Wednesday, September 08, 2004

this just in

graduate skool is just like college! i mean -- follow me here -- okay: you walk in cautiously, until you realize there's no need to be cautious. everyone looks like you, or perhaps it's that everyone's intellectual aura matches yours. the acoutrements of the room are equally familiar. desks. walls. green black-boards. a piano for some reason; never mind the piano.

facing you is a professor with a degree from uc berkeley, a trim figure, and a cute accent. you sit, in a circle of course, but specifically, between the eager bespectacled Spelman student and the gangly, serious Norwegian. you look down at a syllabus that's a mix of pompous words("transnational," "colonization") and seemingly normal words with hidden pompous meanings ("informal"). this is theory all over again. it snuck up on you. it's a patty class without the patty and by god! what's the point of that? a sunbeam bursts through the clouds frowning over new york city, through the glass of your classroom window, and lands on your desk as you realize: there's a REASON you graduated college! there's a REASON you were even maybe a little bit glad to graduate, if only because you'd never have to hear the word "problematic" in a sentence again!

this time, maddeningly, hilariously, you're doing it to yourself. as the pedantic older guy with all the degrees rambles on tangentially again, you realize, this time, you don’t have to graduate. you don’t even have to start. this is an optional, voluntary degree. maybe you should find something fun to do instead, a workshop maybe, something low-key, local, inexpensive. maybe you don’t have to be an overachiever after all. you virtually bounce home thinking, trying to be happy may be enough.

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