Today, Amy Poehler accepts an award for “Woman of the Year” and most agree it’s richly deserved. Today, she is crowned “Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year,” which sounds like an 11 o’clock special on Spike TV, but trust me, this actually is a reputable event. Dame Helen Mirren won last year, and she seems pretty fancy so I’ll assume this is something I should have gotten press credentials to attend. Anyway, by now she’s been paraded around Cambridge, given her toast and received a promised roast, and is settling in for a warm press conference.
[Note: This column assumes we’ve defeated the frost giants of Jotunheim and are in fact alive on Thursday.]
Doesn’t it kind of give you an itch that Poehler is being paraded through Cambridge and not up and down picturesque Chestnut Hill, around Gasson a few passes, down Linden Lane, and back to dear Lady Gasson. Don’t they know Amy Poehler graduated from Boston College (For Boston! For Boston!), not a Cambridge college, as this ceremony would suggest?
BC loves to claim people (see Marty Walsh, Luke Kuechly). Things aren’t free of its eager grasp either (see Jesuit ideals, avoiding polite eye contact). But Amy Poehler, to her credit, has evaded the hearty stamp of our favorite suburban Jesuit college. Any well informed Freshman hears the whispers of her parents presence on Shea Field before a football game, and any adventurous freshman will go out in a hopeless search of what I’m sure is a delightful tailgate. But all you hear are whispers.
Poehler doesn’t come up much around BC. One of my professors mentioned in passing that he taught her. She’s seen, I think, as more of a Bostonian than a BC alumnus, but she’s probably the most famous alumnus right now. Her flame, so to speak, has reached the “towers of the heights.” Yay.
You also won’t, however, find Poehler in any of those celebratory alumni videos BC shows at orientation, during sporting events, or the Pops concert. You know, the ones that shout “Hey you can be successful too!” and show Gasson a lucky 17 times. She did, however, give the 2011 Class Day speech at Harvard in 2011 and joked at last year’s Golden Globes that she received a “Masters in Sex” degree from the school which punished students for handing out free condoms.
It’s a bit awkward—the school’s usually obsessive itch to stamp something or someone as theirs and Poehler’s refusal to stand hand in hand with all the other presidents and vice presidents of all the corporations at the internship fair.
Poehler being recognized in Cambridge is one of the times BC feels far away from Boston. It’s a time when the “BC Bubble” isn’t a cute or novel way to explain that BC students just hang out around campus with precise hand motions to a waddling group of high schoolers. What we forget, is that Chestnut Hill isn’t a real place. It’s just an imaginary pocket between Brighton and Newton, between the last city outpost and the first suburban village.
The “BC Bubble” is really four things: the village of Chestnut Hill, the product of the comforts of college life (laziness), another general human phenomenon we’ve claimed as our own, and the structure that contains our larger community together. We’re all in the bubble—all of us who buy into (literally) the school and all those alumni who still bleed maroon, gold, and green (as in money). They’re the cash cows (shout out to my lone semester of marketing).
You won’t find Poehler in the bubble. She’s in Cambridge. If she’s swinging by our pearly campus on a hill, then it’s not in a public manner. Which is a bummer, because we can learn a lot more about life (and sex apparently) from her than a great host of cash cows.
Featured Image Courtesy Of Golden Globes