Obsessed with Lectures
Fangirling (as defined on Urban Dictionary): v. the reaction a fangirl has to any mention or sighting of the object of her “affection”. These reactions include shortness of breath, fainting, highpitched noises, shaking, … endless blog posts, etc.
I just found out that Seamus Heaney will be at my university in March and I’m pretty much fangirling all alone in my room now. Obviously, I had to share this exciting news!
If you aren’t super, duper excited for me I’m going to assume politely it’s because you are not familiar with Heaney’s poetry. I will kindly link to some of my favorite poems at the end.
The first poem I read of his was my senior year of high school while discussing poems and analyzing them to prepare for the AP Literature exam. It was “Blackberry Picking.”
Some people get excited when the football or basketball team is doing really great. That’s cool but since I’m not on an athletic scholarship it actually has very little influence on my life. Other people get super stoked about Greek life and all that jazz. That’s awesome, but I was born with two sisters and that’s enough for me really. Which leaves me with what to get all giggling excited about? Lectures and academic fun stuff!
My friend Rachel and I mark our calendars in advance when we get emails from the university notifications about speakers coming. I can also be found often taking pictures with my phone in stairwells where they advertise for lectures with colorful flyers posted all over. Some people skip class to sleep or because they’re lazy. I only skip class when there’s a talk I refuse to miss!
I already know that if Heaney’s poetry reading is during a class, I’ll have to email whatever professor it is. Honestly though, I cannot think of a more extenuating circumstance than the deep yearning for the once in a lifetime opportunity to hear a Nobel Prize-winning poet.
These are the kinds of opportunities I would love to hear of other students taking advantage of. I’ve heard retired United States Supreme court justice Sandra Day O’Connor speak and the amazing writer, director John Patrick Shanely also.
When I was stuck in high school putting in my government mandated time and wondering why everyone didn’t want to apply themselves more, I dreamed of things like this. I dreamed of a magical world where everyone was super passionate about what they were studying. In this dream people seriously sat around and discussed politics and debated themes and relevance of great novels. I thought everyone in college would love lectures and things.
It was to my genuine surprise, and still is every time I go, that more students do not show up to these kinds of events. If you do see large groups of college kids then it means a professor offered some form of extra credit to bribe them. Sad.
Anyways, I can’t control other people, but I do recommend finding a local lecture near you and checking it out. I will continue being a fangirl of lectures and literature and knowledge! I promise, cross my heart, you’ll be seeing more lecture inspired posts this semester.
“I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world.” Seamus Heaney
Check out these two poems by Heaney: