Saturday, October 5, 2013

Metaphorically Speaking

Apparently I've turned this into a monthly rather than weekly blog, but perhaps I'll pick up my pace in upcoming weeks. I promise nothing. I will relate some of the best moments in the past month:

1. Once, last Tuesday, I actually understood what my Organizational class was talking about. VICTORY!

2. I rewatched the Princess Bride last week and still knew every line. And it was still as good as I remembered it.

3. One of my students gave her first in-class presentation (it's a speech, but calling it a "presentation" is less scary) on the inventor of the Rubik's Cube. Best part? She grew up next to him when she was a little girl in Hungary. I have cool students.

4. My government shut down.

5. I set up a lamp so that it would shine eerily on the stained glass goat framed in our office when the overhead lights are off. I'm not making that up. The goat's name is Marsha (as inscribed on the back of her wooden frame).

6. Wrote a paper about Tumblr.

I wish I had more than lists to give you, but I just spent the entire day at a conference listening to PhD candidates present their research. I'm so tired my eyeballs want to fall out of their sockets, so I want to leave you with this month's metaphors for graduate school. Forever and ever ago, when I was a young grasshopper in undergrad, Gary Schmidt made us write metaphors to describe our writing process. Ever since, I've found the exercise useful in discovering how I really feel about something when my brainpower does not suffice.

Grad School is . . . 

. . . socialization. Most of what’s at the heart of a culture isn’t the obvious differences: chopsticks or forks, hanbok or Levis, military service or playing football. Real culture is adopted—monkey see and monkey do—through the day-by-day mimicry of a new vocabulary (I used “structuration theory” in a non-ironic sentence yesterday) and a new value system (“publish or perish).

. . . walking into a room full of oranges and knowing you put on your orange peel that day but that someday, sometime—when you’re not thinking about it—you’ll forget and your apple stem is going to come sticking out somewhere and all the oranges won’t know what to do with you.

 . . . a McDonald’s ballpit in which there might be sharks but you don’t know because you’re too busy making sure there’s a bottom to this thing while also not suffocating under a mass of empty, plastic toys.

And finally, some people I've been missing these days.

Emily Wonderful who writes me letters.

Too. much. fun.

Glory days.

A good January

My people, last day in Korizzle.

Still the weirdest picture I've ever been in.

Except for this one.