Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1) I've been baby-sitting for almost six months now, and I realized that I am only a good sitter when I don't get a kid with diapers who likes to stand up in the living room table. I still don't get diapers, or the whole wet wipe deal, although wet wipes are indispensable in this process. I learned this the hard way.


2) My roommates and I have been watching a lot of bad reality TV at night. The latest one that is traumatizing all of us is "Hoarders." This show is about people who are so emotionally attached to their stuff, that their homes are filled with piles and piles of crap that nobody will ever make use of. I think hoarders are pretty common here in the south. This made me begin to clean up my own room more thoroughly, and donate two bags full of stuff to Goodwill. It is making Lydia walk into my room every evening, with questions for me such as, if there was a fire in this house, what object would you want to take with you? To this, I think I have replied that we need to stop watching so much of "Hoarders."

3)So the professors who teach at my graduate program are really good professors, and the two semesters I have attended, I have gotten a lot out of my classes (despite my complains about how I'm not getting enough out of my classes). But the graduate students are a thing in themselves. I'm not talking about the ones who are trying to get into Law school, or Med school. I'm talking about the philosophers. For example, the new fad is that all my male classmates want to use the MA program as a step towards a phd program in Philosophy. This is a good idea, and it is what I did too.

But the even newer fad, is that these students really believe that they're going to make it to Yale and Princeton phd programs, so they are making philosophy their top priority. For example, two of my classmates don't have jobs, and one of them is making his wife support him. The first pair never finish their work on time, and are always behind on their assignments despite the fact that they don't even work. I have also asked them continuously to submit a paper to the latest graduate conference we organized, because it would give them more experience, but they had nothing to submit "yet."

The last one hangs out in the graduate office all day reading books, goes out for walks around campus in the afternoon, and eats his sardines in the evening before class. Meanwhile, his wife is teaching full-time at a public school, walks their dog in the evenings, and cooks for him. All of this while he attends our Feminist Methods class. She will then have to move with him and teach in some other public school, if her husband really does get accepted into a phd program outside of the state next year. And she will keep supporting him until he finally completes his phd, by the time he is forty, and maybe then gets a real job. I really want to meet this amazing, virtuous, woman.

So, I guess, when my male classmates talk to me about starting reading groups, or how they want to submit papers to conferences, I encourage them, but remain skeptical. I try to make it clear that a phd in philosophy won't get them many women, or many jobs, or anything of that sort. And that once they realize that they won't get into Yale, or Princeton, they might also understand that this whole deal is not as glamorous as they thought it to be. But we all learn the hard way, and they will too at some point. But if one of them really makes it to Yale, I would congratulate him, but really congratulate his wife even more.

4) Hannah and I have push-up competitions now. Sunday I needed a break from reading at Caribou and managed to do five in a row in the parking lot. Hannah beat me doing ten in a row, in the middle of Caribou. I was thinking that next time I will try handstands. Getting stronger is awesome.

5) Last night I submitted a new paper I wrote to the British Society of Aesthetics. I am starting to like the feeling of submitting things, even when all you get back is a rejection letter.
Rejections are not that bad anymore, I've handled seven rejections to graduate schools so far, one rejection to a graduate conference, one rejection from a dude whom I used to love, and two job rejections so far (one from a private school at a convent, the other from a school in Brooklyn.)
And, you know? After the third rejection, you just don't feel the pain anymore. This is so true, and it is also somewhat empowering (once you get past the third rejection) because you sort of keep going without taking it personally until something or somebody decides to NOT reject you, and usually, something or somebody WILL decide NOT to reject you. And so you just keep going, and cheers to that.
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