I can’t exactly describe the moment I attached my final paper of the year to my final email of the year and pressed ‘send’. I can’t exactly describe what happened after, either; there was the “whoosh” sound, the subsequent panic of realizing I forgot to spellcheck the email’s body, but it was all too surreal. Could my freshman year really be over? Could months of hard work really vanish in the time it takes to press ‘send’? I sat dumbfounded, not knowing what to do next.
My first year at Tufts may be over, but as I pass Summer days biking my hometown of Arlington, MA, reading books I could never find time for at college (Morrissey autobiography, anyone?), pursuing different/endearing skills (juggling fruit, honing the suave-frenchmen accent), and Skype-ing with friends, I’ve come to understand that this Summer is really just a continuation of freshman year. And I couldn’t be happier... and I swear I’m not in denial.
Assuming I’m not blindingly nostalgic and my Summer will be, in fact, sort of like my semesters, none of it is anything I could have predicted with much accuracy a year prior. First on my summery “to-do” list is another sort of list: a reading list. Since taking The Politics of Reading with Professor Edelman in the Spring, I’ve begun to find myself meta-reading, analyzing instances of interpretation in text and in interaction. Fueling this irrational response to, say, my mother’s “how are you’s?”, I’ve found a few texts online and in print I’d like to read; stuff from critic and theorist Paul de Man to the pamphlet “Literary Theory: a Very Short Introduction.” If you’ve never heard of the series (the “very short introductions”), I recommend it. They should be called “very thorough and humble introductions.”
When I’m not confusing myself with stuff I don’t get (but that’s kind of the point), I plan to practice my French speaking skills by talking with a fluent neighbor. After only French I and II there’s not much hope for me yet. So will I improve? Eh. I swear, if I started smoking cigarettes like nearly 40% of French teens do (I looked it up), I’d have the accent down pat. But how could I ever compromise my ability to breath and to bike? I learned how to play bike-tag this Spring and I’m determined to become champion next Fall. Hint: it’s tag, but a lot more dangerous.
If this Summer sounds too blissful to be true, don’t worry, it isn’t (and won’t be). But, regardless, real-life things must happen too. From late June to mid August (here is where I get to prove that I am a responsible adult) I’ll be working at Tufts as a Residential Counselor. It was an unexpected and unplanned opportunity; the campus just looks so good in green I couldn’t resist.
Of course it was bittersweet leaving my freshman year behind me, but I’ve started to see some serious “sweets.” Being a freshman, “learning” french, arguing with friends, biking hazardously gave me that perspective. I wonder what being a sophomore (weird) will do.