On not being reeducated

This post is not generally comprehensible, but perhaps it can be my last on Reeducation. The main advantage of not being reeducated is to be able to work. From Reeducation forward I could not really work, although I did a lot of work.

The reason I could not work was that the minute I even thought about it all I could hear were huge numbers of voices in my head: I had betrayed everyone by doing the Ph.D., it had hurt the family, it had hurt everyone, it had hurt Reeducation, I had no right to it, who did I think I was.

Did I not know you could not have both an acceptable research field and also your own thoughts, did I not understand that if you wished to survive you could not have a work, but only acceptable and accepted fabrications, who did I think I was, who did I think I was? Who did I think I was to deserve a mind of my own, why did I feel my body was mine, who did I imagine myself to be, and on, and on, and on.

It took a very long time to refute these voices and then to learn how to quiet them down. They only really left about three weeks ago, even though I had them quite well corralled by that point.


This is the reason I am so opposed to discipline and time management as remedies for what is hardly laziness or lack of education but is in a practical sense a serious illness or disability. I spent so many years having people say, just manage your time, just this, just that, take strong drugs.

I would say, Reeducation has ruined me for this field, I need another, and people would say, how can you abandon us, how can you possibly betray us by thinking of anything else. So now, I was a hurtful person because I had gone into this in the first place, and also because I was considering remedying the first sin. It was very hard to function because it seemed there was no step I could take that would not have someone wailing in pain.


My exasperation with diffident, officious academics is boundless and, I believe, involves much more, politically, than does my reaction to Reeducation. Still, the condescending, unfounded, and anti-intellectual things academics had to say about Reeducation’s devastating effects reduces in itself my respect for (United States) academics quite a great deal. Perhaps this was a mere example of the diffidence and officiousness that reigns.

Perhaps this is why I prefer to work abroad.


In fact, that is it. My real academic identity, the one I relate to, was created abroad. This explains a very great deal, and it explains why I seem so South American. I understand now.



Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman

3 responses to “On not being reeducated

  1. Z

    So it is not just about Reeducation, it really is about academia, too. All the fear that gets instilled and the warnings one gets; I think I got traumatized.
    Not being able to work because of trembling in fear of what will happen no matter what you do.

    (Having the only viable course of action be inertia, becuase only the inert survive. Saving oneself for tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow.)

    Yes, I see it. And/but the perception of the way in which my separate academic self really is located in South America is really profound.

  2. Z

    And so I guess it all comes down to, Reeducation and some others were intimidated by me doing research and writing. Reeducation’s idea was that it was a mask, under which something more real might lie. So I gave it up and that is why I have wanted to change fields, so I could give that up but still do writing and research in the human or social sciences. But really what it comes down to, I am so delighted with writing and research and I do not think that is fake. (I cannot believe I got tangled up in all of this for so long.)

  3. Z

    And again — all the academic advice is so bad. Write write write, do not do research just write something, it does not matter what you say as long as you bamboozle someone into printing it, and anyway, you will fail so you might as well not try. And on and on. And then not failing and being berated for this. And on and on. No wonder everything has been as it has.

    I think my main advice to graduate students is that they should take their dissertation seriously and take an interest in it, not listen to the professors who say just write something, I do not care what it says, type it nicely, and all of this. Professors like this are wrong about how life is and how academia works; I think you can afford to be that negative (if you want to) if you have had a lot of lucky breaks youself, perhaps, but acting so destructively is lethal to anyone with less than perfect luck.

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