The terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida is still weighing down on the minds of most people. It’s raining today and I find that it is indicative of how I feel. No, they are not my tears paralleled by the heavens, even though myself and some of my roommates have cried plenty. How I feel is the entirety of a rainy day. It’s the dampness that lingers after you’ve been caught without an umbrella. The cold weighing down on you slowing you for the rest of the day. Your hair sticks to you like a horrific image you saw online sticks to your brain. And others can see this dampness and you feel weak and angry that there was nothing you could do to stop the rain. Or that there were things you could do to protect yourself from the rain but chose to ignore.

The issue of gun violence in the United states is not one that can be resolved simply and most of my frustration stems from the fact that none of our leaders are putting forth a real effort to make a change. I mean a real, genuine action to find a solution. Everyone wants to make a change happen but a level headed conversation with both sides remains to be seen. People just sit and argue their same rhetoric over and over, and yet no one is working to find a middle ground. Is compromise not better than stagnation? I feel stubbornness from both sides is what will eventually be our undoing.

I will say that the the recent tragedy and the subsequent conflict of the past few weeks has helped me reestablish my perspective. Deadlines, homesickness, and money trouble have been weighing down on my mind (I can only assume my roommates are feeling the same), not to mention the reluctant switch from the nice luxury apartment to the smaller/cozier one. The world seemed like it was closing in on me and the pressure was building. But then everything back home happened and I was forced to recognize that I am impossibly lucky to have every opportunity that I do and that things for me aren’t so bad. Gratitude when things look bleak is the best way to move past the dark times.

Returning my focus to Oslo, this week is the Gay Pride Festival and this city goes all out. There are over 200 events happening around the city this week and iei Media and HPR plans to cover as much as it can. They finish off the week with a parade and our Norwegian culture teacher has asked all of us to walk in the parade with her and her husband along with the labour union. Needless to say we are all very excited and honored just to be covering it let alone marching in it.