Happy hour was over and it came time for the first actual class. History of Higher Education with Dr. Marybeth Gasman was full with forty students but I talked to five people who weren’t registered but would be attending. I had secured my seat in class, but not my books. I braved the bookstore to fix that.
I do not know if they teach this here, but I’m convinced there is a correlation between lines that turn a corner and the level of frustration felt by those in said line. The more turns, the more anxiety. I’m not sure the turns are the cause, but I will argue there is a correlation.
As is the case with college life, moments of stress, and those feeling stress, are mingled with those and times without. Just outside the bookstore doors a farmers market featured local produce Amish sellers. I thought we were the Quakers?
Then there came class.
After some jovial but brief classroom banter we were instructed to break into groups. Each group would be given a historical document that we were to examine and extract as much information as possible from. We would be learning history the way historians do it.
My group was handed this image:
If you are new to this venue perhaps I should give you some context, click here. A beam of light directly from heaven shown down upon my group as we were presented with co-captains and all-American football players from the Penn team of 1900. I did not know they were All-Americans, nor did I know they became Olympians. What I did know is that I possess a unique niche knowledge and was being unintentionally catered too on my first day. I belong!
I was not the only one experiencing serendipitous success. Kurt, recently returned from Fulbright work in Kirghistan, recognized his fraternity’s badge being worn by the man on the right (Truxton Hare). This was going to be a breeze!
After the group discussions we were promptly given 200 pages to read in the next week plus a writing assignment.