I liked the Tudors before they were cool….

At this moment, I have approximately 64 books checked out of the library. 64 and counting. There are books in my car. There are books on the kitchen table. There are books under my bed. There are books in my bed. There are stacks of books on my floor, where I trip over them every morning on my way to the bathroom. There are books on every imaginable surface in my life.  This inundation, I have discovered, is the life of a student who is writing her senior thesis. That, and sore forearms.

However, the point of writing your thesis is that, ideally, you are researching something that you are really interested in, so the sore forearms is only a minor inconvenience. My thesis topic is the early Tudors. For some reason, popular culture has now decided that the Tudors was the “sexy” period in Western European history. I’m not even going to get into that, because I would just end up just ranting about the difference between historical fiction and LIES, as well as my own philosophy about history and giving voice to those who lived centuries before us and how we shouldn’t treat that responsibility so lightly and–but like I said…not going to get into that.

Instead, I’ll just share with you what I’m writing about. I’m exploring Tudor court culture, and the possible relationship between love unions and female power. It’s fascinating (…to me) and I’m excited to see what my argument will be. I can sense it, lurking, just out of my reach, which is vaguely infuriating, but strangely motivating at the same time. This is why I like research—it’s a puzzle, and once I find all the pieces, I figure out how I can fit them together. Except I get to make up the picture myself, which you don’t get to do in real life (in turn, that explains why I hate real puzzles, but enjoy research).

Also, as graduation rapidly approaches closer and closer, I’m glad I will have something to show for four long years of studying. So much of the college experience, all the changes and the new experiences, is outside of the classroom, and it should be that way. But I think it will be nice, at the end of the four years, to have something tangible and concrete in my hands. To have a good piece of work that says this was something I was really interested in. I applied myself, I learned all about it, and this is what I have to say. If you’re lucky, college can be a place where you find that something you could learn about for the rest of your life—no matter your job—something in which you are curious and interested, so much so that you just want to pursue the knowledge on its own merits. That’s a kind of learning that stays with you forever.

This entry was posted in Helen Shears '12 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.