Master of Letters
Q. You’re originally from California. What brought you to the east coast?
A. Mostly I came for the arts and letters program. I grew up in southern California and went to college in Iowa. The program seemed like the perfect opportunity to keep going east. Since being here I’ve found amazing resources, like browsing the ancient Greek collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a Saturday afternoon in New York.
Q. Did you head east right after receiving your bachelor’s degree?
A. No, I actually took a year off and worked at a nursing home, and I pursued my interdisciplinary studies during my free time. It gave me a chance to go after ideas that I didn’t have time to follow in those undergrad four years.
Q. Do you think that experience informed your decision to pursue a graduate degree in arts and letters?
A. Yes, I knew I wanted an advanced degree, but I wasn’t sure in what discipline. I had a realm of interests: religion, philosophy, art, literature, music. I felt a pull that I should spend some time dabbling broadly in the humanities. I haven’t regretted that decision.
Q. What’s the community of scholars like in Drew’s arts and letters program?
A. Our courses have a large survey of people from all different walks of life, and I find this invaluable. Some people have raised families; others have worked for most of their lives in demanding jobs; still others are fresh out of college looking for the guidance that the more experienced are prepared to give. And our professors have been willing to lend any help they can give, whether it’s advice on how to further develop an idea or guidance for further reading. I greatly appreciate everything they’ve done for me.
Q. You’re pursuing your studies on a full-time basis, yes?
A. Being a full-time student allows me the needed time to spend hours in the library chasing the white rabbit down the rabbit hole. Often, reading a book for an upcoming class, something will spark my interest. The author might make a small allusion to some other work that I find interesting, and I’ll spend some time reading that book.
Q. You’re a true academic.
A. I think I’ll continue with graduate study after receiving this degree, but we’ll see. And I’ve thought about being a professor at a college someday, or maybe working at a museum. But whatever I end up doing, the arts and letters program has shown me how everything is interconnected. Through these courses, I’ve realized that each academic subject needs the others in order to be understood.
Q. Can you give an example?
A. Sure, to understand poetry you need to understand some basics of music to see how the sounds play off each other.
Q. True enough. Sounds like this is the perfect program for you.
A. Every day I discover deeper realms of thought and truth that I never would have thought existed.