kind enough to share. Inside, you will meet people all over campus who showed me a little more of what it is to be the Naked Ape, the maker of complex tools, the owner of a vast neocortex. As you read, you will step into part of the human journey as you stand in line for financial aid, transfer to Whatcom Community College from a four-year college, prepare to steward the planet, and figure out the mysteries of crime.
News isn’t about things, or events, or classes — the news is about people. I love people, I hate people, but mostly I feel a great fondness for the only species to live on every continent, to have been to the moon, and the only species to have lost most of its instincts in exchange for the power of thought.
Go boldly forth, mankind; journey on.