LCFC Journal #6: “The Hood & Fail, Success & Yale”

22 Nov
20161009_143359

Yale University-Main Library, General Floor

A little over a month ago, I had the fortunate pleasure in visiting New Haven, Connecticut on a Columbus Day weekend. My reasons for heading out there was because a friend of mine whose name is Shayne McGregor, is currently in his first year of a PhD English program at Yale University. Both Shayne and I have known each other since 2012 as we were fellow undergrads at CUNY Brooklyn College.

In the fall of 2012, we were enrolled in a seminar course called Postmodernism: Poetry & Politics. In this class, taught by Professor Ben Lerner, a literary talent who happens to be a force in the publishing industry, (former Guggenheim Fellow & MacArthur Genius grant recipient) Shayne and I came of age as we learned about poetry during the early twentieth century and how it affected the politics of America’s society in the years to come.20161009_144848

Fast forward to the fall of 2013, and we both transitioned to our final semester of undergrad writing our senior thesis’ which would cement our legacy as English majors.

Since then, however, Shayne hasn’t looked back at all as he immediately furthered his education the following semester and pursued his Masters degree in English.

After completing his M.A. last spring, Shayne entered his doctoral program at Yale. I, on the other hand, am now in the final year of my Masters English program at CUNY Queens College.

What makes this story interesting, however, is that I remember being at a poetry show early September when I received a call from Shayne as we caught up and talked about Yale’s PhD program and what life as an academic has been like for him thus far. Moreover, Shayne offered me to come visit and get a feel of what the program was like since he knew I wanted to pursue a PhD in the near future.

Soon after, I wasted no time and took him up on the offer by making my way to New Haven, Connecticut via Metro-North Railroad. And once I got there, I was hooked.

Being able to walk on campus and see what the energy was like was something that I’ve never experienced.

To be in a such a space where students were not only working, but collaborating together and taking their work seriously, was truly a real sight to witness.

Shayne also gave me some sound advice about the PhD process and what it was like for him during his time of applying. I also learned how to plan in advance before taking action whenever I decide to fully commit myself to the application process.

More than anything, besides staying in Shayne’s graduate apartment, meeting some of his cool PhD friends, walking around the beautiful campus, and visiting its prestigious library, I learned more than anything that just because I grew up in a working-class household, and average neighborhood, that doesn’t mean that my dreams aren’t valid and that going to an Ivy-League institution is an idea that is unfathomable beyond my circumstances.20161009_144614

Honestly, every kid whether poor, middle-class, or wealthy, should feel as if they have the same shot or opportunity in possibly attending such an elite institution. No one is or should be exempt from this and as long as one works really hard to make such a dream plausible, they can actually make it a reality.

In closing, as I wind down my final year in the M.A. program at Queens, I know that a PhD is definitely not within my immediate future, but after my next move which is scheduled to be in effect within the next year and change, I’m sure that I’ll be ready to embark upon the journey that is life as a PhD student and when I do, no one will be in my path to tell me I can’t. Those days are over. I no longer believe that I’m just average.

 

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of Tales of the 23rd Precinct, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

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One Response to “LCFC Journal #6: “The Hood & Fail, Success & Yale””

  1. Kevin Anglade November 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    Reblogged this on FLOWERED CONCRETE – "DREAM FOR ANYTHING, REACH FOR EVERYTHING." and commented:

    In his sixth blog post of the LCFC series, writer and poet, Kevin Anglade talks about his time visiting Yale University, the sudden inspiration behind pursuing a PhD and how it all mesmerized him after growing up thinking that a PhD or an Ivy League institute was out of his reach as a black boy. Please be sure to read and sure!

    – Flowered Concrete

    http://www.floweredconcrete.net
    http://www.kevinanglade.com

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