I am halfway through the week, and halfway through the seminar. This is a bittersweet time for me, as I’m feeling a variety of different emotions. On one hand, I am homesick and ready to see my parents, friends, and McKendree family again soon. But, on the other hand, I am becoming increasingly attached to my life in Chicago and my place at the Newberry. Some days I want time to slow down, some days I want time to speed up, and some days I want to set the concept of time on fire (this is a direct result of reading too much Faulkner lately).
Speaking of Faulkner (what a great transition, I know), my research has been making great strides, especially over the past few days. This progress is in large part due to a deadline looming in the coming week, though I like to think I would have made this much progress regardless. Each day, I discover something new and significant about the Cowley-Faulkner relationship that feels groundbreaking to me. I still have great passion for my research topic, which I believe to be a product of Faulkner’s endless genius,my own blind intensity, and a bit of good luck. Given that us students are spending more and more time camped out at our carrels, slowly becoming mindless zombies in search of any sources to devour, I am grateful that I haven’t went completely insane. I think what I am trying to say is, research has become pretty time-consuming. We all probably need a break.
One thing that has undoubtedly kept my spirits high is a recent visit from my fellow Bearcat Bomi! Bomi came to spend this past weekend with me and it was such a blast. We spent a lot of time exploring Old Town, Gold Coast, Andersonville, and the Loop, as well as doing heaps of touristy things that I’ve been dying to do (Segway tour anyone?!). In addition to seeing Bomi, my roommate Nicole and I have become set on trying out the best doughnut shop in each Chicago neighborhood. So far we’ve tried Glazed and Infused and Firecakes, and I feel that both of these trips have been highly successful. These trips not only give us a much-needed break and encourage us to try new food, but they also carry the added bonus of allowing us to see new parts of the city. These past weeks I’ve also had the chance to see the first annual Chicago Fire Festival and try famous Chicago restaurants Xoco and Crisp. To show a little hometown love, I have also traveled just north to Sedgwick’s, a St. Louis themed restaurant, to catch the Cardinals games with some fellow St. Louisans.
In closing, I want to take a moment to reflect upon the first half of this semester. One of the biggest downsides has been losing the time to do important things in my life, such as applying for all the post-graduation programs/opportunities I’m interested in or staying in touch with as many people as I should. I am missing one of my dearest friends (Alex, I love you!) as she makes her move from St. Louis to Omaha, and I’m totally behind on Survivor (don’t judge me). But ultimately, these sacrifices are more than worth it. I am deeply considering what I want for a career in the humanities, and I have critically assessed my own skills and what I bring to the table in a group dynamic. I have found a real value in the research I’m conducting, and I think I have had some of the coolest cultural experiences on this side of amazing.
I’m going to run for now, but I’m sending much love to all my Bearcats back home! Wish me luck on my deadline (Monday, eek!) and let’s hope that this weekend is a blend of both productivity and excitement.
P.S. Go Cardinals!!