Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m not attending Stanford, nor have I applied to Stanford. What the title refers to is a Symposium I’m presenting at this Saturday. The site is here if anyone is interested in reading it to see what the heck I’m on about. I was accepted a few months ago to present my research on the lives of Civil War women spies, as well as present the comic book I made based on the research. It’s pretty exciting and terrifying. The closer it gets, the more nervous I get. I also plan to name drop Lora Innes and her ‘The Dreamer’ comic in it, and even messaged her asking if it was ok to use her art to mention it. She wrote back wishing me luck on the presentation, which really meant a lot to me. She takes the time to interact with her fans and get to know them, I know she didn’t HAVE to write back saying anything, much less ‘Good Luck!” so it really stuck with me. I even screencapped the message to have proof. Lora Innes=the kind of comic creator I want to be.
And plus, on top of all that excitement and worry, my history teacher/mentor for whom I did this project is going to be attending my presentation. THIS makes me nervous: He’s the stereotypical grumpy cranky old historian who hates everyone and wants to live in a library. But he’s always been very nice to me and was the one who made me realize ‘hey, maybe I’m actually good at history’ so he’s been a real support for me. When he told me he was going to see me present, he told me to think of him as the speech teacher from ‘The King’s Speech’ so if I get nervous, to just look at him.
So I was pretty nervous already, as I really look up to him and don’t want to let him down. Then Jen, the head of the Honors Club at my school and the woman who’s putting on the Symposium(she actually started the whole ‘Honors’ thing in the district where I live) told me later that she’s been begging my teacher to go to these Symposiums, to go to the Honors retreats, to participate in the Honors Club activities more than as only an Honors Teacher and this was the first and ONLY time he was even bothering to go to this, just to see me present.
I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m bragging. Trust me, I’m not, I’m just so overwhelmed with how much he’s willing to do to show support for me and how much I’m terrified to let him down. I’m also really intensely excited to get to talk about the women I researched, in my readings of them, I started to love them and feel for them and have moments of indignant anger that more people don’t know about these women. I want to tell everyone about Emma Edmonds, and Elizabeth Van Lew and Olivia Floyd and Mary Elizabeth Bowser and..Well. I’m feeling all these emotions and the closer it gets to Saturday, the worse they get.