In July, Hamilton unveiled the first in a new suite of communications to introduce prospective students to the College’s promise: “At Hamilton, you can study what interests you, be accepted for who you are and what you believe, and prepare to be the person you were meant to become.” To illustrate these themes, current students were asked to share personal reflections. This story was written to accompany the message “Study What You Love.”
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Root Hall, second floor, that one classroom at the top of the stairs to the right with the kind-of-drafty window and that really loud radiator (it hisses, creaks and howls). The 12 of us sit around the long table, our dog-eared copies of The Sound and the Fury scattered in front of us.
Jokes pass, stories go around about winter break (that one really tan girl went somewhere tropical). The nervous tension is a good thing — a class full of senior English majors, balancing the excitement and horror of the beginning of the end of our time on the Hill. It’s not exactly an easy last semester ahead.
Senior seminar. This is the culminating course of my career as an English major. It’s one final go for all of us, sitting around this table, ready to engage one of the most intricate literary minds of the 20th century.
No big deal, right? It’s the Faulkner seminar. I read some Faulkner last semester in U.S. Modernism. I’ve got this. We’re just starting with the Benjy section … just one of the most obtuse 75-page passages I’ve ever read.
We’ve got a pretty good stock of literary analysis under our belts, and we’re ready to turn this table into our home for the next 15 weeks. And you know, at this point, I kind of love it.
I look to the professor, ready and excited to face my last first challenge.
“So,” he says with a smirk on his face, “who knows what’s going on?”
Dylan Jackson graduated in May with a major in English and minor in sociology. At Hamilton, he served as captain of the men’s crew team, a Writing Center tutor and a deejay at WHCL. He is now working as a copywriter/strategist for an ad agency in Philadelphia.