Sophomore year was hardest

I had a serious nervous breakdown in my Sophomore year (1968) and was excused to leave early for the Christmas break (I remember asking Dean Keefer). I remember suddenly losing 10 or 15 pounds in weight. I did not need hospitalization. Actually, I only saw my family doctor. I was able to pull myself together and return to class. Freshman, Junior and Senior years were ok. As I look back on it, I think that I took the notion of “the great books” too much to heart. I was convinced that I would find some earth-shattering wisdom concealed in the readings and seminars. I also felt it was expected of me to uncover such wisdom. I believed that if I succeeded in finding it then it would be some kind of personal “glory.” I was not prepared to handle the disappointment of failure or the heavy responsibility of success. One of the wisdoms I came up with is that “the unanswerable question is the unmoved mover of the soul.” Senior year was the best because I conceived the entire idea for my Senior essay during the first week of Hegel readings. By Thanksgiving I had the first draft. By Christmas I had a paper that I could have handed in. I continued to read Hegel and refine the paper during the writing period. There were rumored to be one or two people who had not chosen a topic until a week before the due date.


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