Finals Week

There’s snow all over the place. On Tuesday while it was snowing, I saw a statue being placed not too far from the library. I don’t know if it’s new or was brought from somewhere else on campus. After walking by a second time, I saw that it was a statue of Robert Bellarmine. I guess if you deny the Copernican Theory and are responsible for murdering Galileo, you get a statue on a Jesuit University campus four centuries later. But to be fair, he was also influential in the counter-reformation, so I guess he deserves some credit for that. He also had something to do with preserving some important documents or something, according to a banner I read while walking to my residence hall a while ago (as a sophomore I lived in Bellarmine Hall). Anyhow, the statue is a nice aesthetic addition, which hopefully will cause visiting families to all send their kids to Fairfield (which I’m guessing is the objective).

Finals are upon us. Being an English major, this actually means that this is the easiest week of the whole semester for me, except maybe for syllabus week. For American Modernism I only had to write a 5-page paper, for which I chose to write about Rockwell. I read part of his autobiography as my main source, and he’s really not that interesting. He was just a guy who painted because he happened to be particularly skilled, and added a hint of pleasantness in everything he drew. According to his own memories, he lived the ideal life of a child growing up on a farm in the late nineteenth century. Of course, maybe he’s embellishing his own life story the way he embellished his drawings. Apparently there’s a new biography which is more critical, but from what I’ve heard it’s very speculative, so I’m probably going to just trust Rockwell on this. Besides, it’s the experience that counts in a lot of ways, if I’m to take one thing away from Marchutz. I imagine that Rockwell probably didn’t interest Marchutz too much though, since Marchutz’s paintings looked like this:

Marchutz Painting 2

Marchutz Painting 1

I took my philosophy exam this morning, which leaves me with poems to write, a story to revise, poetry and history to read about, and Latin poems to read. Basically a whole bunch of poems and a story. The last crew practice was 8 days ago, which makes things much easier. But of course I have to stay in shape for spring, which will be much more brutal…

My American Modernism professor said at the start of class a few weeks ago; “Education should be about living a full life. Getting a job is easy, even in this market. It’s living a full life that’s the hard part.” I was glad to hear that. Another (English) professor said a week ago that Law students, even good students who went to competitive grad schools are having trouble finding jobs. He said that meanwhile, Fairfield English majors are going out into the world and getting great jobs. Naturally I wonder what a ‘great’ job is, but it’s encouraging. I’m reminded of a comic I saw once about an English major who gets a call from the President for an urgent national-security related Shakespeare interpretation…

More snow tomorrow I hear. If there’s one experience that is good for helping recall pleasant memories, it’s the start of a new season.

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