I am still coming to grips with the fact that my final semester at Haverford is underway. Apparently the weather has had some similar struggles, bringing snow and ice storms and cancelling four days worth of classes. So, my semester has thus far been a combination of hibernation, intense thesis-ing, and making friends with the many snowpeople dotting campus.
Let’s start with a little photographic evidence:
This is Magill, our lovely library, and where I’ve currently been spending a bunch of quality time with my burgeoning thesis. I can now quote you sections from “Moon Tiger” and have a clear sense of the shape of the essay. Good thing, because my rough draft is due in a couple of weeks. Anyone interested in chronotopic/dialogic/kaleidoscopic commentaries on history, memory, and narrative theory should inquire within. I jest. In all seriousness though, yes, I’ve been engulfed in outlining, underlining, and rereading, but I’ve also genuinely enjoyed the process. Thesis is one of the best expressions of academic agency here; I have so enjoyed drawing from learning across my almost four years of study here in crafting my own critical contribution to the English discipline. It is satisfying and energizing.
More photographic evidence:
This ice storm was serious business. It was a very sad day for the arboretum; my friend joked that Ke$ha’s “Timber” should have been the theme song of the day. “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” would have been apt too (though probably not advisable; tree limbs really were coming down regularly). Campus, nevertheless, was breathtaking in its frozen state. I am looking forward to when campus is in springier and more colorful spirits, but also wish I could do a little time freezing of my own. My senior year has been my favorite year thus far, and though I am very excited at post-grad opportunities (I’m leaving that to subsequent blog posts, though I promise they exist!), nostalgia is catching up with me.
This past Thursday, the Senior Class Gift Committee organized a 100 days to graduation party, complete with presidential speeches and yummy finger snacks. Extra points, it took place in Magill:
First of all, cocktail attire in the library rocks. More earnestly though, I am not quite comfortable being referred to as “the newest batch of alumni.” True it may be, but 97 days until graduation means not very much time to finish this whole thesis business, wrap up remaining credits, and find the time to hang with my best friends. But who’s counting, right?
One of the major theoretical voices in my thesis belongs to Frank Kermode. Famous for his “Sense of an Ending” series, Kermode distinguishes between kairos and chronos in critical literary temporal studies. Chronos refers to the passing of time, but kairos refers to moments exactly like these: moments of transition and juncture, where everything happens, where memories are made, times you wish you could encapsulate and revisit. They are moments of fullness, emotion, and exuberance. So, no matter the weather or the workload, I’m taking this semester page by page, snowstorm by snowstorm, and day by day; I’m soaking it all up.