Shimer is my special brand of drug. No, seriously. It has this insane ability to give me an incredible rush of energy whenever I walk into the building or start talking to anyone who goes/has gone/wants to go here.
Looking at all the stupendous new folks going here, reading the stuff I read two years ago for the first time, or posting Facebook statuses like, "--brain is blown. Apparently this happens a lot at Shimer," just makes me ridiculously happy.
I am also ridiculously happy because I finally have "data," to take a leaf from Jim's previous post, that the Shimer experience is not only life-changing and mind-blowing and addictive, it is practically useful! This came in the form of my experience with my internship at the Writing Lab in Harold Washington College this summer (see previous posts for other details!). I didn't even realize until later that I was taking the same approach to examining students' writing and asking questions as I do in class. Not only that, but I could grasp the underlying structure of the Writing Lab, see its purpose, and interact with folks to further that. It felt to me a great deal like Shimer. Perhaps the Writing Lab is unique in that, but it is part of a public school and the "real world," as I think of it, and I learned a great deal because, as I do at Shimer, I leave myself open to it.
Third year will be busy--as Simon mentioned below, we have research papers to do. I suspect most of the busyness will be taking place in November, which is also National Novel Writing Month. Writing a novel and a 15-page research paper together? And taking three classes, two of which are cores (Hum 3 and Soc 3) and one of which is Feminist Theories? I see sleep disappearing over the horizon.
I also have a nice shiny new (hyperbole) five-bedroom house off-campus with four other roommates from Shimer (one who posts here, Sam), which I happily upkeep (or try to; please, people, sweep those floors!) in between everything else. Although this is what was going through my head when I got it:
Lease, from xkcd.com. The rollover says: "You should talk to that girl down the hall; I think you'd like her. Lemme know if you find out why she's ordering all those colored plastic balls."