Reflections from the Ivy League: Winding down the Semester

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Martin BlogHello, Chatfield! It’s been a whirlwind first semester here at Penn, and I’m excited to update my Chatfield family as to the goings on in my first semester. The fall term wraps up in less than a month, and I’m already pushing deadlines to finish up my coursework so that I can return home for Christmas. I’m hoping that I can make it back for Sister Cecilia’s concert in December!

As I said before, it has been a whirlwind of a semester. I took a full course load this semester, with three history courses and a creative writing workshop. My favorite class so far has been on The French and Haitian Revolutions, taught by Dr. Yvonne Fabella. Thanks to the coursework of both George Bronner in his World Civilizations II course, and Sister Ruth in Beginning French, I had a basic framework of what transpired during the French Revolution. The in-depth review of the primary source documents (documents that actually were written by people involved with the issues of the time) has been fascinating! My research project revolves around the last letter that Robespierre wrote before his arrest in 1794. The letter is splatted with his own blood! It’s tiring, prepping a 12-15 page research paper, but the experience has been rewarding, to say the least.

I’m also taking a class on my new home, the History of Philadelphia. In the course of this class, not only have I had the good fortune to study documents that relate to the aforementioned course, but I also spent an afternoon at the Philadelphia Historical Society, reading George Washington’s diary! The history of Philadelphia is the history of the birth of our country, and to study the two as they run parallel to one another is enlightening.

It’s been an exhausting first semester here in the Ivy League, but when all is said and done, I’m going to finish this semester with a 4.0. I’m going to come home to Ohio, take some time to recharge, visit my friends at Chatfield, and prep for another busy semester in the spring.

To Chatfield!

-Martin

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