Despite the recent heat wave that has decided to hit Hartford, fall is in full swing on Trinity’s campus. Maybe it’s the change in season, the halfway point of my second-to-last fall semester, or perhaps a combination of these two factors that has me feeling a type of pensive nostalgia. Whatever the case, there have been a series of events presented to me recently which have made me realize the various clichéd ways that I take my Trinity experience for granted.
This week, I attended my Contemporary American Prose class. I arrived ten minutes early because not only is it one of my favorite classes, but also because there is always banter back and forth between us students prior to when the professor arrives. We talked about the unusual weather, then someone made the observation that the drastic temperature change between this week and next would cause people to become ill. As we were laughing and talking about bad experiences at the doctor’s office, how an individual can tell if they have a-typical mono, or the appropriate length of a dentist appointment, I looked around the room at these individuals, and Trinity’s small size suddenly hit me. There was a student who had been in two other classes with me, one my freshman year, and the second during the summer semester I spent on campus prior to my sophomore fall. Another student I had met through mutual friends, and is living in the same room that I lived in last year within the same dorm. A third individual is also an English and film major, such as I am, and we had attended a variety of English and film-related events on campus this past semester. A fourth was my freshman roommate, a close friend who I had not known prior to coming to Trinity, sitting right beside me. Regardless of the commonality that we are all enrolled in the same class this semester, I had experienced a multitude of interactions with all of these people outside of this classroom. And then it hit me: this isn’t everyone’s college experience. This scenario must be relatively unfamiliar for students who do not attend a small liberal arts school. Upon this realization, it came to my attention that I take this facet of Trinity completely for granted.
The professor eventually arrived, and then broke the news to us that she would be handing back graded copies of the first big paper that we had turned in this semester. As a class, we spent the large majority of our time discussing writing techniques, and how we could each enhance our pieces to make them more clear and concise. She then mentioned her office hours, and claimed that she would be willing to accommodate our schedules, and meet with us as often as we desire in order to bring these works to fruition in their second drafts. Being a student here at Trinity, I knew that she meant what she was saying, especially because I’ve met individually with every professor that I’ve had here. There would be no TA or graduate student to review our papers, and even though she is attempting to render her own works while balancing her personal busy calendar, I did not doubt her statement in the slightest, and I realized how blessed I am to attend a school where the professors genuinely care to carve out time for their students.
Once our class got out of session, I left the English Department building and stood at the top of the stairs briefly. Not only could I see my roommate from my sophomore year, but I could also see two of my freshman mentees, a student in the class that I TA for, and one of my bosses. In addition to this compilation of individuals, I also saw quite a few people whom I did not know. As the people began waving at me and saying “hi,” this experience made me recognize a third feature of Trinity that I take for granted: the fact that even though I know quite a few students on this campus, there are always more people to meet. As a student here at Trinity, you will always have consistent opportunities to grow your Bantam network.