Esther’s Space- journey through my life

March 12, 2007

Who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, and what is the meaning of my life?

Filed under: Uncategorized — estherspace @ 7:24 am

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I have been used. No, actually, I won’t say that (yet). I am beginning to feel a minuscule amount of power and competence in my struggle to not only make it through theory, but know it well enough to use it. I’ve used it against other, non-English majors, but he has only dismissed me by saying that things are what they are and ‘you English people spend too much time thinking about things.’

Reading: To make a gross understatement, abstract thinking is not my strength. So, needless to say, concepts such as ‘the center is not the center’ is a bit of a struggle to integrate into my life. In my reading, I’ve pseudo-adopted a new strategy that I borrowed from one of my friends; when she took a course on Greek philosophy, the professor began the semester by saying that the ideas they would be covering were pretty difficult, and that if the students could not understand them, they should just memorize them. I think it’s working for me, to some degree, but if nothing else it has helped me to feel less non-intelligent.

My writing. It rambles. I’m not sure that I am writing my blogs as they were meant to be written. Often, I feel as though I’ve made a grand statement, only to go to class and find out that it’s a commonplace conclusion that everyone else has successfully ‘gotten.’ At the same time, however, though it’s a pain to write one before every class, it definitely helps me to retain some of what I read, otherwise I’m sure it would fly through my head in a nanosecond.

Conversation: Honestly, I have wholeheartedly attempted to have conversations about the theory we work with outside of class with other classmates. It starts off okay, but when my painfully elementary conception and understanding of the theory becomes apparent, there’s little use in continuing, because I simply don’t know it well enough to argue at any elevated level. Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of conversations that include no argument as well, instead we’ve attempted to form any elementary understanding of the theorist’s ideas (in vain?).

Group work: Much like my attempts at conversation, participation in group work sort of feels like a collection of masochists taking a course on sensual massage. Okay, maybe not that bad, perhaps our group looks more like theory students who struggle to obtain elementary levels of understanding. I’m looking forward to the theory carnival, though, because perhaps it will be different discussing theory that we have already taken apart in class, fostering at least a sense of understanding, even if it is misguided or completely wrong.

Nothing personal, but I will be happy when this class is over. It is too much like an exercise (Olympic gymnast-quality) in mental acrobatics. I see it seeping into my life and it honestly has helped my ability to read literature in my other classes, but nonetheless, I’ll be happy to receive my theory lessons in smaller doses and much greater intervals.

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1 Comment »

  1. For all of your frustrations, Esther, it seems to me like you’re working pretty hard to make theory work for you. Talking about it outside of class?! Trying to explain it to other people?! Beating non-English majors about the head and ears with it?! That’s high level thinking, if I ever saw it!

    My guess is that, as time goes on, you’ll find a strand of theory (you know, Rubin-style radical lesbian Marxist feminist criticism, let’s say) that will really work for you and help you to make sense of the world, and then you’ll dive deep.

    Until then, it’s back to the Olympic shotput of theory!

    Comment by kmiddleton — March 18, 2007 @ 8:24 pm


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