"Goddard! Shivers up my spine like fingertips, the name does rouse me like a life. The place has given me no less than life, in fact – and a life of the kind I thought was out of the question.
"I came to Goddard in 2010 at a younger age than many these days, at eighteen or nineteen. I had been looking for and failing to find an institution of higher education that would, for reasons both political and pragmatic, trust me enough to give me a degree while staying out of my hair for four years.
"Of all the institutions I came into contact with, Goddard was the most unique and allowed the most uniqueness; the most storied in its pursuit of social and pedagogical ideals; the most earnestly engaged in the idea of relationships. So, I gave it a try, and lo and behold, I suddenly felt as though I had both freedom and a community.
"That feeling can be hard to find sometimes. With my freedom I pursued the plans for which I had been chomping at the bit for years – a methodical cross-discipline study of subjects that would build a textual foundation for my speculative historical novel. Now, in my final semester at Goddard, that foundation has been built, and that novel has been written, and I can’t imagine having had the freedom and support to do it at any other college or with any other people.
"I feel more trusted and more trusting at Goddard than anywhere else, and I’m happy to say that, after all these years, the place is firmly tangled up in my hair.
"I came to Goddard primarily for the academic and geographical freedom that it promised (and delivered), but my most profound experiences with the college have been during the residencies.
"Many of the relationships cultivated over those week-long residencies feel as strong as ones that have had years to grow – perhaps because of the nature of what Goddard is and has been, the people who gather there are overwhelmingly passionate, open, quirky, dedicated, magical, curious, loving, and ultimately solid. There’s solidarity at Goddard; we perpetuate it amongst ourselves during the residencies, and we go home to perpetuate it amongst our communities."
Check out Desmond's recently published work, including the essay, "In Good Use and Good Vengeance" in Big Bridge. Forthcoming issues of Cultural Logic and Goreyesque will also feature Desmond's writing.