As a senior, I’m supposed to be 9am-class-free. But alas: I changed my major sophomore year, and am thus left with a few lower-level degree requirements to fulfill (i.e. a 9am lecture every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). The morning person in me embraces it, even with its violation of the “easy senior year courseload” expectation. The senior in me, though prevented from having class-free mornings this semester, has also come to embrace it, because (among other intellectually stimulated reasons) my section happens in the clock tower room. What is the clock tower room? It’s a room in the clock tower of Gilman Hall overlooking the quad and the library, easily accessed by the swipe of a J-Card. Until my 9am feminist fiction class, I had no idea it existed — let alone that I, an undergraduate simpleton, could enter it free of charge / sans special gilded key, etc.

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Because I’m an emotional cheesewhiz, I have, of course, taken this recent discovery and made it into a metaphor for how I’d like my last year at Hopkins to go (and, in all honesty, how it has already been going just one month in). For all my time here, there continue to be things about this place that pleasantly take me by surprise — from a new study room with a glorious view in my favorite building on campus, to  a quality reading series, to a newfound appreciation for the literary goldmine that is D-Level of the library (as I mentioned over the summer). As I’ve grown here, the landscape has changed — expanded, really — to provide the kind of variation senior me craves, after three years of supposedly having gotten to know everything there is to know about this place. Unsurprisingly, things haven’t plateaued; I’m reminded of this each time I make the hike up to the fourth floor for my 9am section in a skylit room, the Gilman bell clanging every fifteen minutes right above us.