It's been a while indeed. Some people are far better at managing their time than I am, and have been able to blog while simultaneously doing the Shimer workload; alas, I did not manage that this semester. But it's over now, and I have to face what's coming: my last year at Shimer.
I don't want to think about it, really. Not just yet. But I did have to end an era a week or two ago: the house I've lived in off-campus this past year. Our lease was up, and the first week of July was moving week.
Our Shimer collective was called Versailles (Ver-SIGH or Ver-SAILS, if you hail from either France or Ohio) and five of us - Sam, Emily, Allie, Ari and myself - inhabited the five-bedroom bungalow.
Note one of our two resident cats adorning the chair. Dickens belonged to our facilitator Harold before he was bequeathed to us.
It was Versailles because my more aesthetically-talented roommates decorated it lavishly.
Versailles was a twenty-minute bus ride from Shimer, and the place to hold gatherings, dinner parties, cookouts, and much more. Possibly my favorite room:In which many a cooking experiment took place.
Versailles was home to me in a much different way than the dorms (where I was my past two years) were. Versailles was much more our own space than IIT; more people could gather here, and we had more privacy. I admit that I missed out on some of the community (a major hub of which is in the dorms), but I really enjoyed having my own room.
The upkeep of a house is different from a dorm room - while it's nice not to be inspected every semester, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with chores and cleaning when you have 60 pages of Kierkegaard or 100 pages of Jacobs to read that night. Nevertheless, thanks to tireless roommates, we received our security deposit back in full, as the house was in good condition when we left. Although we tried hard to find other Shimer folks to move in for the next year, most are in Bridgeport, and our landlord decided to sell the house instead of continuing to rent it. So the third year in my Shimer education comes to an end. So it goes.
Looking back on three years now, I know I am an immensely different person from when I started, and that's a good thing. Friends made here are friends for life. I came in thinking I knew what I wanted (to be a writer), and may come out wanting something completely different (travel and cookery). But I still have one year left (in Oxford!) - one year to change, and grow, and think and do.
Shimer is the first academic experience I have wanted not to end. I was happy to get out of elementary, middle, and even high school, but coming to the end of Shimer? Sometimes I wish I was still in MSV with the other twenty-odd Shimerians my first year. But I don't want to lose what I have become either. What have I become? Not better, necessarily, but different; importantly, comfortable with myself, for the most part. A little more knowledgeable, if only of how much I have yet to learn. More people known. But most of all - living, and changing, and loving every minute of it.
And that's what Shimer does for me.