Tuesday, August 25, 2009

empirically, progressively, eventually

You know when suddenly four days of your life have disappeared, and you have no idea where they went because the whole thing is a blur of mistakes missed phone calls missed chances Mozart procrastination Foucault Roland Barthes angst etc, and you still haven't done that thing that you were supposed to do??? Except you can't really remember what it was that you were supposed to do - but you remember at the time, maybe midnight or Sunday morning in the sun, whenever, right before everything fell through and went totally crazy, you knew for about thirty seconds exactly what to say.

Thirty seconds.

What a rip off.


In attempting to write 700 words that "identify the way the chosen document problematises the effects or use of media forms and technologies within that territory" I have come quite close to chucking in my degree and never going back. I wouldn't blame that assignment (although it is due tomorrow and at present I have approx. 0 words), but I would blame that subject, and I would blame the absolute apathy, disinterest and disrespect displayed by my fellow students. And I know, I know, I know that I shouldn't be bothered by other people's attitudes towards things, but it does have an effect on the environment I find myself in - tutorials where nobody says anything, lectures where nobody asks questions, group work where nobody does anything. It's depressing. University is supposed to facilitate the growth of knowledge, instead we all just sneer at the word 'facilitate'. Is this what I want to do with my life? I had vague notions of taking up a post in Literature somewhere, which would keep me quietly entertained for the rest of my days. Now, I'm having doubts. I don't know if I want to go through the blank stares of students, or feel like a neanderthal being washed away by the technology march (what is wrong with books in books format in a library?). There must be some benefit - in fact I know there's a benefit. Not to blow my own trumpet, but according to my English tutor last semester, it's people like me who do the reading, do the extra reading, who ask questions and care about their subjects that make teaching worth it (how sappy but wonderful). Granted, I'm slightly more likely to do this for English (which I'm not taking this semester) than I am for Media. But still. People told me that I'd find my niche at university. It's been three very long and wonky years, and I still feel like perhaps I should have been at university during the 1940s, that perhaps I am the outdated one who should get with the program. There's a lack of respect for knowledge and learning that confuses me, and I don't know if its what I want anymore. Maybe I'd be better off joining the rat race and making millions.

(and all the jokes about doing a "farts degree"? they got very boring a long time ago. not that they were ever funny.)

Things don't make sense very often, that was my starting point for this post. Some days I feel very very very old, and some moments I feel very very very young. Alot of the time I'm hungry and tired, and that makes me wonder if there's a point to all this, which some days feels like the 15yearoldblackjeanswearing me, and other days feels like the James Joyce brandishing87 yrold woman I might eventually turn into. I don't know why we do these things to ourselves - my father does a job that has given him both an Order of Australia Medal and terrible migraines. When I asked him why he kept it all up, he pointed at the stereo set up blaring The Rolling Stones and told me it was the material benefits. And that instilled in me a realisation that material objects aren't that bad. I think I went and bought a dress to celebrate.

Sometimes though, when that song comes on, or when my fingers hit the right notes on my cello, or when the pastabake turns out right, or the front page of the newspaper inspires a rant, or when someone smiles at me, I think that maybe not understanding is ok. Because I'm a learner, and I'm trying to understand. Unlike alot of people, I'm making an effort.


Amanda Atkins said...

I love this post.

I don't know if I ever told you I was a literature minor in college. Some classes were amazing, and everyone got into it, and some were the exact opposite. It depends on the teacher, I think. I had one amazing professor. I think being an amazing professor comes from having an interest in things beyond what you are teaching, so that you can help students make connections between what else it is that they love and what they are studying. I think some professors give off the vibe that all should matter is what you are studying, aka your real life is of no importance, and then the students never really want to welcome the subject into their real life as a result.

I think you would be an excellent teacher! I also like not understanding, and just learning and being open.

Anyway, thanks for the comment on my blog :) And good luck with your 700 words...you can do it!

Amanda Atkins said...

p.s. - your blog always makes me think, which I think is a great thing!