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Dylan Wilkerson

Dylan Wilkerson

Originally Published: 4/11/2017

Dylan discovered his passion for literature while at LACC and continued his academic research in Medieval Studies in graduate school.

My educational journey began at Los Angeles City College, where I acquired the academic skill-set which formed the bedrock of all my subsequent successes. I built my critical reading and writing skills, I attained a near-fluent command of Spanish, and I sweated my way through mathematics. But it was during Dr. Sotiriou's British Literature survey classes that I realized that my enduring love of books was calling me to become an English major.

I had walked away from formal education as a high school student in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I wanted to work, earn money, and spend my free time educating myself. Nine years later, I found myself working for minimum wage in Los Angeles, no longer confident of my intellectual superiority. I knew that I needed help, not only to find a new and more fulfilling career, but also to take my intellectual development to another level.

High grades at LACC brought me to the University of California Los Angeles, and I relished every moment on that beautiful campus. But I still made it back to Los Angeles City College every day, working my way through undergrad in an ESL tutoring lab. Now, as a PhD student at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, I get to spend my days pouring over ancient texts, grappling with ancient languages, all the while astonished by all of the strange and beautiful literature that has (almost miraculously) survived the passage of time and come down to us today.

All scholarly pursuits are enriched by the participation of individuals from various and diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. I believe it is of paramount importance to bear this in mind as we build an academic culture of inclusivity and tolerance within medieval scholarship. Perhaps my non-traditional educational trajectory will function as an asset in this endeavor.