During the beginning weeks of the new semester (my last at Geneseo) I have been doing a lot of reflecting, and thinking about what my future holds. This semester has a lot riding on it as there is no turning back when I walk across that stage in May and receive possibly the most important piece of paper in my life thus far.  While looking through the course epigraphs one, in particular, stuck out to me; “Doubt is the big machine. It grinds up the delusions of women and men.” Victor LaValle, Big Machine.

As I was reading Big Machine for class this past week I noticed myself connecting with Victor, as I have always been one that doubts my capabilities. Towards the beginning of the novel, Ricky receives a mysterious envelope with simply just his name written on the front. Wanting to be alone he locks himself in the station bathroom but alas, Cheryl finds him, “Hey! What did that letter say?… Don’t know yet… Well, I’d love to know… Me too”. One can sense a feeling of annoyance from Ricky. He simply just wants to open the letter and be by himself, but instead, he has Cheryl yelling at him about what is inside the envelope.  While reading this I couldn’t help but think back to my senior year of high school waiting for my college decisions to arrive in the mail, and when they arrived having my mom rush me into opening them.  And now again during my senior year of college waiting to hear back from Graduate Programs, hoping to hear good news, but doubting that I will. Similarly to Courtney, I am the first person in my immediate family to go to be earning their Bachelor’s degree. I find that when people ask what my major is and I say “English”. Their first question is, what are you going to do with that? It is almost like they find it hard to believe that one could do a job with a degree in English. Having to talk them through the process of my plans after Geneseo sometimes helps with my doubtfulness, but other times not so much.


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