Open Letter To The Band HURT


Dear HURT,

It is often said that the English language is the most inefficient at conveying the complex musings of the mind and soul. So it follows that the name of your band can be seen as meaning so many things. But isn’t that fitting? From “Ten Ton Brick” to “Danse Russe”, you have not been easy to label or define. The world is a dangerous and scary place when seen at its core. We all HURT in one way or another throughout our lives. Your music is the remedy because we listen and feel kinship in our darkest times.

I am so used to trying to fill the void that lonliness has become preferable merely due to comfort. This makes me stronger and able to endure. HURT has had a major part in this and I will do anything to help you touch more people as you have me. You are heroes and deserve all that you desire for the strength you all possess to share your darkness with us in such a beautiful and artistic way.

Yours Truly,

NakedEric & Readers


A Letter to My Classmates, As I Emerge

Dear Friends & Classmates,

Words fall short of coveying the events of the past 6 weeks. My world has been utterly shattered. If not for the strength I have learned in life and the support of great friends like you, I would have been crushed by sadness and grief.

I know that there were some announcements and talk about what happened, but for those interested, I will, for the first time, put in writing some details of my struggle. My Father’s name is Glenn Schwartz. He is a performing vocalist, guitar player, inventor, basketball player and teacher of the learning disabled / emotionally disturbed in a Junior High School in the South Bronx (yes, he is a TOUGH man). Last month he fell victim to an increasing number of nagging symptoms when he returned home from a vacation in Florida. Headaches, back pain, sweating, slight confusion, all that turned out not to be just a flu. My father was leaking blood into his brain at an alarming rate. But, being a Baby Boomer, he would heal on his own…

Upon returning from Florida, he and my Mother promptly fell asleep. My Mother was awakened by a crashing noise at about 3:30 AM. She turned to see my Father was not in their bed. After a brief search, my poor Mother found my Father, in a state that brings me to tears as I write this, on the floor of their bathroom. The bleeding had become a hemmorhage and my Father had minutes to live. With each second, literally, he risked losing more function until the brain succumbed. My Mother was terror-stricken and didn’t know what to do. So, she called me. I was sleeping at about 4 AM Thursday morning when the phone rang. I saw the word “Mom” on caller ID and knew that there was something VERY wrong. I picked up the phone and the indescribable nightmare began.

We arranged for an ambulance. Dad was taken to a good local hospital and was stabilized. “Stabilized” is the nice way that they chose to tell us he was on life-support and was almost completely brain dead. He had suffered a massive hemmorhage and the pressure was unrelenting as it ravaged my Dad’s brain. I looked at him and (beware, spirituality ahead) spoke deeply with God and reasoned that our family deserved a miracle. We are kind, quirky people who usually make people smile (or at least entertained). We couldn’t live without Dad. All of this happened when I was supposed to be in Civil Procedure class.

It has been a tremendous battle and we got our miracle. What happened cannot be explained by ANY doctor or any science. My Dad can speak and suffers no major damage other than lack of movement on his left side (he is a lefty). I am getting very emotional as I write this because I still haven’t really looked at the whole picture yet. If you would like to know more about this incredible story, or to visit my Dad (he loves meeting people – especially my friends), please feel free to ask me or to write.

I write this for many reasons but two are most relevant to all of you. First: I am not a person who is good with getting sympathy or gifts, but the people who took the time to say even the smallest thing were the people who made it possible to push through the sadness and fulfill my obligations at Rutgers. The little things mean SO MUCH! Keep it coming BECAUSE IT’S WORKING! Thank you so so much. I never thought that this could happen and that you all would be so incredibly kind to me. It means the world to my family that I didn’t have to give up my dream of being a lawyer. The ONLY reason I was able to do this was your support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Second: I hope that my experience and persistence can help you deal with your own daily stresses and challenges. Rely on each other. Please vent, whine, complain to friends who care. Most importantly, despite our lives here that make us crazy, try to say something kind to another person every day. I never knew how much it means, but it means everything to those who need it. Let’s help to support each other as you have supported me. I believe that, if we can do this, we will make very dear friends and overcome the pettyness that can make law school unnecessarily difficult. Please try with me. I am hopeful that we will help make Rutgers a home where each of us has a sea of brothers and sisters. Family is everything. I truly consider you all a part of this great adventure and it is your kind spirit that has compelled you to help me when I needed it the most.

I still have many family obligations, but when I am here, please consider me a close friend. I have been taught a great lesson and can already hear the cynics saying “cheesy” as they read this, but please consider be a close friend as I will always make an effort to support you no matter what. I only know this because it is what you all have taught me. Again, I thank you. I am truly blessed with such wonderful friends.


Eric Peter Schwartz

Ackerman Scholar
Event Planning Chairman – Phi Alpha Delta
Student Member – American Bar Association

Mr. President, You Are A Stupid, Insensitive Ass

I have just started the long journey of healing when a close family member suffered a severe brain injury that caused a major impairment of function.  It has been one month and it just seems to get harder as challenges mount up ranging from financial to my education.  I have to reshape my entire life, making great, great sacrifices to accommodate this beloved member of our family.

Now, in a gratuitous appearance on late-night television, once again proving his narcissistic belief that he is some kind of Hollywood celebrity, President Obama likens his poor bowling skills to those “like the Special Olympics” to get a cheap laugh.  This would be offensive coming from Cosmo Kramer.  Coming from our new President who was elected on a promise of bi-partisan peace and love, this is ear-splitting and nasty.

Mr. President, you are an asshole.  You have no idea how much your words hurt and I truly hope you never do have to face the challenges I do today.  I would imagine that the taste of eating the words you shat out of your mouth last night would be utterly Ipecac-ish.  I hope that your little laugh was worth it.  You lost the faith of a large part of the country and hurt many of us to boot.

Great job, Mr. President.  I am ashamed of my country (for the first time in my adult life…)