I wrote a friggin' screenplay. Now, I'm not the first person associated with the fellowship to complete this task. In fact, I'm, like, the fifth. But when I handed in this thick stack of hole-punched pages held together with somber-looking brass fasteners, I had an immense sense of accomplishment. A feature-length film! Something I never really thought about doing. A whole different approach to writing for me. Nice. It's good - and important - to feel such a sense of accomplishment about somethin as the fellowship draws to a close. Because otherwise I'm obsessed with the seemingly general sense of dwelling on what we didn't get done with our time here. Which is, frankly, just about everything else. Sigh.
I had some lofty goals coming in. Read (and understand) all of Shakespeare's work. Lose 800 pounds. Become fluent in French and Spanish. Write a book or two. Learn how to repair tuckpointing. Record an album of dance hits. So many dreams...
And yet here we are, now firmly entrenched in the Phase of Lasts. We had our very Last Seminar on Thursday, with Kevin Close, President and CEO of National Public Radio. He played to a packed house, including members of the academic community, and gave us an interesting talk on the state of news, in general, and public radio news, in specific. I'd tell you all the details but it was, of course, Off The Record. For the Last Time. Then we had our Last Post-Seminar Wallace House Dinner, served to us by the always-delightful Jenny of Katherine's Catering. They deserve a shout-out for keeping our gullets full throughout the year. If it wasn't for the food following next Thursday's graduation, I'd start panicking about our actually having to provide our own meals! If nothing else, we have been extremely well-fed this year.
It's a strange time for us. People are distracted by the notion of re-entry into their regular lives and there's a sort of detachment taking place as they stick one toe back in reality. At the same time, there's a sense of clinging to the time we have left together. I think it's all pretty much the norm for human beings. Considering human beings are crazy.
I'm torn, just like everyone else. I'm eager to get started on the next phase of our lives, because I think that we're going into it changed by this experience. I suppose it's possible to emerge from this -- or any other experience -- unchanged, but only if you choose it. Only if you decide not to grow and push yourself and learn from all the experiences, good and bad. (Although, in the interest of accuracy, the good have outweighed the bad drastically this year.)
And that is, as far as I can tell, the Last Thought in my head.