Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Okay, so once or twice a year, I make a big to-do and say I'm going to return to regular blogging. Will this one stick? I don't know, 50/50 shot. But I am trying to concentrate on something BESIDES grad schooling. Do you have any idea how hard that is? Very.

I like to imagine grad school is like giving birth to a child. The pregnancy is that waiting period where you're spending all this money sending off applications, trying to convince people somehow, someway, that you are NOT an idiot and that they should not only accept you, but give you money to boot. And you wait, and wait, and the impatience baby in your tummy grows and grows and knots and knots until one day you get your first rejection, and then another (it's always the acceptances that come late) and then you finally get accepted and you think: okay, I'm going to begin this journey.

So you move to the school (you "have your baby") and it robs every piece of your life you once held dear...your relationships, your hobbies, your free time, your sleep, your temper, your patience, your sanity. It's all in service to this thing you are undertaking and you know you're going to be doing it for years and years to come. And you're happy, because it's what you've always wanted, but suddenly you're in this place where getting an A is all well and good, but probably not good enough, because you need to publish and go to conferences and be mentored by the right names and network and all that if you want to eventually have a job when all these old guys in these old departments start kicking the bucket about right when you graduate...and if you get a B, well, you may as well go home.

And yet, I'm so happy, because I feel forward momentum. It's masochistic, really, it's outright torture, the things that people are willing to go to get to a point where they think they'll be happy. And the real kicker is, while you're doing all this, at least in my field, you're reading all this Neo-Marxist theory that tells you "every desire you've ever had has been fabricated for you in advance" and you think, well, okay, there is a system, and I have to play into it or not. And it all becomes very very exhausting, Foucault telling you your government controls you through Biopower, Benjamin telling you you're manipulated by the phantasmagoria of the commodity fetish, Horkheimer and Adorno telling you you're a pawn within the Culture Industry, Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy saying there is only hope in a world where your singularity is subjugated to a plurality. It's exhausting and you frankly feel like you need a nap and yet, when you get a break, you can't help but read more and more into it.

So you can understand why I've fallen a bit behind on the blogs. But I'll change it soon, fingers crossed...

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