Back when I graduated college—1981—there was a rock group called Tears for Fears, but it never occurred to any of us to shed Tears for Finals, and we went to college in the sensitive 70s.
Now, evidently, it is a rite of passage, at least at the University of Utah. “As finals week approaches and students try to learn a semester’s worth of information in a few days, it’s likely many will have the inclination to weep,” Grace Bird wrote in Inside Higher Ed on April 26, 2018. “But with campus libraries teeming with students, it can be tricky to locate a private space to shed a tear.”
“A student at the University of Utah has invented a solution to the pressure of finals week, which begins at the college today: a library ‘cry closet.’ Nemo Miller, a senior in the fine arts program, installed the closet in Utah’s library Sunday. The installation will remain in the library until finals week ends May 2, spokeswoman Jana Cunningham said in an interview.”
Miller was profiled in a regular feature on the university website called Humans of the U. A ceramics major and sculpture minor, he crafts artifacts that might not be traditionally thought of as artwork—i.e., drawings and sculptures recognizable to strangers for what or who they represent.
Nevertheless, he has a rather tragic background and has come up with creative ways to endure it. “Last semester, my work started to get good and I’m really proud of one assignment that’s part of the student show in Gittins Gallery in the arts building,” he wrote. “The theme was, ‘Portrait without a head,’ about how you represent someone without physically representing them.”
“So, I did my mom and made a 36-inch-long meth pipe. She was an addict and passed away when I was 12 so I felt comfortable that I could tell this story of her, through my eyes, without getting in trouble.”