So, I've been trying to find something to make an end-of-term post about, and I can't help but come to the conclusion that, in many ways, this term has been a fail.
In the realm of concrete achievements, I've been sorely lacking: I haven't gotten as far along in my comps as I need to, I didn't get into anything I auditioned for (plays, a capella etc.), I got the lowest grade I've ever gotten on a test here, and I don't have a job after graduation or even for winter break yet. So whenever it came time to make a blog post, I thought "What have I done lately?" and couldn't come up with anything to say. It's easy to get into this mindset as a senior, where the little voice whispers constantly in your ear: "You've been here three years already. Your friends are accomplishing things, just look at those job offers and fellowships stacking up in your Facebook newsfeed. What do you have to show for yourself?"
But on another level, I did do things. I went to Occupy Minnesota on a school bus with a bunch of people in a class on anarchism and argued about whether breaking up big corporations would improve conditions for workers. I talked to my friend in Sociological Thought and Theory about how he thinks each one of us has our own personal Hegelian dialectic. I looked at beautiful pictures of space and had them explained to me by a physics major. I noticed again, after being away last fall, how the trees change color in patches, like drops of dye spreading over water.
I think a lot of us, especially in places like this where so much emphasis is placed on growth and success and progress (and for good reason!) are afraid to admit failure, however small. It seems dangerous, like a full-scale rejection of college itself, sort of like a prospective student who visits campus and doesn't find that "magic" they've come to expect, so they reject the school out of hand. But I don't think there's any reason for that fear. I've failed in the concrete sense this term, but my inner life has been richer than ever, which is, after all, supposed to be the goal of the liberal arts. Maybe next term I can put that towards some outward goal. A simple one might be to sing in public, maybe at a Cave acoustic night. Until then, I'll probably be Occupying Boston, working retail, learning the guitar and doing comps. See you on the other side, readers!