Thursday, November 1

unseen universities

a line from one of the plays I was lucky enough to see last month:
"They say a dog sees God in his master. A cat looks in the mirror."
    - Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead
which are we? dogs or cats?

tonight there was a bit of discussion about blindness (the spiritual kind.) it brought to mind a few thoughts I've been stirring around off and on, all sprouted from the strangeness of the word 'problematize.' sounds vexing, doesn't it? a verb that essentially means to make problems? why on earth would you? to go around creating problems? isn't that crazy?

problematization is a word academics throw around like candy. we just can't take anything for granted, see? we've got to pick everything apart (which metaphor reminds me of a song by that brilliant fellow Joss Whedon, which I remember hearing on the radio once, long before I'd ever heard of Dr. Horrible) and ask a million questions. the questions only spawn more questions. what are we really trying to do?

we could problematize mirrors (the camera, the glass, this screen, calm water). what are they telling us? why do we believe them? does it matter who the fairest one of all is, really? and we could problematize our masters (our day planner, our boss, our friends, our biology). what are their motives? who are they working for, or against?

I do love questions, but do I love problems? (is there a difference? hm.)

maybe problematizing doesn't mean creating problems, but unearthing them. (is there a difference? hmm.)

but problems that don't actually exist and problems that we simply can't see don't look any different, do they?

mirrors. gods. invisible cats. hmmm.

speaking of plays, my silly little one-act script was rejected and my consolation prize was ten minutes with three members of the theatre department faculty. I thanked them (in a hopefully gracious manner) for their feedback, which in case you are curious, included words like "maddening," "Seinfield-esque," "circular," and "obtuse."

but they did encourage me to submit again next year.

I need to keep writing.
this is my new notebook of graduate school research. I'm going to need $265 of application fees for my birthday, plus however much the ETS wants for sending my GRE scores to four new universities, plus however much my alma mater and my alma-mater-to-be want for sending transcripts all over the country.


there are a million more unanswerable whys behind that one, so maybe it's best to leave the seemingly inexorable gravity of a phd un-problematized.

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