There really is just no way to make this real to me, so I am going to just keep on going like it is normal, at this point.
However, I have scheduled myself for 2 classes out of Harvard this summer. They are paid for, and I have a schedule.
One class I am beside myself excited to death over, because it is a literature course covering American poetry ranging from the Civil War to Modernism. Which are my jams. That is the period of history that resonated with me the most, and through which I saw the biggest transitions in American history.
From the art world turning from Romanticism, to Rococo, to Classicism….to Impressionist, to Cubism…the artist was able to see the world from a completely different perspective than any other time. It was revolutionary for the world of art.
Similarly, literature was coming out of a time when authors were trying to tell the stories of the events around them, such as Mark Twain or Henry James. Suddenly, you have this influx of shifting character studies from Kate Chopin. Edith Wharton wrote about what she saw in her elite life in “The Age of Innocence,” and “The House of Mirth,” but she also wrote “Ethan Frome,” and its companion novella, “Summer,” where she scalpels her own life into the contexts of small towns filled with hopelessness, abortions, whorehouses and attempted suicides.
What happened in the crux of the century which drew out the intense human spirit? What freedom did the nation receive after the end of slavery? How did women see themselves pre-1920, and post-1920, and how did this shape the female character in poetry during this time? Was the poet inspired when ee cummings broke down the structure of the stanza, and did the structure have any influence on women’s rights? Was society able to see a different perspective for their future after Modern poets threw out the rhyming line altogether, and said, “this is my word, and my word is my voice.”
Although I am excited on levels I have never experienced before about attending Harvard classes, I will be completely honest in admitting that it is the information and shared experiences that I am even more greatly anticipating. There is no other vault of literature I would rather touch than the vaults of Harvard, which have kept our literary treasures safe through times of war and times of prosperity. These literary vaults have inspired poets and writers for hundreds of years, and it is my enormous privilege to dip my toe into those waters.
There are so many things I am looking forward to this summer, and these classes are paramount to them all.
Especially the mandatory on-campus class which will be the highlight of the year.
My biggest fear is crying during class.