Laura M., age 20, North Carolina


First day of classes today. I spent last night with Jesse in Winston and made it up the mountain by 11:00 this morning, stoned in the sunshine from only two hits. I settled into the couch almost right away to read as much as possible in The Town and the City, my new (possibly) favorite Kerouac book yet — I sit and picture all of the beautiful aging suffering characters and wonder at what a great movie it would make, wonder if I could make it one day, and not leave out one sentence of dialogue, bring every description to visible reality, the football games and drinking binges and race track bets and pancake breakfasts and cigars and trains and uniforms and arguments and love making and music making and rainy nights and dying words and funeral processions and brand new, unpredictable voyages of life…everyone would love such a story, with conversations so poetic and passionate it doesn’t matter if they’re even realistic…

Anyway, I finally finished that novel tonight, about 15 minutes ago, all 499 pages of it, in about a week’s time. Now I can focus on assigned school readings, which I already received today, for Studies in Drama and Conversational French.

I have Dr. Freeman again, which is nicer than I thought it would be; at least for today anyway. He seemed real happy to see me in the hallway before class, and then afterwards he said he was glad to have me there, so I agreed with him. Nathaniel is in this class with me, and he sat in the seat before mine, next to Alice Wright (who is very nice and pretty and compliments my writing, which also makes me like her). Nat’ll probably get a crush on her at some point, which could be annoying, but generally harmless besides. 

French class was somewhat daunting, as I have a teacher I’ve never met or even seen — Mrs. Rosenthal — a very old woman who only spoke about two minutes worth of English the whole class period. She’s the first old-lady teacher I’ve had here, and I just hope it proves an okay experience. Hopefully there won’t be too much homework, and I’ll really be able to develop my speaking skills. I so badly want that, to have another language come spilling from my mouth, without too much thought involved.

Tomorrow I have my French Lit. class at 9:30 in the morning, and then the much-awaited non-fiction with Mr. Diamanti, my favorite, and then Sustainable Development, and then I work from 4-9:00. I have a feeling this semester will slip away even faster than all the five before it, and I’ll be in mid-air on my way to Paris and God-knows-what-else, and then I’ll be graduating, scared to death of death and all the life to live right before it comes and racks me with regret like Kerouac’s old George Martin.