Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks in the Stacks

I won't lie, senior Adam Bradlow's blog post made me nervous. As I edited his convincing plea for more graduation tickets, I realized I had no such concern, despite my large family. Why? Thesis. The inhibitor suppressing my view of my future self on the podium, shaking some hands, tripping over a long gown.

My thesis has been a nebulous noun at best for far too long. Funding sent me to exotic Ithaca in upstate New York, to use Cornell's Rare Manuscripts Library. It was a chilling experience, complete with nights alone in a sketchy Holiday Inn, and not very fruitful.

Upon returning, I became acquainted with my carrel. The writing on its walls and vicious pin pricks in its cork boards reminded me of finger nail scrapings on the stone walls of early modern prison cells.

And as I sat in that carrel, it dawned on me that I don't even know what research is. I produced 60 pages of JP last year, yet I still do not know what research is.

Canceling dinner with friends due to nerves and bumbling around Firestone C level this evening, I bumbled right into the professor who inspired me to become a History major. An inspirational professor and person who is on academic leave this year, he asked me what I was writing for my thesis. I replied, "I wish I knew." We chuckled. But then I started to explain to him my ideas, and he appeared to be transfixed.

He took forty minutes to assure me of the topic's worth and appeared to be genuinely excited at the direction in which I was heading. I don't know how he pulled it off. But this year, I am thankful for stack C-15-N. I was always convinced that Princeton must have Hogwart's equivalent of the Room of Requirement. Now I know this is C-15-N in Firestone. For all you seniors in need of thesis encouragement, stagger around C floor a bit and you'll find the Stack of Support.

I won't start scrounging for extra graduation tickets yet, they're all yours Adam! But I am thankful for the slightly less obscured vision of my tumble across the stage, and most importantly, my highly anticipated game of thumb war with Shirley.

Happy almost Thanksgiving, all! Remember, mass murder of tofurkies is highly encouraged.

-The Blogstress


Anonymous said...

Nebulous noun? Perhaps modified by an amorphous adjective? And performing a vaporous verb? Interrupted by an insubstantial interjection?