Being able to attend a respectable institution has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Each and every day, I have the opportunity to wake up and attend classes for topics that I am truly passionate about. Beyond all the moaning and groaning over average collegiate life, there isn’t a single part of me that isn’t grateful for the magnificent experience that I have been so fortunate to be a part of for the last two years. Coming into college I had scored well on multiple Advanced Placement tests, allowing me to fulfill some of the many required courses for a Jesuit education. I joined the Honors program and my class for that semester was taught by the phenomenal Katrina Olds of the History Department. At this point, I was only an Art History/Arts Management major with a deep love and heavy background in history. After a few classes and lots of hour-long meetings with my professor about anything ranging from her time spent studying abroad in the Dominican Republic to the nuances of Florentine homosexuality, Professor Olds encouraged me to add History as a second major. I was apprehensive at first, I was set on graduating in three years like my parents but this opportunity was so unique. I would be able to gain a degree in two areas of study that I truly, whole-heartedly love. With lots of deliberation, I decided to add on the second major and as they say, the rest is history.
↑ Joseph Ducreux, Portrait de l'artiste sous les traits d'un moqueur, Self-portrait, ca. 1793
Both of my disciplines developed in eighteenth-century Germany, where the only concern was the stories of white, European men and their exploitative endeavors around the rest of the world.
My time as a double-major has been pleasant, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I had formed a few frustrations. Both of my discipline developed in eighteenth-century Germany, where the only concern were the stories of white, European men and their exploitative endeavors around the rest of the world. In my art history major, we have one Non-western lower division and upper division class offered, that’s it. On the other hand, the history department allows for specific regional emphases: the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Islamic World. My interests didn’t fit any of these because, despite the breadth of material, I struggled with limiting myself to a specific area. I approached another one of my professors who has since become a very big influence on my life, Taymiya Zaman, and we spoke about the possibility of shaping a new curriculum. Initially I wanted the emphasis to be on the Pre-Modern world, which is a shared interest between Professor Zaman and me, but specifically, I wanted to look at the way that these areas interacted with each other. Professor Zaman took my plea for a new emphasis to the department, but it was denied. Though I was upset, the department introduced a new emphasis, the Global Emphasis. I was ecstatic because it would finally reconcile my frustration with the Western-focus of my disciplines, allowing me to venture into all parts of the world.
As a student, I know that my time spent at University isn’t going to be hundred percent perfect, but I’m thankful for the mentors around me who allow me to shape and cultivate my own understanding of the world.