It’s easy to blame grad school–I left unsure, angry, and defeated–but at some point, I stopped caring about English. Sure, Dickens’ 200th was a big deal, but other than DG book club, I’ve hardly laid a finger on literature, and certainly not on the broader specs of English.
That was, until, I got all nostalgic when my friends graduated from Tech. (Seriously, way to fucking go, guys. You are amazing.) I went into grad school thinking about the funny graduation robes and how sweet it would be to walk across that stage with a higher degree. That obviously didn’t happen. In the only way I could think to hold on to that dream, I signed up for ebay and started watching books. James Bond. Wilkie Collins. James Thomson. BHG.
Then I bid on one.
It arrived today.
EVENINGS AT HOME, or THE JUVENILE BUDGET OPENED. CONSISTING OF A VARIETY OF MISCELLANEOUS PIECES FOR THE INSTRUCTION AND AMUSEMENT OF YOUNG PERSONS. BY DR. AIKIN AND MRS. BARBAULD. NEWLY ARRANGED AND ILLUSTRATED WITH ENGRAVINGS.
This book. THIS BOOK. This book, right here, was almost the entirety of my existence at Texas Tech. I wrote a textual history on it for two classes. I earned a B grade in the other class (actually related to my specialization) because of this book. I didn’t sleep, drank wine at 5 am, ate a shitty Sonic breakfast, and borrowed books from east coast libraries because of this book.
And I can’t believe how fucking awesome I feel to own it. It’s like I bought a little piece of my soul back. Mostly because that book actually did suck the life out of me, but also because of how excited I am to have it on my bookshelf. I researched the holy hell out of this book. I invested a lot of myself and my learning experience at Tech in this book. And it was amazing. I forgot how much I love research, publication histories, and old books in general. And without the politics, crappy professors, sleep-deprived nights and emotional breakdowns tainting my views, I actually remember the parts of English that made me want to go to grad school.
This book arrived right on the heels of a lengthy conversation with my teacher friend. We talked for two hours about high school English curriculum, dystopian lit, engaging students, teaching proper research methods, and teaching, learning, and differentiating between journalistic writing and English scholarly writing.
Kristin thinks I’d be a great AP English teacher. I don’t know, I have a pretty inappropriate sense of humor and a potty mouth. But I do know that today I geeked out like only an English nerd can. And it feels great to be back.