Time goes by in an extremely weird speed at Trinity: at the same time when I am wondering where did February go, and how is it possible that I will have to leave the campus in just two months, I also feel like I have been back for this semester for at least a year, wondering how it is only March. Also, it doesn’t really feel like March: we had a crazy blizzard a couple of days ago, so the whole campus is covered in snow right now. Fortunately, it is now officially spring break, and on Sunday morning we are flying out to New Orleans, to hopefully enjoy some sun and warmth for a week.
I have to admit, February wasn’t the most eventful month since I am in the States, but there were of course some fun events to attend and interesting things to do. My birthday, for example, was during Trinity days, so I could celebrate it with some – but thanks to the incredible amount of studying to do, not much – rest, and some delicious Indian food in Wethersfield. As Juli’s last post tells you, we finally got to visit the Mark Twain House, which is, in my opinion, the coolest place in Hartford (although, let’s be honest, there are not too many cool places in Hartford to visit). The house, where he wrote all his famous novels, was built at the end of the 19th-century, and it is truly beautiful, with original Tiffany lamps and the most amazing library in it. Thanks to our tour guide, we got to know a lot of fun facts about Mark Twain, and since Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) was a neighbor of the author, we saw her house as well. A few minutes from these two historic houses, down the road, there is a diner that was built in the 1940s and was abandoned for a long time – to see this building was also a cool addition to that day, since I only saw diners like this in movies so far.
I also finally found some time to visit the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Downtown Hartford, an art museum that has a very rich collection. Although I was most interested in the contemporary art section of the museum, I enjoyed the whole place, especially because it has some paintings we have studied about in the Contemporary Art class that I am taking this semester: it was really cool to see Newman’s Onement II or De Kooning’s Standing Man up close, right after I wrote a midterm about them.
Of course, Trinity’s campus also offered some interesting events in the last couple of weeks. For example, Green Campus Club brought us the documentary, Wasted, a movie about food waste – it shows the issue in a rather unconventional way. WGRAC organized The Vagina Monologues, which is a play made up of stories told by women from different walks of lives. It was performed by Trinity students, and the income from the tickets went to a battered women’s shelter in Hartford. The Arts Center featured an exhibition of Deborah Buck’s pictures – although I didn’t know the Trinity graduate painter before, I really enjoyed looking at her paintings, trying to figure out their meaning.
Lately, just before the midterms, I felt quite homesick for a while, which is of course totally natural when you live somewhere for a whole academic year. Fortunately, my classes kept me busy, so I didn’t have too much time to think about how much I miss my family and my city. I am taking four classes this semester. I mentioned above that I enrolled in an art history class, Contemporary Art, because I have been interested in it for a very long time, but I never had the chance to learn about it more in depth. Now I finally learn about Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning and Arshile Gorky, from an amazing professor who constantly tells us stories about the times when he made an interview with Jasper Johns, or when he met Andy Warhol in a club in NYC. I am also taking Global Feminism, a class in which we analyze issues of transnational feminism with an intersectional lens; Philosophy of Human Rights, where I can finally get an academic basis for my interest in human rights; but the class I think I enjoy the most is Educational Reform, where we learn about the past and present of educational reform in the United States, always connecting what we read about past thinkers to current debates. In this class, we even had to go to an event related to education policies in Hartford, and write a journalism piece about it – this way, we could connect our learning to things that happen in the real world, outside the classroom. This is how I got to a parents’ information night in one of the public schools that is going to be closed from September, due to a reorganization plan.
Now, we are finally done with midterms, and New Orleans is waiting for us – keep an eye out for a number of posts about our Louisiana adventures.