Lubbock, A Retraction

I feel the need to reconcile Lubbock Day 1.

Going on this visit opened a few personal English daemons. I’ve had a rather untraditional literature experience at Drake. Because of that, I haven’t read ‘classics’ like Paradise Lost, Leaves of Grass… seriously I could go on for days but I don’t know WHAT I haven’t read. That’s also the problem. Not to mention I don’t know jack about theory or time periods. Basically, I took four classes that centered around British Lit, and I loved them so I decided to keep going with school. But that makes it really hard to feel up-to-par with students who’ve read poetry and know authors by names and periods. Edwardian period? Who even was Edward?

It was rough. Tough. Frustrating, but by the end of the trip I loved it. All of it. Sure, I’m not thrilled about Texas. I curse too much, drink too much, and glare too much to be there. But it’s not THAT bad. The campus is gorgeous, it has a lazy river, and the town isn’t hopeless. Besides, I’ll be studying.

As for the academic part, Texas Tech has some absofuckinglutelyamazing things in store for their English department. They are digitizing all of Dickens’ Household Words and All The Year Round. Do you know what this means? An entirely searchable database for people who are doing research in that period. Okay, if you still don’t get it–it’s awesome. A lifesaver. SO fucking cool (yes, this is where my geek shows). Plus, the university itself is hella supportive of the English department, and the program has professional development curriculum that is second-to-none.

And then there are the people. I interacted with people who turned me off, yes. But there were lots of people I really, truly enjoyed. They’re intelligent, nice, funny, and supportive of everyone’s interests and goals. We had a lot of fun together, and that helped make TTU real. I can see myself with these other MA applicants that I’ll be working side-by-side with. And I can see myself with the faculty who are amazingly supportive of us and all of their students.

The director of graduate studies, who specializes in my field, sat down with me for an hour to discuss my concerns and my ambitions. So, it doesn’t matter that I haven’t read Matthew Arnold. There’s plenty of time for me to brush up. He even told me what editions of books to buy (Norton Critical, Oxford World Classic, or Penguin. Yep, still a nerd). I got a reading list that goes on for months, and I even consulted with my peers about what theory books can help an uninformed girl crash-course before grad school. This is awesome.

I started with hate, and ended with love. I think that means I like it. About this time next month, I just might be a Raider.

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