Yet again, the legend who once was JHU_Ebo and I find ourselves back in Baltimore for another humid, windy summer of loosely structured work and even more loosely planned activities. I’m here working at JHU Press, learning about the publishing world and trying not to freeze to death in a cubicle that is never over 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and meeting with my thesis advisor to prepare for what will surely be my most difficult college enterprise to date: writing said thesis. It leaves just enough time for pleasure reading on various benches around Charles Village, and more than enough time on the weekends to bake a heinous amount of bread to be shared by Ebo, my roommate and myself (with leftovers):
Baltimore in summer starts off slow — terrifyingly slow, as you come off the 60mph cadence of finals at Hopkins and move into some amorphous blob of “free time” and “sunshine”: what to do with it all? This is probably a testament to my lack of balance between creative indulgence and academic rigor during the schoolyear, but it always daunts me when those last days of May and first days of June roll around, lazily, like a pillbug in molasses. It takes a concerted effort to re-learn how to read for the heart-pleasure of it, to leave off annotating and just sink into narrative, to go into three months of a part-time job and research that no one but you and your advisor cares about — but I’ve found it to be one of the more rewarding summers off from college, even a little less than a month in. JHU_Emily and I went to a drawing night at New America Diner, shared a strangely delicious salad with kimchi in it, and drew no less than eight fairly elaborate drawings between the both of us until about 11pm on a Tuesday, no qualms:
Evenings are not for homework, but rather, for meandering walks around a city with an ever-changing architectural landscape that is sometimes a heartbreaking kick in the shins to witness, like, for example, this sad, concave facade of what was once a beautiful old something-or-other:
For all its weird (and momentarily purposeless) rhythms, summer in Baltimore has arrived with a delicate two-step rather than a bang; as per usual, I’m adapting slowly but surely to the freshness that awaits. In the meantime, I’ll be here, sitting in Charmington’s, reading this unhelpfully contradictory advice from 2 NYU Masters students on writing a thesis: read if you dare!