Grad school did me some good. Sure, it gave me more than a few grey hairs and an identity crisis that forced me to reinvent myself, but it gave me the gift of critical thinking. Maybe I would have become this critical thinker regardless of the thousands I handed over in tuition, but I’ll take the catalyst.

When I tell people I studied English literature on the graduate level, they are surprised that I’m not a social moron only interested in explicating the infamous Molly Bloom chapter at the end of Joyce’s Ulysses. I didn’t go to grad school to wrap myself in a critical theory cocoon; I went to enjoy literature on a deeper level and to get smarter. Definitely accomplished #1. The jury is still out on #2.

The best part of having this kind of knowledge is sharing it with those who would otherwise be more interested in watching NASCAR or riding bicycles or clipping their toenails. And the other best part is making literature from centuries past relevant, fun, and cool. Again.

I tried to do that with my personal favorite crazy lady in attic, Emily Dickinson. The pudding is over at Great History.