I just logged into my blog dashboard to upload an end of semester post and for the first time noticed that I have a Draft folder with something in it. Below is the entry I discovered which I wrote in December 2012, the first winter after I graduated. It seems appropriate to finally post this as we head into winter break three years later, and it just so happens that this image is my current cover photo. The words below about what a William & Mary education means to who I am are no less true.
Over Winter Break, I asked my father to help me with an art project I’d been musing over for a while, creating an academic still-life of sorts. I wanted to compose and capture an image to represent the knowledge I gathered at William & Mary and how all of it soaked so thoroughly into me that it has become so much of who I am. Imagining this image in my head, I had written,
“Who I am is here. In these books and these words you will find me. And I love that. In the notebook pages and texts that lay as evidence of four years of soaking up knowledge, I read more than lecture recaps and theory. I read thoughts and ideas that changed me, pushing some piece of myself just the slightest–one of the small shifts that got me to today and will change tomorrow. I am here. Look at these books. Look at these words. You will start to see me.”
Here is the image my dad helped me create.
Who I Am Is Here
This is certainly not every book I read in college, and it’s not even every book that really made an impact on me as an undergrad. But for me, the image does speak to who I’ve become out of all that I learned as a student here. I probably can’t give you an exact quote from any of these texts or perfectly explain the concepts and theories I recorded in those notebooks, but what William & Mary educated me to do was far more than memorization. You know that overused phrase about liberal arts educations teaching you how to think? For me, William & Mary did even more than that. My time in these classrooms taught me how to be. It taught me the parts of myself that I wanted to cultivate and how I wanted who I was to have an impact on the world.