Wednesday, February 20, 2013

let it burn no more.

Here's a more serious post. Last Thursday was Valentine's Day and I received a ton of letters and cards on that day that I planned to stay up all night writing. Around 2:30 in the morning, I was sitting at my desk which faced the window and started to smell what smelled like barbeque. There were a ton of people running and screaming in the hallway, which was pretty typical but not usually for so long. Around that time someone also knocked on my door. I didn't open it so I don't know who it was. The strangest thing was the sirens outside. I live in Brooklyn, so hearing sirens every night isn't uncommon. What I didn't quite understand right away was why the sirens never ended, and why it sounded like more and more every minute.

It was around then I went on facebook, and read a few posts on my newsfeed like "I'm crying so hard right now," or "I'm praying," or "look out your window right now." Something was up and I immediately got up and looked out my window. And it was something that I've never seen before.
Photo from my window
Absolutely unbelievable. Right outside my window, right across the street from my room, my school was burning down. I'd never seen so much fire before, that it didn't seem real to me.
Photo by Tori Eng
But it was most certainly real, and it was terrifying. My school's main building was on fire. From where I could see, the whole 6th floor was illuminated and engulfed in flames. The fire burnt through the roof and it was the most surreal scene I've ever seen.
Photo by Becca Wong
Photo by Joseph Ghaida
Photo by Maddi Walker
From my window, I could spot about 6 fire trucks. It wasn't until later in the morning that I found out there was a grand total of 39 fire vehicles and 168 fire fighters on scene. I couldn't bear to go to sleep until there was some indication that it would be alright. The first was finally put out around 4:15am.
Photo by Diana Q. Ngo-themissding
As of now there have not been many photographs of the aftermath. Since the fire, the whole area surrounding the building and connecting to the building have been cut off, and the area is off limits to anyone who is not certified as part of the clean up crew. Thankfully, no one had serious injuries from the fire, but the fire destroyed the artwork and art supplies that were stored in the building, including, for many of the senior fine art students, all of the work they've accumulated and been working on for their senior show. I can't even begin. How tragic that is.

I have only one class in that building, which was relocated for Monday. During the time we usually have class, we were to attend a meeting in the student union to discuss plans and ask questions about the aftermath of the fire. Attending the meeting left me so aggravated. Our faculty announced the plans that they had, in which many were terrible. Many of the fine arts and painting majors that attended had genuine questions and concerns that the faculty members deflected or answered in a roundabout way. Students gave suggestions for what they believe would be good steps forward, in which all students agreed with, while the faculty flat out responded saying they're not interested in taking any of those suggestions, because the plans that they created are ones that are in the interest of the students. Which they clearly are not, since all the students are opposed to it. It got to the point that even the teachers who were sitting and listening couldn't take it anymore and spoke out in favor of the ideas given by students. An uproar of applause. One thing that I absolutely cannot stand about our school is the incompetence of our faculty members. Absolutely cannot stand.

While I wasn't directly affected too much by the fire, it was truly among the most terrifying things I've ever witnessed in my twenty years of living, and as an artist, it hurts to know so many people lost so much from this. Some students are left with nothing; all the work from the past four years and their supplies. Losing all of that is like losing part of yourself. At this point, some seniors may need to stay longer to complete their education. I just hope everything ends up working out.

Love, Kaia


Iris said...

Oh, no! That's terrible! I hope that everything will be okey as soon as possible!

Love, Iris

Sarah SolĂ­s said...

I'm so sorry! Definitely praying for your school and its students! <3

Unknown said...

That's really sad ! Well, I know how hard it must be for the students who losted all their work, but I think the most important is that nobody died in the fire.
I still hope everything will be fine soon!

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