Four Words

Tomorrow I will begin what is likely to be my last school year. My fifteenth “first day of school” (I skipped a year of college). Optimism and uncertainty abound, like any student about to embark on a new year. There’s a lot to look forward to as a senior at Wake Forest.

Although I’m sure I will learn quite a bit in my classes, I’m certain my experiences outside of the classroom are the ones that I will cherish the most. I didn’t fully realize this when I first arrived in Winston-Salem, but I now understand that my classes are a vehicle for helping me interpret the world outside of the classroom. Recent experiences such as a conversation with the CEO of one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, mourning the death of one of the greatest Americans (Maya Angelou), or a day on the set of a feature Hollywood film have all come unexpectedly — and I’m sure my mind will continue to expand in ways that I can’t predict.

My english professor last spring was one of those people who fulfilled on his potential to “change the way you think”. He didn’t begin our course with a syllabus; he began with four words.

apotropaic

adj. Intended to ward off evil.

overdetermined

adj. 1. Excessively determined. 2. Having more than one determining psychological factor.

resentment

n. Indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance.

aesthetic

adj. 1. Of or concerning the appreciation of beauty or good taste. 2. Characterized by a heightened sensitivity to beauty.
n. 1. A guiding principle in matters of artistic beauty and taste; artistic sensibility. 2. An underlying principle, a set of principles, or a view often manifested by outward appearances or style of behavior.

He believed that the behavior of the characters in the literature (and life) is often rooted in these words; thus a useful interpretation mechanism. I hope to keep these words in mind during this next year.

Go Deacs!

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John Marbach

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08 2014