Life as an Extreme Sport

Notes

* calling your father in tears basically insures three things: 1) your mother will contact you later at night 2) said conversation will include some encouraging story about how someone had to apply to same insane number of schools, but then got in and is now incredibly successful, and 3) your parents will insist you look for masters programs still open for applications, so that they can pay your fees and give you the best possible chance to go somewhere * I’ve picked up Dorothea Brande’s book on writing. While she’s talking about fiction, it’s applicable to research papers because she’s talking about the psychological things that stop us from writing and how to get around those, not telling you how to structure papers. It’s from the 1930s, and utterly charming in its tone – she’s sarcastic and sharp, and not at all dated. It’s something that makes me smile,

Continue reading

Pervasive Gloom

I am basically overcome and overwhelmed by a pervading depression. No one wants me. No one likes me. I’m basically a huge fucking failure. Sure, the retort is that I just applied to the wrong schools or that the schools are idiots, but if I applied to the wrong places, then the failure is still with me. It’s still my fault. I can’t even succeed at anything – at the moment, not even finishing my degree. Who the hell cares about finishing a thesis that maybe three people will read? It’s just going to sit on a shelf getting dusty. Might as well just do a performance piece – “Goth Moping” – and get it done. At least more people would probably see it. I made the mistake at looking at job listings last night, and have realized that I really can’t do a damn thing with my degree. I’d

Continue reading

The Genealogy of Pinball Effects

Last night, I looked around my recently de-clothed living room, at books scattered here and there, stacked and toppled, mixed within camera and art supplies, and thought “ananda help me, I don’t want to read any of this!” I wandered between bookshelves (and yes, although I live in a studio apartment, I currently have three standing bookshelves, and two that mimic built-ins, thanks to Kevin’s help) looking for something to read, briefly considered going back to reading about the history of collecting and museums, and finally my eyes landed on James Burke’s The Pinball Effect. The perfect mix of academic and popular writing to curl up with before sleep, tempered with fond memories of a television show I’d rearrange my schedule to watchBurke’s show “Connections”, which ran through several iterations on the BBC, and was brought over here by the Discovery Channel in the mid 1990s. I opened the book,

Continue reading

Friday Five

The Friday Five is a LJ question list. Every Friday, five new questions are asked, generally on a related theme, and you answer them in your own journal. The ones for this Friday got me thinking, a bit, as they were about teachers. Things like who were your favourite teachers, what they taught, your best memories… Mr. Wright was my 6th grade CORE teacher; CORE was basically your English and History class, taught by the same teacher. Math, PE, etc – taught by different teachers, so you rotated classes every 50 minutes or so. (On top of that we rotated schedule daily, too – if class was ABCDEF one day, the next it was BCDEFA the next, and so on – but I digress). CORE was an attempt to keep up around one person a little longer, and make sure there was someone to help with our basic writing skills,

Continue reading

Thesis Thoughts

I try to keep my thesis grounded in example, otherwise it becomes too meta and in the clouds. I’ve been thinking about using PVS, emergent issues, and mental illness as examples to illustrate points (as well as my beloved anemone – why ditch a solid example?), but today another one came to mind: vaccinations. The problem with autonomy when it comes to vaccinations is that you are basically relying on everyone else to NOT agree with your autonomous decision, and thus afford your child protection that way. This quickly breaks down, though, if everyone chooses not to vaccinate. Worth keeping in mind as an example of failure of thought.

Continue reading