Thursdays: for me, they’re way busier than Wednesdays, kind of busier than Mondays, and not as busy as Tuesdays. Here’s my Thursday.
9:25 Accompany friend Caroline to the Atrium for pre-class coffee. The Atrium is the front segment of the dining hall, a little convenience store where you can buy coffee, snacks, Hot Pockets and delicious tubes of chocolate chip cookie dough. And hey, Dunkin’ Donuts donuts for sale.
It’s rainy today. Rain at Skidmore means half the campus is prepared and the other half forgets to look outside before exiting the res halls. There are rain boots and soggy sneakers in equal proportion. The tree on the green is turning all autumnal!
9:40 Go to class – Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Romances. Professor Cahn likens Richard II to today’s politics. If Henry Herford has the charisma of a Clinton or an Obama, our friend Richie the Second is more like…John Kerry. Class is entertaining; at one point, Prof Cahn waves his hands around and says, “You can’t miss this line! Your whole day will be ruined!”
11:10 Go to next class – 20th Century African American Novels. We’re reading Their Eyes Were Watching God. Discussion is good – our professor guides us without getting dictatorial. I also love that this course is taught by the head of the English department and he still managed to learn all of our names. He even went around our circle and got ‘em all right. We golf-clapped for him.
12:30 Go home and eat a quick grilled cheese sammich before hitting the library. I’m writing up some discussion notes for my senior English seminar and working on a review of the latest Das Racist album. Library is peaceful.
3:40 Senior seminar on James Joyce’s Ulysses. We all have to take turns leading the discussions and today’s my turn. We talk about nightmares, Hamlet, the Odyssey, milkmaids, med students, Catholicism, drinking black coffee, and making fun of poets. It goes well. The nine of us in the class all have to write 40+ page papers by the end of the semester. SCARY STUFF INDEED.
5:15 The annual Fox-Adler book arts lecture is the next building over: Irvin Ungar talks about the Polish artist Arthur Szyk, who did everything from medieval-style illuminated manuscripts to anti-Nazi propaganda cartoons to an illustrated Haggadah. The colors Szyk uses are brilliant – Ungar shows us a really charming picture of men with cotton candy hued turbans. Once Szyk’s art was on a billboard in Times Square — does that ever happen anymore?
Ungar also tells us a story about how he got Szyk (who died in 1951) a show in the German Historical Museum in 2008 by sheer luck; the museum director had just had a cancellation, and Ungar proposed the show to him at the opportune moment. The whole lecture was fascinating, especially owing to Ungar’s oratory prowess. Real books aren’t dead, y’all.
6:30 Snag complimentary cheese cubes from lecture reception, then head home just in time for massive rainstorm. It is dumping buckets outside. Make tea and watch telly.