To a True BA

I feel compelled to write today despite drowning in a viscous liquid composed of my shriveled brains (ew) which have been liquefied by midterms. I feel compelled because of a death. Wow, buzzkill. Wait. Just wait.

Let me give you a little background first: I went to school for three and a half years on the east coast and to say those years were a festival of struggles only touches on the ridiculously bad luck I had. It was truly the Coachella of fail, the Burning Man of missteps and the Electric Daisy Carnival of disappointment. The problem stemmed from a series of health problems that seemed to occur one after another to a point where I was mostly composed of casts, injuries and illnesses. But there were a few people who really made my experience at school worth all the struggle. One of those people, my major advisor, died today.

Las Meninas, only art historians understand, yo.

Las Meninas, only art historians understand, yo.

I wanted to dedicate this post to her because she was an amazing dame who was as intelligent and sharp as they come. She owned the history of art department at my school. She was a legend. Part myth, part woman and 100% USDA verified badass. She was also the person who was most vested in my personal and educational success at college at a time when I could barely muster the motivation to take care of myself, much less worry about school. Her generosity and warmth touched me and I won’t forget that she was there for me at a time when I needed support.

But enough about me. Let me give you some examples of her badassery:

- She got rejected from Harvard. So, naturally, she got drunk, wrote a letter explaining why Harvard should let her in, and they decided to let her in because her letter was so convincing.

- She was the first woman at her graduate school to wear pants at her mostly male graduate school. PANTS. She set fashion trends like some sort of French revolutionary, sparing NO ONE. She guillotined the hell out of dresses and skirts.

I’m in total shock that she passed away and although she’s gone from this world, I know she’s somewhere around rocking pants with her sunglasses on. Because the sun NEVER sets on a badass.


In loving memory of Gridley McKim-Smith.

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