Several things are probably apparent about me on this blog. I love books. I love reading. I love learning. I am a nerd, and am proud of it. I also have an actual plan for the future, which I didn’t have a year ago. About a week ago, I stopped into my history professor’s office to chat about my paper. My research led to talking about graduate school and my future studies in Durham, as well as jobs in the future. I loved talking with this professor, because I think she’s a lot like me, and instead of simply being blunt and saying my career path is wrong (like a couple of professors have done because they’ve had a hard time finding jobs), she talked through what I want to do and why and how I want to go about it. She asked tough questions, was honest about her experiences, and took time to listen to the reasons why I want to be in an interdisciplinary program. She listened to me, instead of scoffing (like Professor X did when I said I wanted to study both classical literature and medieval literature), or saying I seemed anxious in class, even though I was one of the few who didn’t complain about the course load (again, Professor X), or offering unwanted and unneeded advice when the Professor hadn’t had me in class (Professor Z). This professor listened and encouraged me to fight for my dreams.
I told her that classics was so attractive to me because I could study language, literature, history, and art in a time period instead of placing emphasis on one area of study. Yes, literature is my favorite, but I don’t think I get much out of the literature if the history and social conventions aren’t explained. A literature class can be amazing without any historical context, but my knowledge lacks depth. In addition, just studying something in translation fails at truly demonstrating the genius behind a particular text, and some of the magic is lost. I believe to understand art, one must know the history behind it and the artist’s contemporaries. To understand texts, one must appreciate the original language and the political and societal friction surrounding the construction of that text. I want my specialty to be in literature, but I don’t think I will understand the material to the best of my ability or be able to teach that material without a solid foundation in other subjects concerning the medieval time period. Likewise, I wouldn’t appreciate Chaucer or Dante without a strong background in the ancient classics and antiquity.
In addition to being buoyed by her advise and experiences, I’ve been finding an abnormally high amount of inspirational pictures, mostly thank to that time sucker called Stumble Upon. I’ve picked up the habit of saving photos I love after seeing them online in my iPhoto library so that I can share them later. These images serve several purposes for me: they inspire me and remind me why I’m slaving over a paper or pulling all nighters after I’ve graduated and am non-matriculated. They make me happy and represent some aspect of my personality and my life. They remind me of my friends, and in posting them, I hope to inspire them and let them know I miss, love, and appreciate them.
Here are some of my favorites I’ve saved lately: