It’s been a pretty rainy week here. But, like Davidson, there have been some beautiful sunny breakthroughs. Like yesterday, it poured rain on and off–until it was time for the football game, when it was perfectly clear! It was gorgeous weather by the time the game kicked off, and it continued through the 35-7 Davidson win!
But, back to the week. This week was awfully busy for me, with a paper and a Bio test within a day of each other. But, as a reward for a busy start to the week, I had the chance to see the annual Reynolds lecture by award-winning author and journalist Sebastian Junger.
Junger talked about his ordinary start in journalism: graduating without a job, taking a leap of faith to fly to–of all places–Bosnia and begin covering the war with no plans and little money, and eventually having it all come together for a career of front-lines war reporting and a number of acclaimed books. Additionally, he spoke about his documentary, Restrepo, co-produced with Tim Hetherington, a journalist and friend of Junger’s who tragically died covering Libya in March. Consequently, Junger told us that his next project will be a documentary of his friend’s life, a project that will take him through the Middle East to Liberia, and back to Libya.
For my senior seminar, we watched and discussed Restrepo and its application to counterinsurgency. The documentary is one of the best I have seen, and it combines a raw look at the war in Afghanistan from 2007-2008 with moments of incredible friendship, bravery, and honor. Definitely a must-see.
An excellent and engaging speaker, Junger projected his journalistic expertise, but put a philosophical spin on things. In particular, Junger talked about his fascination with “war,” and why soldiers often yearn to return. In fact, he wrote an entire book on the subject, which has been added to my long list of “books to read when I don’t have Davidson homework.”
Despite the serious tone of his presentation and work, I couldn’t help leaving the lecture with an overwhelming sense of comfort. Junger is the perfect example of someone who found their calling in a place they never thought possible, and spent their entire career doing things that they find to be their “purpose.” What better advice for a college senior?