My Year with Lin-Manuel Miranda

note: title borrowed from this article 

One of my goals for 2015 was to see Hamilton. I was six days too late,  but it was definitely a highlight of my year.

But for me, Hamilton has taken up more that that one day in January. Over the course of my senior year, it’s been the soundtrack of my life. So intimately intertwined in my growth and development of the past year, Hamilton has been there through it all.

August: Hamilton debuts on Broadway. I (not so) subtly mention to my mom how cool the show seems to be. I read everyone reviews, and wonder how amazing the soundtrack must be. I finish my summer internship with a George Washington event. I start packing for senior year. I start looking at my course list. I start thinking about this being my last year, and how much work I have left to do.

September: I move back to UMass for my final year. I start classes. I count the days until the Hamilton album is released, only to have it drop on NPR while I’m in class. I listen 3x a day until my preorder downloads. My immediate favorite is “My Shot.” 

October: I tell Mom I’m buying tickets. Mom tells me it’s a Christmas present. I finish binge-watching The West Wing and love Lin’s fancast for a musical. I start applying to grad school. My brother and I perfect our routine to “Farmer Refuted” on the ride home from school.

November: Friends start listening to Hamilton – they also fall in love with it. I finish my literature review for my thesis! I’m rolling in Hamilton think pieces, and read them on my bus rides to Mount Holyoke. My favorite song now is definitely “Satisfied,” though I can’t sing as fast as Renee. And don’t even get me started on “Guns and Ships” – I WISH I could rap like Daveed.

December: My sister and I have a great duet for “Aaron Burr, Sir.” We switch off, but I’m usually Hamilton. Along with our brother, we rock “The Schuyler Sisters” – I’m Angelica, she’s Eliza, he’s Peggy. I finally read Chernow’s Hamilton on a long flight to Indianapolis. It complements the show beautifully (or vice versa, rather.)

January: I SEE HAMILTON! I am amazed that this show I have been obsessing over can exceed my expectations. I meet Andrew Chappelle and Chris Jackson and Betsy Strux. I participate in the Ham4Ham.  I start listening to In the Heights, and start thinking how Lin wrote it as a sophomore at Wesleyan. I start the first draft of my thesis, and start writing like I’m running out of time.

February: I am accepted to my first grad school on the same day Hamilton performs at the Grammys (and wins for Best Musical Theater Album!!!!) All my blog posts subtly mention Hamilton lyrics. I have a morning routine that starts with “Alexander Hamilton” and ends with “Satisfied.”

March: The cast performs at the White House. I visit DC at the end of the month to check out a grad school. I pick up a copy of Arrive with Lin on the cover on the train ride down. I come home for spring break. I hear Rebecca Onion speak on history and the Internet, and cringe at her article re: Tumblr’s founding fathers fandom. The Hamiltome is published, but I don’t have time to read through it.

April: I pick a grad school. I defend my thesis. I finish my finals a little early, and start to say goodbye to UMass. Hamilton is nominated for an unprecedented sixteen Tonys, and we learn that Alexander Hamilton will be staying on the $10, for the time being.

May: I graduate on one of the rainiest days ever, and get soaked at commencement. My first cap doesn’t survive the rain, but my friend salvages the pieces and makes a new one. (I help.) Lin gives a commencement speech at UPenn.

So here’s to the cast of Hamilton: the soundtrack of my senior year.

 

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