I am somewhat delayed in reacting to the event this past Tuesday in Literati. While I am glad I made the trek to hear Dr. Thompson, immediately following I began to run a never-ending fever, so this event marked my last moment outside my bed for a few days.
As I sat down to defrost in my small wooden chair on the upstairs level of Literati I couldn’t help but feel like this is what college about. This is the kind of thing my parents always told me to take advantage of in my university years. A conversation between two intellectuals about something they both specialize in, and something I hope to specialize in. Shelley and Dr. Thompson come from two very different fields but like always writing plays the role of magical matchmaker. The two connected immediately and the event did not feel like an interview, but a conversation. This made it successful in my head, good job Shelley:)
I was fascinated by the book Thompson wrote Blood in the Water. Going into the event I half expected it to be a boring history book about some event that goes on and on and about the boring details of the event. I (having done no research, oops) was pleasantly surprised by the endearing and thriller component of her story. She quite literally rewrote a cool, underplayed moment in history. I appreciated her honesty in explaining her process as well. I think she worked hard to be unbiased and incorporate all elements of every story she heard in telling her story. This is undoubtedly hard.
One tip she gave was about how the best writing does not need adjectives. When she first said this I was a little confused. Adjectives are the key to the description, aren’t they? I have always loved playing around with adjectives ever since I learned what they were playing MadLibs. As she continued her thought though I actually understood what she meant. The way in which something is described is much more than one word, it’s the build-up and the lead out. One word shouldn’t define something, and with this logic, adjectives are not always necessary and sometimes just contribute to jargon. Thank you for this, Dr. Thompson I actually really needed to hear that!
I also was impressed with her answer and composure to the question about her privilege in regards to the topics she writes about. She was very matter of fact and accepting of her own identity and she made a great point. If more doors open for her because of her identity, why shouldn’t she take advantage of them and tell the stories that otherwise may not get told?
Overall, I think the event was successful and I am glad this was my last appearance before my fever fest 2018. It gave me a whole lot to think about from my bed these past few days.