Hello and welcome to another edition of Autostraddle’s College Lesbianage: a glimpse of college life through the wide eyes of six freshly fallen snowflake first-year queers. This month’s update will be given individually! Today we’ve got Wellesley’s Kate with some thoughts about her summer.
Guess what. It’s the day after my birthday the second week in June – and I’m not done with my first year of college yet. Not even close. But to be honest, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve spent the last month continuing work on the Summer Theatre show, acting in the Children’s Theatre show and taking a class on Shakespeare. And if that wasn’t wonderful enough, the Shakespeare class is going to England for the last week and then I’m staying a while longer unofficially to explore. Basically I’m living the dream. My computer has 47 tabs open (yes, I counted) looking up hostels and train schedules and dates and times. True fact about me: when I get stressed out I let off steam by planning trips to faraway places, so this is basically my favorite thing. I’m almost all set – I’ve got my tickets and my railpass and at least a vague idea of where I’m going, and I’m going to play it by ear from there. The “Girl On The Run” Kit has been a great help in the packing process – I’ve got my bandanas, headphones, carabiner, notebook, and kickass boots. I’m still searching for The Book to read on the train, though. I’m thinking Inferno by Eileen Myles, since I didn’t read it when it was part of the Read a Fucking Book Club. If you have any ideas, let me know.
Since the last time you heard from me, a lot has happened. I did all my finals (and got surprisingly good grades!), packed up most of my things (see exhibits A and B) experienced Graduation and Reunion Weekend, started cooking for myself (exhibit C), started two plays and a class, reread all of Stone Butch Blues and turned 19. I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations – about Shakespeare, about consent, about theater, about family – and I started watching Gilmore Girls.
Still, life here hasn’t changed much – I go to class three days a week and work almost every day, so I have a full schedule. My roommate is also in my Shakespeare class, so we spend our down time running lines and comparing scansion notes or learning scenes together. So far we’ve done Hamlet & Ophelia (get thee to a nunnery) and Richard III & Lady Anne (set down, set down your honorable load). The class is set up so that we prepare a monologue for every class, but we prepare a whole stack of text so that we have a working knowledge of each others’ pieces, as well a few extras that we do as needed.
It has also been raining, so my hair has been in a permanent state of dampness for the past 72 hours. But I love the rain, so I don’t mind. I tried to persuade my professor to let us have class outside in a flash flood this afternoon, but no dice.
I also started a pet project this week, which is helping the Book Conservation people restore the old books in the Shakes Haus. We have a treasure trove of old, fascinating and valuable books in our Haus that have not been properly taken care of and are slowly decaying on their shelves or in stacks. Previous Shakers have already started to make a dent in the pile, but it’s a multi-person, months-long job. Hopefully this time it’ll work. Today, we went through all the books and figured out the biggest problems with them (broken binding, mold damage, etc.,) and sorted them according to their respective ailments. This will make it easier to get them fixed expeditiously, because we can just take in a stack of them and perform the same operation on lots of books. And then we’ll have more books in working condition and be able to stabilize those that can’t be handled so they’ll last longer. I feel like I’m aiding in the rescuing of knowledge – some higher purpose much older and more permanent than myself.
At the moment, I have a visitor. A friend who lives nearby drove up to visit us. She got to my room and promptly fell asleep in my bed (it is 7:30pm). But she brought cookies, so I suppose it’s all right. It’s been good to have her around, just to remind me that all my friends who left are still alive and will return in the fall (with a few notable exceptions). I feel like my brain is still fighting with that stage of development that you pass in infancy, you know the one, where you are convinced that if someone leaves you will never see them again. I’m working on it. I Skype my roommate fairly often and I write her letters, my big sister called for my birthday, and now I have a huggable person in my bed. These people are all real, and I will get to hug them again soon.