Mike on Mike: Rebuilding


My first semester back was a whirlwind. To start, I lessened my course load. That was only possible because I’d taken a few AP courses in high school; I was glad they came in handy.

As far as writing courses, I tool my intro. course with the same professor that I’d had for Renaissance poetry. This was no accident.

Professor Dr. Ramachandran was one of the only members of the department faculty who knew anything about me, and certainly the only one who knew what had happened the semester prior.

More than that, though–she believed in me. That’s what made the difference.

I wasn’t much of a reader (old habits die hard) but I always read the books she assigned. This was partly to impress her, and partly because she chose really, really good books.

What I found in this class though (an intro class) was that truly, I was intellectually beyond most of my peers.

The students I was surrounded by were freshman; and whether it was because they were shy, or unsure of themselves, or not ready for Dr. Ramachandran’a style, I can’t tell you.

What I do know was that I got a running start. My papers were very strong, I participated way more than everyone else, and I’m sure more than a few people in class must’ve found me obnoxious (yet this is the highest compliment you can pay a peer).

It wasn’t all sunshine, however. I was commuting now. That meant a 62 mile (1 hour) drive each way. That meant parking at Stony Brook University. That meant being a morning person.

It wasn’t easy.