I’m working on positive thinking.

23 Feb

My Red Emma’s talk is tomorrow! Come out and support! Don’t worry I still have my whole brain! Mostly!

❤ jb

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3 Responses to “I’m working on positive thinking.”

  1. Frowner February 24, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    I will tell you a terrible secret, even though we’re complete strangers–I didn’t get into grad school! There were a lot of reasons (mostly that I had no clear plan about what I wanted to study, had no faculty mentor and had quite literally no idea that you wrote a grad school application differently from a college application–I’m not from a professional-class background and no one told me, plus there was a lot less helpful stuff on the internet then.) It was absolutely devastating, because I’d always been both the smartest and nerdiest kid in almost any school or social setting. I had amazing grades and absolutely tip-top GREs.

    So anyway, I felt like a failure for a long time. Years.

    Since then I’ve taken a couple of grad seminars (aced them, thx) but realized that I really didn’t want to spend my life adjuncting like some of my friends.

    I do regret the lack of an academic support structure in my daily life. It’s harder to read theory when you have a day-in-day-out grown-up job. It’s harder to read theory when you don’t really have anyone to discuss it with. It’s frustrating, sometimes, that my friends who are in grad school have outread me. I read a lot, but I simply can’t compete with being paid to read. And when I talk to some grad students and academics, I’m simply not taken seriously even when I have a solid, informed opinion because I don’t have a credential. Or I’m treated like Dr. Johnson’s talking dog–the wonder isn’t that I do well but that I do it at all.

    On the other hand, I have a much stronger idea of what I want to read and I remember what I read better because I’m not reading as fast. I’m sad to be away from the newest and liveliest work in academia, but I’m glad to be able to develop my own thought away from academic fashions and the pressure to conform. I’d say I really do have my own ideas about how to write history now, and my own ideas about how social change happens. I’ve been able to build a collection of books based primarily on my interests rather than on what I felt I had to read. Several of the grad student friends that I envy also envy me because I’ve been able to stay in my favorite city and because I’ve become more connected in activist circles.

    The thing is, it was rough not getting in, but it didn’t mean I was stupid (even though I thought it was a grand referendum on my intelligence and human worth)and it didn’t mean I couldn’t read books.

    Of course, if you don’t get in this year, you should consult with your mentors, take another year or two to do some socially-relevant work, and re-apply. I hope you managed to mention your activism and drawing in your interviews, since to me those things would really distinguish you as a candidate. (I work in academia now and see things a bit from the other side of the application process.)

  2. fernald February 25, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    hi sassyfrasscircus,
    you have the same wavelength of mine…..
    i’m agree with you..
    in my life i experienced this

  3. mad madge February 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    I know you’ll get in somewhere. You are just the kind of person that they want. I just worry about funding. I’m having a rough funding road right now. I am routing for you.
    Got your card, thanks!
    It may take me a little while to get something in the mail to you. The semester has picked up. But I will!!!
    Peace,
    mad madge

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