I went to college a little bit later than most. Excited but nervous to plunge into a degree — in English literature — that demands all students learn Old English, I asked a friend what studying the language was like. “It sounds bizarre,” Roberta said, “but it’s what people spoke in Britain in the early medieval period. And there are these beautiful things called kennings in the poetry.” We were just in the pub, I think, but I got this feeling. Something like stars in my eyes, but more like starlight dancing on a deep, dark sea.