I’ve been here in Chicago for almost two weeks now, and I could not be having a better time. From an academic perspective, the seminar has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as a student. The other students are insightful, respectful, and extremely interesting. I’m learning a lot from them about how other disciplines approach problems and think of solutions. I truly consider them all to be teachers as well as peers to me. The seminar has been largely focused on the digital humanities, which is an approach to the humanities utilizing technology to assist in scholarship and teaching. Although I have spent a large portion of my undergrad years focused on the content of the humanities, this seminar has given me the opportunity to explore the mediums we use in the humanities to convey information. When I came here, I was certain my research project would be a paper about literary modernism, but after just two weeks in the seminar, I am considering a more digital project. I am still nailing the details about the project down, but stay tuned for something (hopefully) progressive, and (definitely) fun! Additionally, I got a job at the Newberry working in the Scholl Center for American History and Culture, which I could not be more thrilled about. I will be starting my position early next week, which I think will be one of the most valuable learning opportunities I have here.
From a more personal perspective, I’m completely in love with Chicago. I have never felt healthier, happier, and more at peace with my life. I love my tiny (somewhat crappy) studio apartment. It might not be much (it lacks an air conditioner), but it feels like home. My roommate Nicole is the best roomie one could ask for–it is always nice to hear her perspectives on life, religion, Chicago, and anything! With my new friends, I have been able to explore the parks, restaurants, beaches, and even bars that Chicago (and specifically the Gold Coast) has to offer. Spending time at the library during the day is intellectually rewarding on a level I’ve never known, which makes sense because I am surrounded by some of the most interesting people in the scholarly community. But spending time out in the city in the evenings might be my favorite part of the seminar so far–the culture here is rich, diverse, and inspiring.
I’m going to end this post here because I’m sitting in my carrel (I have my own carrel!) and I need to be doing actual work. But, I will mention that my favorite discovery thus far in the Newberry stacks has been Malcolm Cowley’s personal copy of Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner. Pictures may be below.. 🙂
P.S. I have made a realization: I actually like windy weather.