Monthly Archives: September 2017

More anti-Boicean-ness

And I still dislike the Boiceans, and the academic advisers, because they are about conformity.

I think I am onto something with this. Everyone knows how to be “productive” and if they aren’t, it is a question of circumstances or techniques, not discipline or character.

Academic advice isn’t academic advice–it’s an exhortation to conformity and a way of shaming people for originality or creativity.

That means it’s deceptive, coercive, manipulative. Invasive and condescending, while it also appears to hold something of actual value, the true secret, in reserve.

Perhaps it is that impossible academic advice is what is given women and minorities, and collegiality is what is given men.

Axé.

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Internet-free workdays?

I have discovered that I surf the Internet while working, or instead of working, because working means being on the Internet, and I do not want to be. If I surf, I can just read, but if I work I must check boxes, constantly interact with the machine. It seems like an instrument of torture.

I asked myself: what would make it possible for you to get up and work without anxiety? The answer was: if I could deal with books, papers, and live telephone only, except perhaps for a half an hour at the end where I would download articles for the next day. Or perhaps even, five minutes per hour where I looked things up. But I would not deal with course websites or e-workbooks, nor would I read articles on JSTOR and similar services that I had not already downloaded.

I never liked television and all of these screens bother me. The entire enterprise seems like a form of junk food, with similar effects. I may try one of those pieces of Internet-blocking software I have heard of, that still lets you read things like JSTOR.

Axé.

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Talking to myself, really

1/ So: You mean, Sanders ran in the primaries not to move the party to the left of the DLC & back to more mainstream / liberal Democratic line, but because of a personal vendetta against Clinton or to try to block a woman candidate? And this is why Trump won in the generals?

2/ It isn’t true that the radicals of the 50s and 60s did well. A lot of them were assassinated and/or jailed and/or had to go into exile, and are hardly famous. And some of those who are famous gave their lives. Who do you mean, that got rich? Do you mean Tom Hayden?

3/ It’s also not true that nobody working class votes left, or that left means some childish fantasy about revolution. I’m left and people always call me for strategy when they get desperate, and I wish they’d do it sooner.

Axé.

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La session thérapeutique

I am not trying to follow any kind of schedule at all, just get up and start doing things that need to be done, sit down for all meals and go to the pool/gym every day. This is how I always did things before, and I will point out that no schedule does not mean nothing happens regularly. Before I always studied my foreign language for an hour a day, for instance, and often at the same time each day, but I did not try to fit things into a grid–I let them find their own rhythm. One of the things I most dislike is to feel rushed and prodded; it causes me to play dead like an opossum until the danger has passed. This is why I think I am not like most professors. I think they cannot handle the flexible schedule and have to find a way to make it rigid. I, on the other hand, may have been born for it, or perhaps I was coached to it from an early age.

Not being rushed is one of my main innovations this term. Taking on service that I am in the mood for and turning down all service I am not, is also new (in the past my criterion was what was most necessary). I have dropped my “busy” persona, that I imitated from my dissertation director. She always said she was overwhelmed with random work so as to gain more research time without being called selfish. I know how dangerous it was to say directly that you were going to commit the sin of research during regular business hours–I tried it myself and paid dearly for it–but the “busy” persona is stressful and I think it also stresses the students, so I have dropped it.

I have realized that some of my colleagues are not colleagues but bad boyfriends. That is, they are boyfriends, but they are not very good at it and they seem to think of me as a girlfriend and not a colleague, so that is that. I am breaking up with them, which means I am rescinding the honor of considering them colleagues. This cuts cognitive dissonance and time spent negotiating, so reduces stress. I am gravitating to other people because they are colleagues.

I have protested an instance and a half of mistreatment. I will follow up on the half, and protest a third incident as well. I am recognizing a fourth, from the past, as another such incident although it was too long ago to address–at least not in the original form. I am not rising above things and this is another way in which I am departing from standard advice, which is not reality-based but insists you convince yourself you are living in the world the givers-of-advice seem to do.

I have not recovered from Reeducation or from my first education, much though I have talked about them. Reeducation had two phases, in two cities, and each had several steps. I am afraid to address these things as I should because I need an analyst to do it right. I am fairly sure I will veer destructively if I do it alone, and the topic bores psychotherapists since they believe in staying on the surface of things. Meanwhile I beat around the bush, walk around the lake, not walking through or jumping in.

Axé.

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Not of general interest

So: for that ALFS article, for which I have so much material and so much writing, but not a clear enough shape, I have these thoughts:

1. We have this situation:

Les valeurs d’émancipation et d’égalité n’animent plus le système universitaire, qui est devenu un système de tri de la population. Durant mon enfance, l’éducation était émancipatrice. Il y avait un bon niveau de tolérance à la déviance. Il y avait des profs d’histoire ou de philo communistes, anarchistes… Aujourd’hui, un impératif de perfection et donc de conformisme s’est mis en place. La fonction objective du système est de trier les gens et de retenir ceux qui sont les plus disciplinés et conformes. Au bout du bout, les gens qui finissent à la tête du pays sont incapables d’avoir une idée – je vous laisse imaginer à qui je pense.

But since liberal values are still invoked and a lexicon alluding to them is still used, the situation is hard to see. At the same time (and coming from the other direction), most people now were born to a university system where these values had already been abridged and the neo-liberal or corporate, or even the entrepreneurial university had already begun to take shape.

2. Can I afford to go to ACLA and if I try, should I present on Vallejo…or what? I have NOT written my Vallejo panelists as I had planned to do, or Emmanuel on a modernism / primitivism panel, and I should keep these ideas in mind.

3. My notes after ACLA in Utrecht: “Keep working on this paper. Keep working in general, you deserve it.” It is very hard for me to remember such things when I am here at Vichy State-Maringouin, but I am getting a bit better at it.

(Now I will go to the library, and then I will continue to think about the ACLA question.)

Axé.

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Things I want and am not buying

New glasses and linens, these are what I want. I shall perhaps buy them in January and June. It is a down comforter I want, and striped towels of Baltic linen. I want at least one, but probably more good lamps, and I want illumination under the kitchen cabinets.

But I spend larger slices of money now, and adjusting for inflation and for professional costs the university used to cover but no longer does, I make less than I used to do. I must have trees pruned, house painted, teeth fixed. But this week, I will fix the cars. I will weed and prune bushes, and spray for insects.

Then I will write my paper and go to Mexico. Next, I will make Christmas plans and  visit New Orleans. Then I will work on trees and paint. I will call about getting a protective finish on the front door. I think you can get glasses at CostCo, and I may do that. I foresee trouble including the death of my roof and my mobile telephone, but in spring and summer I will work on teeth, and I will keep working on the garden.

I don’t think I can go abroad in the summer but I have ways to travel in the United States. This gives me time to do some other things, although not money. But I also want to paint a part of the inside of the house. I want new blinds as well, and a new porch floor, too.

Axé.

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La felicidad

I was about to say this was my happiest teaching day ever, but really it is only one of my happiest teaching days, as there were periods with certain circumstances that made most days happy although it seemed normal then and did not stand out.

I would like to say the reason is my general disposition this semester, in which I refuse to tolerate the mistreatment faculty in other languages normally dish out to faculty in Spanish, and that we have traditionally swallowed because the threat was that things would get yet worse unless we kept quiet. However, I think the actual reason is that my language class–always the first class–is actually a really good class. Normally they are not and for various complex reasons this puts a serious damper on the day.

Also, I am in the salad for breakfast movement but today had a vegetable omelet. I did make salad for lunch and it was the first time I managed to make and transport a salad that did not wilt and was terribly tasty. It had butter lettuce, chopped tomato, minced red onion, black olives, and swordfish baked in olive oil and soy sauce, and then chilled. Dressing was olive oil, lime juice and salt mixed with hemp powder that I bought at a Saturday market in Jurmala, near Riga.

Axé.

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