Reading for Pleasure Wednesday: The Glass Menagerie

I am reading The Glass Menagerie and it is heart rending. I am also reading excellent poems and seeing excellent videos for class, but I Tweeted some of them to my IRL Twitter account, and put others on class websites.


I removed Reeducation, whose idea was that one should not control one’s life. Now I am expelling Da Whiteman insofar as he really is an introjection. Autonomy and responsibility are key words. They remove “mental slavery” and resentment. They make it impossible to feel passive agressive or to want to act out. They make it easy to tell people, go away, I am busy.

These two words also remove the necessity to recover from strange events, and make it possible to just move on to the next thing. This makes it possible to get many more things done, because if one simply acts, one can steam right ahead. In Reeducation one had to second guess everything, but in the world of freedom, without Reeducation or the introjected Whiteman, one can simply act.


I am resisting the temptation to give instructions to the Blackguard on how to do something he wants to do and that I do not oppose, but only do not want to do myself. To give the instructions would be to engage. I am dying to say, but will not say:

  1. Get these abstracts in English. There has to be a talk in English because these are graduate level talks. If there is to be audience, the talk has to be accessible to graduate students and faculty in several departments. If you cannot show that an audience is likely, you will not be funded.

  2. Note that for purposes of funding, there are three points: a) the informal presentation for undergraduate students;  b) the curriculum workshop for faculty; c) the formal presentation for a broad audience.

  3. With the points made above in mind and the abstracts in hand, talk to colleagues in Department A such as Professor B, due to his interests, and professor C, due to his. You may find there is interest there. To be able to say that will strengthen applications for funding.

  4. Talk to people in Department W like Professors X and Y (both with interests in the field of this presenter) and perhaps to professor Z. These people may be interested and have advice on which abstract is the most appropriate, and which dates and times of day are the most likely to attract an audience.

  5. If the response from departments A and W is very positive, the college and/or the graduate school may be willing to contribute to funding. Even a more modest degree of support and input will be helpful for the applications described below.

  6. With all of this information in hand, apply to Fund N (because this person will be coming in part to consult about a teaching project) for some of the funding (let’s say the honorarium), to Fund F for the another part (let’s say the transportation) and to Fund U for the food and lodging. Cite interest and material support from wherever you have these, and matching funds from the college and the graduate school if any have been offered by now.

Why I do not just give this advice: the Blackguard does not want to learn my techniques, he only wants me to use them on his behalf. Note that this advice does not even include instructions on organizing the event itself, on creating a budget, or on publicity.

What the Blackguard would say: oh, but you are so good at this, you should just do it for me.


6 thoughts on “Reading for Pleasure Wednesday: The Glass Menagerie

  1. “What the Blackguard would say: oh, but you are so good at this, you should just do it for me.”

    Of course this is the classic line used by men to get out of doing housework. Flattery to distract us from the essential dullness, humbleness, and powerlessness of the task. And of course he’ll never get ‘good at this’ if he doesn’t practice…

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