So I’m still kind of reeling from this. I am writing this just minutes after my English senior seminar met for the last time, and I never thought a class could go out with such a real emotional response.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to give out personal endorsements, but Professor Mazzeo in the English Department is a boss. She’s crazy smart but in an approachable, non-pretentious way, something she can probably pull off because she’s not like a lot of intellectuals who try to flaunt that stuff with constant use of high language. She’s a cool lady.
We had a final essay that she decided to swap out for a performance by our class. It was in the fireside lounge, a small room in the Pulver (the student center) and we got to invite our friends to it. My group did a rendition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, but all in Bane’s voice. Like from Batman. That hits poetry comprehension, public speaking, and creative muscle all in one assignment – maybe the most fun I’ve ever had in a literature class.
Then, I was really nervous for our regular class afterword. I had somewhat of a family emergency last week so I had to dip down to New York for a bit, and as a result, I didn’t have enough time to memorize another poem that I was supposed to recite in class (which was part of the regular curriculum.) I felt really bad because I was the only one who didn’t finish this assignment and was prepared, tail between my legs, to either take a big GPA hit or otherwise get dumped on during finals week. Mazzeo said it was fine, no grade penalty, but as reparations I would have to memorize that poem and recite it in the pub on Wednesday, the typical pub night on campus. In attendance will be the English Department faculty, my classmates, and whoever usually goes to the pub that early. How sick is that?
And finally, the weirdest/most sentimental thing. Obviously, we’re a senior seminar class so we’re all seniors and will not be taking another class with Mazzeo. She got us to look up the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne (look it up on youtube if you think you don’t know it – I’m sure you do) and sing it acapella for the last 10 minutes of class. Roughly translated, it means ‘for old times sake,’ and it was really surreal – kids were laughing, clutching their hearts. It was really emotional, and honestly, was the first time I’ve been hit with how much I’m going to miss this place. We’ll take a cup of kindness yet.