Saturday, October 06, 2007

Resolutions

Yesterday was apparently a day to resolve various dilemnas in my (our) life (lives). H brought up yet again "Maybe we should apply for Ph.D programs this year...just a couple." I responded, admitly in a very nasty manner, and then left for a reading group. But driving down to NoDa, I did take some time to think about what he was saying. I realized that he was really freaking about losing our momentum, and that he likely didn't want to teach in the public school systems (not something I really wanted to do either). And I also realized that some of my relief at not applying was arising from my amibiguity concering what I studied.


Soo...flash forward to after the reading group. I'm feel pretty decent because a, I held my own, and b, I stood by the ideas that I thought were worth standing by. Hard as it may be to believe, I often back down in the face of professors' disagreement. I defended blogging as a potential revolutionary action, and kind of got my stick in about how academics don't really seem to change anything, etc, etc. Mostly I was just floored about how pompouse people can be, and how too often there is no willingness to listen. It upset me that this one prof who is a bit quiet kept getting overridden by two louder memebers. I am loud and I talk a lot but I really do try to remember that there are other people who have thigns to say. It just struck me as not only rude but self-important. couple this with some very simplistic views of revolutionary potential, and I defitnely reached my disgusted quota for the day.


But it was after the reading gropu while talking to one particular professor alone that things fell into place. First, this guy is very cool, not pompous, very intelligent, etc. He retired this year (a shame as I never got to take a class with him). He's from the Chicago school, and studied under Long, and other various famous religion scholars. Second, he's a religious man himself (very liberal, etc, etc.). I told him about how I often felt guilty about leaving my teaching job because I felt like I was doing something there. He said "Well you know I could argue that you will do just as much good teaching at the college level as teh high school level espically depending on where you teach at." And then we talked about dealing with egos, etc. And I told him all about my religion dilemna. He didnt' give me any advice but told me about his own experience. Grew up Catholic, left it as a teen, began to study religion, was without religion for ten years, adn then became a Quaker. He said to me before he left "You have to do what makes you feel whole."


On the way back, I realized he was right. I was allowing too many influences to tell me what whole was. Being an academic is not something that comes naturally to me. My family certainly does not have any acedemics in it. I will be the first person on either side to hold a Ph.D. I don't have any models for how this life is lived except for the professors I meet. But I was so busy focusing on the egos that I forgot to look around for others. There are role models in my department. Role models who live this life in a way I find acceptable. And I also knew that H and I had to apply for at least a couple Ph.D programs this year. If we don't get in, we have a plan B but we love this life, and why make ourselves unhappy for even a year?

So resolutions made? apply to at least two programs...meaning GREs in the next two weeks, statement of purposes by Tuesday (we have a long weekend), and applications filled out by next weekened. Now we do love to work under pressure....


And I'm going to practice religion the way I need to. I have yet to figure out the community issue. I may try the UU which has a coven in it or I might try to put together my own group.


And I also will likely be spending a bit less time here. But I'll pop my head up I promise.

6 comments:

Ros said...

Sounds like a GREAT decision, particularly since part of getting into a PhD program is just the particular pool of applicants that year . . . and to me, just another example of how good you & H are together.

John B-R said...

You sound happy. That's good.

Jess said...

We'll miss you as you post less frequently, but it sounds as though you have some exciting times ahead! Good luck on everything that you're working on this week...

Ginger said...

Well don't miss me too much...I'm pretty adddicted to blogging:)

And yes, John, I am happy. I knew when I wrote my "bitching" post that it was really a matter of balancing, and of figuring out if I could do that within the academy.

Thanks Ros....

Now onto planning out a four to six page statement of purpose!!!???

Matthew said...

It sounds like you're making a good decision. Good luck with your applications!

Lolabola said...

wow, what a great post! first that you found some role models that you like and second that you are focusing on what makes you happy