Academia: Part I
January 5, 2005 § 1 Comment
The more attentive readers among you may have noticed a distinct absence of posts concerning what is ostensibly my primary occupation. Or, perhaps not. In either case, it is an inarguable fact that this space has until now been unsullied by commentary about my ongoing studies.
There are several reasons for this semi-deliberate omission. The first is that graduate students have a notorious and entirely deserved reputation for moaning endlessly about their lot in life, and although I personally engage in this activity more often than I care to admit, I have been reluctant to do so in mixed company. It is at least theoretically possible that someday, a coalminer or garment worker or Wal-Mart employee might stumble across this blog, and having encountered such drivel they would be perfectly within their rights to slap me silly.
The second reason is that most academic writing is not especially interesting, nor, frankly, are the vast majority of ideas that contemporary academics labour to express. They are, to be fair, sometimes useful or even intellectually necessary, but useful is a far cry from interesting, and neither can hold a candle to pleasurable.
The third reason is only slightly less flip, and has to do with my deep ambivalence about the university as an institution and my own tenuous place within it. What follows is, at its core, a tale of romantic disillusionment, one that is akin to other such tales but which almost certainly will never inspire a great pop song or any other object of cultural value. So be it.