Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Mourning Thucydides

It is entirely appropriate that this cursed computer ate my original, beautiful elegy five minutes ago.

Oh, I hope my honors friends read this...

I just took the stacks and stacks of notes from my honors classes...and threw them into the recycling bin.

I know I have no rational reason for keeping these papers. I will never again need to know how Machiavelli's French detractors responded to his political theories, or how the Elizabethan worldview took shape. I will certainly never need to write another paper exploring the symbolism of the Fool in King Lear. Nor will I be drummed out of graduate school for failing to remember how contemporary cartoonists depicted the French Revolution as it slouched towards its bloody end...

But I will miss these papers so much. There are so many memories squeezed in between those sheets of college ruled pages. They evoke images of long nights spent reading until 12am, or of sitting in the same classroom quarter after quarter, frantically scribbling several pages of notes as Dr. Earenfight bestowed her brilliant ideas upon us. Honors was an excrutiating experience, but it was also a period in my life where I experienced the truly subliminal sensation of living solely to learn -- and loving every warped minute of it.

I don't have room for these notes. I don't have a single practical reason to keep them. Yet, I wish I could justify saving every notebook and three inch binder, despite the lack of storage space and the fact that I will never review them again. Somehow, I wish I had a reason to let them continue living in my closet, dusty and dignified, instead of putting them out in a blue plastic bin to wait for the garbage service...

Farewell, Thucydides. I loathed every moment of our brief acquaintance, but now I mourn your loss.

1 comment:

berkeleygirl said...

Farewell Thucydides... As a honors brat myself, your note brought back such memories. But not to worry... You will relive Honors because grad school is like Honors on steroids, execpt your classmates may not be as close as our class was. Grad school will give you 3 to 4 times the reading load, and soon the sole purpose of your existence will be to stuff more knowledge into your brain until you are bursting at the seams. So I'm a dork, I brought my honors notes with me to grad school... Oh yes, it is sweet and fitting to die for one's studies.