Monthly Archives: November 2017

P.S.A.

1. Catalan is a language, not a dialect. 2. All of Spanish America speaks Castilian. 3. There are very many literate Mexicans, including winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, and Mexicans are completely comprehensible to other Spanish speakers. 4. I, as a person who speaks educated Spanish and am really competent in it, can (a) INSTANTLY switch to using the vosotros form for you informal plural, it is no stretch, and (b) INSTANTLY switch to voseo for you informal singular, it is no stretch at all. 5. Forsooth, those kinds of grammatical differences among regions, and differences in regional vocabulary, are ELEMENTARY. 6. There are ways in which my Spanish is not as sophisticated as that of some educated native speakers but these subtleties lie at FAR more advanced levels than being able to understand regional differences in normal speech. 7. In academia, we hire on expertise and publications, not on accent. So YES, it is possible to be an expert on Spain without being a Spaniard or speaking like one, and YES you would still be respected as an expert.

I guess you can tell I had an argument with someone today.

Axé.

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Les amours finissent un jour

I am disoriented because one of my longest standing blog correspondents is in hospice. This isn’t someone I have even met but it seems like having a family member die.

Things do not last, and every day I grow closer to being the eldest, the one who must give answers and show sense, the responsible one.

Axé.

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David Harvey

Concept: capital is not a thing, but a social relation between persons, established by the instrumentality of things. (Note: I really should have spent all the time I spent trying to understand Derridean coursework into trying to understand Marx, and I am fairly sure the reason we had to read so much Derrida and Foucault was precisely so we would not have time or energy for Marx.)

Fact: the decolonization movement of the 1960s was encouraged by the U.S. to break up empires that could come into conflict with each other, and also to strengthen U.S. hegemony.

I will review the chapter I have read and continue. Harvey explains a great deal.

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Je voulais dire

I had meant to post some time ago that you should not tell your children they are inferior / defective / less than. We were told we were incompetent, although we could not see it (that was part of the incompetence). That was why we were to do things our parents liked. We would fail, but if we failed at things our parents liked, then our parents would at least rescue us. Since we were impaired, we would need this, so we must take heed.

I woke up this morning thinking of how I like being an amateur. My current fantasy involves moving to Eastern Europe so I will have to acquire probably two difficult languages in order to function. I will be talented, at permanent disadvantage for research and scholarship. Just being able to go to the theatre and understand dialogue will be a great achievement, and it will be a private one.

I always think of fantasies like this as fresh-start fantasies: start again, become a world expert and feel free in a field my detractors do not control, and a language they do not speak. They are, but they are also amateurism fantasies. Perhaps I should activate the become-a-world-expert aspect of the fantasy now, with what I have at hand now.

Axé.

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The update

It isn’t really a union fight, it is a struggle against patriarchal violence.

Also, O union men, I am not sure how deeply conscious you are if the first solution you think of in difficult times is layoffs.

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Travailler, c’est dur

I cannot believe I am now in a union fight. Addison Schroeder IWW, great-uncle, stand me now in good stead. My slogans appear to come from the 60s and to be: Hey hey! Ho ho! ___ has got to go! and One, two, three, four, let’s walk ___ out the door!

Axé.

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In reality

A friend I made about a year ago, but that is from San Francisco so we relate and seem like older friends, said: “You are so wholesome. Walking with you, talking with you, I feel as though I were participating in a scene from Hallmark.”

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Getting rid of grades

This is an important article.

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Encore une fois, what I learned in psychotherapy

That I was not just a person with a question, but an unredeemably flawed person due to the sins of my ancestors. The worst of it, and the proof of it, was that I could not see my own inferiority. The only cure was to self-flagellate in some manner, and I certainly did not deserve any kind of consideration or help; I could not hope anyone would ever talk to me.

I had learned these things as a child, of course, but as I grew I stopped hearing them and I had not expected to have to hear them again. But then I heard them, and I hear them waking up most mornings still. (And I should not have the intellectual inclination, because it hurts people.)

Axé.

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Filed under What Is A Scholar?, Working

On abusers and enablers in academic culture

This is an important article and should be read. “You would be hard-pressed to find a mental-health professional, a productivity expert, or a writing coach who would suggest that — rather than recognizing people’s talent and rewarding their hard work — the way to get good results out of people is by making them feel inadequate or confused,” is one of its key sentences.

My current weapon against anxiety is to give myself time, not try to rush. I am amazed how easy it is to start work when I know that starting does not have to mean rushing. This, for me, is the true procrastination-buster.

The other general weapon is to keep saying my work is good enough and that I am not crazy. The linked article talks about the impact of gas-lighting, and the importance of not deciding, in that situation, that the problem actually is you.

Holding onto these weapons, keeping them at hand and within view, is a constant struggle.

Axé.

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