Ruth Yeazell, English, Spring 2020
Courses in Literature, Philosophy, and History
Ever since arriving at Yale three decades ago, I’ve suffered from a case of undergraduate envy, as I’ve thought about all the opportunities open to our students that I’d missed during my own college years. While the TRL program didn’t exactly do away with the condition, it provided a wonderful way of assuaging the hunger just a little bit–in my case by affording me the opportunity to participate in the full suite of Directed Studies courses for the spring term. I undertook the experiment partly to prepare myself for teaching the literary portion of the curriculum for the first time: a risk I suspect I would never have undertaken otherwise. But I also relished the chance to read and talk about major works in philosophy, history, and political theory without worrying about what I might do with them professionally–to encounter them not as a teacher or scholar, in other words, but simply as a student. I think there’s a good reason why colleagues at other institutions who hear about the program envy us in turn!