John Durham Peters, English and Film and Media Studies, Fall 2018

Courses in LatinMathematics, and Formal Analysis

The TRL program was wonderful.  I “shopped” many classes and developed greater empathy for the undergraduate experience and why they like shopping, as I could sometimes tell within minutes that a class was a poor fit in a way that I couldn’t tell from the syllabus.  I also got to visit more classroom spaces than I ever would have otherwise.  I also got to see directly what kind of workloads students in STEM courses often bear, as I sat in on Robert Frank’s class, Mathematics of Language, faithfully attending the lectures and being dazzled by what I could just barely follow.  From talking to the students it was clear how much work they were doing.  I am not sure in retrospect if it was the most topically useful class for me but it was certainly an investment in neuroplasticity and opened up new paths.  The other course I took was Medieval Latin—I wanted a Latin class that would involve close reading of texts with an eye to grammar and meaning, and this was absolutely perfect, as taught by John Dillon.  With responsibilities advising students, being jointly appointed, and conducting a major review of a colleague, I was unable to take more than two courses.  I’ve sometimes second-guessed myself if it would have been more useful to take a literature class in Spanish, French, or German, but all in all, it was a wonderful opportunity, and one that made me feel appreciated and valued by and loyal to Yale.