I see the light at the end of this particular tunnel, but still don’t think at the end it’ll be a flame.

In exactly one month it will be the last day of the semester and I could not be happier about it. This semester has been nothing but dealing with intellectual studies that have no application to some of the real life actualities that have left my life potent with anxiety.

Musing on how rhetorical influences speech patterns, thinking about the publish or perish environment I may find myself crawling toward, or even just scrambling for some hermeneutical process to flow over me so that I can jumpstart some sort of abstract project has left me drained and burned out.

[Hit it, Wikipedia: “Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts.”]

I still feel that all this attributes to the fact that I have no overwhelming passions and still cannot find any. I like to write. I like to have experiences. I like to blog. Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve been pimping out my blog [That’s just for you HWSNBN.] to a couple of my classes as my only real, saving passion; and yet, I feel there should be more. What tangible passion does that list really follow?

I sat in a class last semester, paralyzed after simply being asked what my academics interests were and how to structure a grant proposal around them. When one of the first women to speak, calmly said, “I would like to write a grant to establish funding for a Mayan cultural center in Belize” I really had to swallow and try and recapture what exactly I was doing going for this degree in the first place. Granted (pun more than slightly intended), this woman had about thirty years on me and was working on a PhD dissertation, but I have a hard time believing that she had no conceptions of what greatness she was going to accomplish in the future when she was younger.

I know, I know… life experiences molds you into this bundle of directional cues, but I still feel that I’m quite timidly sitting on a soggy leaf floating on a river where people are standing on the banks quoting their passions and using words like “hegemony”, “paradigms”, and “enculturation”.

I feel like I should stay on this leaf. Even while I like to use words like hermeneutics (Doesn’t it just roll off the tongue?), I’m still the one to like to throw a good “Duuude…” into scholarly conversation, thereby having some of the elite give me a slow blink and totally go on having no fun with their lives.


9 Responses to I see the light at the end of this particular tunnel, but still don’t think at the end it’ll be a flame.

  1. E says:

    So is this a cry for establishment of elitism in your life or a denouncement of the overachievement inherent in the perception of the upper echelons of elitism?

    In defense of “Duuuude…” I’ll say that I like saying that too.

  2. firewings says:

    I’ll take the latter.

    Also – you need to do this program. That kind of writing’ll get you a lot of the rhetoric ladies. But not that one lady. No, not her.

  3. eatsbugs says:

    Yeah, I’m in the “dude” crowd. I even use it on my students.

    You should have gone for an MFA. In that degree, they encourage you to aspire to nothing but enjoying what you are doing right at that very moment. They don’t call it a terminal degree for nothing.

  4. thebutton says:

    I’ve given this advise before…listen to Sunscreen. You know, that “songish” sort of thing that came out when we were all in High School. Somedays it makes me feel pretty darn good. Not all of us know what we want to do in our 20’s, so why force ourselves? Experience what we can, let it mold us, then see where our niche is. I’m honestly thinking I’ve found mine, but I won’t know for sure until it really happens.

  5. E says:

    Baz Luhrmann Knows All.

  6. Kallie_Pigeon says:

    Take heart. It’s a Brave New World, and the Academy will be dragged, kicking and screaming perhaps, into it. Every time I tell someone about my zombie project or get more ink, I raise eyebrows. But I see more and more of us joining the ranks. Rad, no?

  7. The Rebuker says:

    Here, here! to death of the dusty Academy!
    Here, here! to research projects involving zombies or vampires or blogs or footwear or whatever else floats your intellectual boat!
    On an essay I’m writng for Human Sexuality, I found myself asking “Are The Pussycat Dolls sexually-empowered, third-wave feminists or are they pandering in order to sell records? Are they both?” Is it a waste of time to apply critical thinking to things so mundane/offensive as a burlesque review-cum-pop group? Does thinking critically or creating a discourse of sexualized girl groups elevate them beyond the mundane? Or does thinking like that merely reinforce the elitist idea that criticism is high-brow and pop music is low-brow? Do you think that we need to abandon such binaries as high- and low-brow? Can the blog (or the zombie text or the non-Dracula vampire or the Converse All-Star) be academic?

  8. firewings says:



    Depends on the need of procrastination/research topic.

    Yes. [Not to say we should. I call for research on it anyway. Dr. Burnham says that’s what makes a true graduate student.]

    Yes. [We forget that the academy is elite and we are not yet jaded enough for it, thus cannot wiggle our monocle correctly yet.]

    Yes! Screw binaries! Well, wait; sometimes, I like them. I’m indecisive after all and if I can’t float from one binary to another, what do I have left?

    Hell yes! (Double hell yes for zombies [Especially to the tattoo that would come from the zombie research], and triple hell yes to vampiric lit [That’s something you efficiently proved last Friday] and…um, I haven’t written about my Converse…uh, lately… But hell yes to that as well.)

  9. firewings says:

    Also…I want a cool research idea that comes with a tattoo. *shivers with glee* That is insanely awesome.

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