I’ve never liked summers very much. They’ve always felt too “in between.” I am enough of a workaholic that I don’t appreciate the sudden change from doing everything to doing nothing within a week, which is what happens at the end of every semester. Even still, there are some good things I can appreciate.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been dabbling in all my languages and learning about various things that I didn’t have time to look into while in school. Still working on Homer, though I took a small hiatus because I was working too hard and nearly had a mental breakdown. I plan to resume soon, though probably not quite as intensely.
I also visited my future graduate school to meet with my new professors and fellow grad students. I enjoyed my visit a lot, as I got to spend most of my day talking about classics-related things with people who have the same level of devotion to it that I do.
One of the professors discovered that I am interested in Herodotus (though I did not specifically discuss my particular obsession with Herodotus), and she told me that she thought I was likely to change my focus. It’s possible, I suppose, but it’s hard for me to imagine not being preoccupied with Herodotus, especially when you’re right on the edge of discovering something really juicy about him. Not wanting to appear arrogant or unwise or overly zealous, I simply nodded assent and said, “I suppose it is definitely possible.”
I may discover that I becoming totally entranced by something else when I start taking classes again with new professors. It will be interesting to see what captures my attention most of all, because I can certainly find something I really like in everything.
Now that I get to hyper-specialize in something, I am far more excited about being back in school. I don’t have to take any more general education classes in subjects I really don’t care about, when I would much rather be working on my research or reading something in Latin or Greek or something else. I really believe that grad school is the best place for me, at least for now. I would not be happy if my studies in classics ended when I graduated from my alma mater.
Grad school will certainly have its challenges and its ups-and-downs. I’m sure parts of it will feel like drudgery at times. I’m sure there will be ideas I disagree with and personalities I clash with. There’s always something. But despite it all, I am still pursuing something higher than myself and more important. I am seeking to preserve things that are worth preserving, and discovering something new about them if I can. That is the most worthwhile thing I could do and I am very eager to get started.
But for now, I’m mostly sitting around in my house reading and dabbling in various things. I didn’t hear back from any of my applications for summer jobs, though I have a few other things in the works that I will do instead. But none of that has started yet, so I’m waiting.
I ordered one book I will need for grad school, and I’ll start working on that as soon as I get it. I’ve been told not to spend my whole summer on Homer, but strengthen some of my weaker areas, such as tragedy or lyric poetry.
So I decided that I would work on Antigone while I have some time; though I think I might need more than Perseus for that since the Greek is difficult enough to merit a better commentary than Perseus offers. I can get through a lot just by piecing through it and figuring things out by myself, but commentaries are generally more efficient. I can likely come up with more interesting observations when I’m not trying to make observations that many scholars have made before me, simply because I don’t have access to what they wrote.
So now I have to wait. So much of life is just waiting. Waiting for school to start again. Waiting for people to return from trips abroad. Waiting for the next thing to come through. This is why I hate summers. There’s too much waiting.