Here is the promised link to my final researched essay from Dr. Higinbotham’s English 1102 Shakespeare and Law class. Palimpsests and the psychology behind writing and adapting were extremely interesting to read up on. I hope you enjoy, as many Lorelai Gilmore-level caffeinated hours were poured into this!
My favorite class this summer was—surprise!—my English 1102 class. It was a class about Shakespeare and Law. My teacher, Dr. Higinbotham, was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend her. She was so enthusiastic, supportive, and kind. (She’s also brilliant, but I guess that part is a given.) We had so many thought-provoking discussions, both in class and after. She encouraged people to challenge and argue with her. One on one, we talked about ideas and fairytales and research and Jane Austen. And she was as eager to do so as I was.
Anyway, I could fangirl over her for a while. One thing that she really emphasized in this course, however, was Shakespeare’s first folio. Dr. Higinbotham made sure that we all knew the year that it was published (1623). She made sure we knew how big of a deal it was. Because it was. Making books was hard back then! Actually, forget the entire book, making the paper itself was a feat.
This was something that she wanted us to experience and understand first hand. So, instead of having a regular class on June 28th, we trekked on our own to Georgia Tech’s own Paper Museum on West Campus. We passed the West Campus dorms, reached the paper museum, met our class, and were immediately immersed in the process itself.
We had to fill the tubs with cloth-based pulp and use the wooden screens to catch it. We took turns, struggling to flip it at the proper speed. We added things that we had been collecting over the past several days to our sheets.
I added flowers that I had unceremoniously yanked from a tree on Freshman Hill earlier that day. Being the Pride and Prejudice freak that I am, I had also printed out Darcy’s letter to Elizabeth to add. My English professor loved this.
Some people just added pictures of their dogs.
After we added these various things to our small sheets of paper, we got in line to make large pieces. Like, folio-sized pieces. They were maybe 12×16? Pretty large, and very cumbersome to flip. It took two people just about to collect the pulp and sift the water out. It was difficult, but it was really cool.
We got to watch as the paper was pressed, as the water drained and the sheets stretched and thinned. We had to wait a day or two for it to dry, but we got to keep the paper we had made. I still have it, and have used it to both write and paint on so far. It’s pretty, and handmade.
There’s something special about handmade things. I appreciate both the paper and Shakespeare’s folio so much more after taking part in this process—just as I have a greater understanding for Law and Shakespeare himself.
It’s been a little over two weeks since I walked across a stage, hugged my friends, accepted my diploma, and became a high school graduate. This post, therefore, is pretty long overdue.
So, first, what’s graduation like, and what is it like being a high school graduate?
Graduation, a full week-long ordeal, is a time of parties and joy and nostalgia. Everything is happening all at once, and it’s both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s sad because you know you will never do certain things ever again, but exciting because you have even more to look forward to. Yearbook entries bring tears, as do mass two a.m. Facebook photo uploads. You finally realize that all of your hard work thus far has paid off, especially since college and internships are mere weeks away. It means that, other than working a little, you can rest, breathe, like some crazy extended weekend that belongs to you.
During this “time of rest,” I’ve been able to watch so many movies and read so many books that I didn’t have time to before. Yesterday, for example, I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in honor of June 5th being his actual “day off” thirty years ago. Somewhere around the part where they bust Sloane out of class, it finally sunk in: I’m no longer in high school.
I will no longer run around school delivering boxes of cinnamon rolls instead of going to class, have people throw tennis balls down the hall over my head, or narrowly avoid getting hit by outrageous bouquets of birthday balloons. (These things all happened to me at least once in the last month of high school alone.) I won’t be attending any high school parties in the Valley like Cher. I won’t be seeking revenge at the home basketball game on any two (or three) timing boyfriend like John Tucker. And I won’t become famous in high school for accidentally publishing my journal, like Jamie Bartlett. No musical numbers in the cafeteria, no plaid skirts and headbands.
Watching Cameron stare at Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (a painting that I would love to see in real life too), I also realized this: so many of my favorite movies take place in high school. So many movies that I love, have grown up with, can quote like the back of my hand, run to when I need them. They’ve taught me lesson after lesson, introduced me to so many characters that I have grown to admire and relate to. I love them. But I no longer share this stage of life with them.
As soon as I realized all this, I also knew: it’s okay.
These movies are still valid, still applicable. They always will be. Not only are they mostly classics, but they have shaped who I am today. I have laughed with Olive, flipped my hair like Cher, cried with Charlie, hated my friends like Winona, studied like Kate, and been reckless with Ferris. And every time I watch them, with their big “musical numbers for no apparent reason,” I will remember what it felt like to be in high school. I’ll remember what I was going through when I watched these films, what my favorites quotes and scenes were and why. I’ll remember the music and punchlines and laugh five minutes too soon. I’ll think of them, and high school, fondly.
I don’t know what the future holds, don’t know what adventures and mishaps may come my way. But if these movies have taught me anything, it’s that I’ll make it through whatever challenges I may face. My hair may be a little singed, but everything will be alright in the end.
Without further ado, here are my Top 12 (…and okay, yes, I was going to do Top 10 but couldn’t make up my mind…) favorite movies set in high school~
The Breakfast Club (1985)
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Easy A (2010)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Mean Girls (2004)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
She’s The Man (2006)
Freaky Friday (2003)
Read It and Weep (2006)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
You can mentally fill in the next line if you would like. Everyone knows it. It’s Shakespeare for goodness sake, and Shakespeare is everywhere. Is he to blame for the glorification of roses?
Don’t get me wrong, roses are lovely. Particularly beautiful even. But let me tell you about peonies.
Peonies are gorgeous and smell so good. I almost wish I was Blair Waldorf, just to have them everywhere, always. I love them, enough to make another of my loves (books…in this case paperbacks) alliterate with them. (Alliterate…is that a word? Regardless, grammar is great and alliterations are my best friends.) Anyway, peonies *sighs dramatically.* It isn’t just roses that are romantically poetic.
So yes, half of my blog name is a lovely flower. The other half, paperbacks, speaks for itself. It also relates a little more to what this blog will be focused on.
That’s right, books. And that’s right, another teenage book blog. Only, I’m not solely going to post book reviews and write about what I have been reading (which will, admittedly, be a great deal of my content). I will also write reviews of movies, document my current Netflix obsessions, and babble a bit about things that I think and observe.
Yeah, one of those blogs. But I, personally, am excited. It took me so long to come up with a blog name. I even researched how to do it. The general consensus, though, was that sure, names are important. They convey who you are, what you’re blogging about. But truly, it’s the content that matters. Peonies and paperbacks are wonderful things; hopefully this blog will do them both justice. Even if no one ever reads what I spew forth into the virtual universe, I think it will be fun.
Who knew there could be so much in a name?