Monday, January 9, 2012

Shimer in (more than) 158 words: Jacqueline Harris

Poet Jacqueline Harris is a 1999 graduate of Shimer College, and the author of Random Acts of Verse.

The year was 1996, and my very life was in a complete and total freefall. I had just transferred from NIU, and after several traumatic experiences at NIU, I didn't know what to expect from this mystical place known as Shimer College (or from myself for that matter).

I made some enemies right off the bat, and had to prove myself to some of my classmates. People thought because I was silent and angry all the time that I was crazy and retarded. Well, they were wrong. And so was I. I say that I was wrong because I had bought that silent angry retard crap about myself long before ever I went to Shimer College.

It is not Shimer’s fault. It was not my peers fault. Most of the time at Shimer College, I would find myself struggling to stay awake and understand in class. Not because I was bored or stupid, but because I was on an ever changing regime of medication for being Bipolar and showing the early signs of sleep apnea.

My life has been a rollercoaster, all fucked up and loopy-loop, but I can say a lot of good things about Shimerians and Shimer. You guys put up with me. And those of you who tried to get to know me (Sara Devila, Kate Shriner, Alia Savage to name a few) are forever endeared to me. Those who I angered, for what ever reason, (John McGough, Eli, and Jon Cotner) I get it now. I know what I wasted. And it probably means shit to you now, but I am sorry. And thank you McGough for always calling me to my face on my shit.

I will end by saying this: The last time I saw my father, healthy and alive, was at my graduation. He was crying because even though he hadn’t done anything for me to be there and get to that point, he was proud of me. I take that memory with me in my heart, always.

PS. This is more than 158. Sorry. My Bad.

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