Greetings and salutations, hopefully gentle readers. My name is Hillary Woods. I am a fourth-year student.
I love this school. I have ever since my sister’s boyfriend told me of it. They are not together anymore, but I am still at Shimer. I suppose I could create some sort of fun analogy from this, but I will save that for another evening’s ruminations.
As I said above, I love this place. I feel a far greater attachment to this school than I ever did high school. I suppose, to a certain extent, that has to do with the fact that I am at Shimer by choice, and no one ever seemed to care whether I wanted to be in high school. I find myself feeling a much larger range of emotions over my pending graduation from Shimer than I ever did high school. There, I was eager to be done and there was nothing else to it. While I am also eager to be done with my undergraduate studies, I am not as enthusiastic to end my stay at Shimer.
The school has been a major part of my life for the past few years. I have had the Shimer experience and all that entails take over my life (and I have been happy to allow it to) during semesters and I have worked here over every break. There have been very few periods of my life for the past four years that have not involved Shimer in some way.
I will miss the atmosphere. I will miss having a community of people with whom I can have, at almost any moment, an interesting and intellectually stimulating conversation. I will miss being able to refer freely to a large variety of works, knowing that they have also read them. I will miss seeing the faculty and staff as well as having the benefit of their wisdom just an office visit away. I realize, as Kant tells us in What is Enlightenment?, that all periods of tutelage must come to an end or we risk mental stagnation. How can we expect to grow if we are always looking to someone else to further our process of enlightenment? We can, and must, learn to provide direction for ourselves outside of college. I suppose the additional challenge for someone that comes from a community so focused on understanding is finding a group of people outside of school with whom we can work in furthering our intellectual pursuits. I hope that the friends I have made here will help with the process.
I will spend the next year cutting the apron strings that tie me to Shimer. I will prepare myself for the test that waits for me after May. I expect this year to be fun, frustrating and yet quite rewarding. Perhaps I will be able to entertain some of you along the way.*snip* *snip*