Esther’s Space- journey through my life

May 31, 2007

I hate moving

Filed under: Rant — estherspace @ 5:58 pm

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I hate moving.  I absolutely abhor it.  And I don’t have time for it.  No one has boxes, so everything is packed up in grocery bags.  Why do I own five bajillion books?  Why can I only part with three of them?  grrrrr.  This is also the last week of my class, so I’ve been working on our final presentation (the lost culture of tasmania) and my solo drama (which I hated).  And working.  And I’ve (finally) begun volunteering at the co-op.  Perhaps I should have waited a couple of weeks to start that one.  

So, I’m tired.  I’m stressed, and I would much rather take the time to plant/weed my non-existant garden than move dusty crappy furniture across town using an itsy-bitsy VW beetle.  But, we’re moving.  And our new place is filthy.  Great way to start.

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Greg’s going down to West Virginia next week.  I’d love to go, but I can’t afford to skip work like he is.  Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that it costs $55 for Verizon to turn on my phone in the new apartment, even though it does not entail travelling of any sort.  And I got a parking ticket; from last August.  grrrrr 

And life continues, so on and so forth.  No amazing creativity from Esther recently.  Instead, I work, work, work, think about gardening, work.  I recently discovered that my attention span has been so incredibly reduced that not only am I not capable of sitting through an entire movie, I can’t watch a half-hour tv show unless there are commercials involved.  I’ll call this a recovery period.

May 24, 2007

It’s like alcoholism, but less fun, it’s workaholism

Filed under: Rave — estherspace @ 7:11 pm

Okay, after that ranting session.  I’m back to admit that I want all of the pain that I give myself.  I’m only working one part-time job and taking one class right now, so what do I do with my spare time, I start pulling double sessions volunteering at the Co-Op, which leads me back to me previous position; leave home a bit before 8 am and don’t come back until 9:30.  So maybe I’m some sort of sado-masochist, except with work.    At least I have hot water now.  ::sigh:: I wonder what I’m going to do once this class ends (only one more week!).  I’d like to think that I’ll be making my mark on the academic world.  I’ll probably grow a shitload of lettuce instead. Oh, lol, I almost forgot, and I’m going to Egypt and Isreal, too.  That should be good.  I’m so excited!!!!!!

May 21, 2007

I’m insane, and it’s all my fault.

Filed under: Rant — estherspace @ 5:37 pm

I figured out why I feel obligated to do so much.  It’s because very few of the people I know actually respect what it means to pursue ‘English’ as a career.  I grew up on a farm in a rural community where physical labor is the only proof of merit and the way to success.  Walking home from class today, I realized that I feel like I need to make myself an example.  I am pushing myself as if respect for liberal arts rides on my success. 

Intelectually, I know that it does not.  But, I still do it.  I am taking on a lot.  And working a few jobs on top of a very full school schedule.  Why?  I contemplated this during my walk today.  I could just get a loan that covers school and housing expenses and worry about it later, like so many people do.  I bet I could be a wicked smart student in that situation.  (or, more likely, I would just use that time to watch tv, something that doesn’t currently take any priority)

So, I thought and thought.  Then it dawned on me.  It is because I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of debt, I’m afraid of failure.  I ‘need’ to work to pay my housing bills.  But I don’t really need to work; I could just worry about it later.  But, since I’m majoring in English literature and want to get a Ph.D. in Australian Literature and Postcolonial Literary Studies (at least that’s the plan), I feel like I’m going to have so many hurdles to success once I graduate that I should do my best to avoid creating any further obstacles now. 

 What I can’t fully work out is why I am so worried about it.  Why can’t I just ‘know’ that I will be so great at what I do that getting a job will be a breeze and it won’t be too hard to find a school willing to hire me.  Well, I tried that line of thinking, then I realized that English professors don’t really get paid the same as NASA engineers, so then what if I don’t make enough to pay off my loans, let alone buy a house or start a family?  But, society is telling me that I need to buy a house and start a family.  Maybe, but it is something that I want, not just what I feel I should do. 

I should go to counseling. 

I’m going to assume that I’m not the only one with this problem.  I’m also going to assume that the answer is to relax, and keep running the marathon with the knowledge that it has to end sometime.

Sunlight in Albany

Filed under: Showcase — estherspace @ 5:22 pm

This is a poem I’ve been working on in my spare time this summer.  I haven’t seriously written poetry for a few years, and I’ve certainly missed it.  This is the second version of this poem that I’ve written.  There is still something missing that I haven’t captured, but I can’t quite figure out what it is.  It will, hopefully, come to me soon.  If you are reading this and you steal it, I will dislike you intensely.

Sunlight in Albany

The tall offices are encased by a dark glass,
effectively retaining the formulated flourescence
and refracting the feeble sunlight.

Exhausted beams drift through the city
and are absorbed by the dull, flat hue
of rusty, brush-painted cars.

The light Breaks through the thick city air
cigarette butts are illuminated to
break up the monotony of feces along the walks.

Through all seasons
there is this struggle for
expression of the natural.

Though winter snows are
meant to render all things beautiful,
the light is lost in dredges of slush.

In the park, the hazy light is filtered
by the pure springtime blossoms
of that lone dwelling of beauty.

The ossified days of summer find
children playing on the glass-strewn asphalt,
caring nothing for nature.

And crisp autumn leaves only help
to cover the bare ground of my lawn
that was shaded by the paraphenalia of neighborhood .

All seasons find the sunlight
lost, maimed, forbidden,
and rarely regarded.

Sunlight in Albany
only illuminates
the needs this city knows.

May 17, 2007

the world has shifted, and I’m still here!!!

Filed under: Rant, Rave — estherspace @ 6:16 pm

The world is new.  It is bright and shiny.  It is all because the semester is OVER.  It is a nice relief.  However, I’m also currently ensconced in a summer immersion course that meets 4 days per week.  I have not gone to school this many days in a row since high school!  It’s wearing a bit thin, good thing there are only (only?) two weeks left. 

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 I love the blog.  It is my friend.  Now the whole world can watch me complete my life.  ha ha.  It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, perhaps it was residual torture from 330.  And, I am way too lazy to do this regularly.  But, I’m hoping to get a few in occassionally, including some creative work I hope to do this summer.  So, if anyone besides me reads this (doubtful, but I think I make a pretty appreciative audience anyway), enjoy!

May 3, 2007

[insert clever title here]

Filed under: THEORY 330 — estherspace @ 1:27 pm

Group Project for Final Presentation

Group members: Esther, Aliya, Kim, Keva

Chosen Text: Our group decided to create our own text, a DocuParody if you will. You may know it under its working title, Fahrenheit 330. The text we created features our impressions of a number of theorists, and the relationships they would have with each other and the world in general. You may notice several connections between our DocuParody and the articles we read by the theorists, the theories themselves, and situations you may have encountered in your lives.

Our text looks a lot like this, except it moves, and everyone has hands.

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Individual Readings (summaries provided, but names link to actual blog posts):

Keva– Keva approached the DocuParody with an eye for the gender confusion that is occurring. She was inspired by her reading of Judith Butler’s article in class. Keva investigated the function of ‘drag’ in the DocuParody, and contemplated the larger significance of cross-dressing in American society.

Kim– Kim was interested in looking at the influence of Donna Haraway’s ideas of technology and cyborg-ness when she investigated the DocuParody. Kim is particularly interested in focusing on her character, an oppressed woman, and the child that will be produced as a result of the coming together of cyborg, human and animal. It sounds disgusting, but it was tastefully filmed.

Aliya– Aliya looked at the group DocuParody in light of postmodern theories, especially Jean Baudrillard’s ideas about hyperreality. She was interested in noting the applicability of Baudrillard’s idea that everything is a copy of a copy, and therefore it is impossible to denote the original. Aliya also investigates the ability of simulations to eventually ‘stand in’ for the original in the social psyche.

Esther– Esther chose to read the DocuParody with her strongly Marxist individual theory. She recognized the alienation from labor that the theorists, characters, and the presenters were experiencing, as well as the fact that the entire project is part of the education system’s (predominant ISA) goal of informing the presenters of their roles in society and reforming them into submissive laborers.

Group Assessment of Text:

In Summation (you’ll hear this again): All these theorists work together to deconstruct the different levels of society in an attempt to shatter the images of reality society holds so dear. Althusser breaks down the governmental apparatuses. While Baudrillard breaks down the relation between image and language in reality.  Butler deconstructs the gender conformities of society while Haraway’s cyborg theory
is an attempt to find an answer within the fleeting reality by pairing it with imagery.  Combined, they make each one of us question our roles in hyperreality.

 Final Wrap-up:  After discussing their individual readings of the text, Esther, Keva, Aliya, and Kim all discovered that they were surprised by how many theorists simultaneously influenced their thinking. While the class theorists attempted to read the DocuParody with their own individual theories in mind, it often happened that other theorists, especially Jameson, Rubin, and Horkheimer and Adorno slipped into the conversation. The group decided that this common cross-referencing of theorists illustrated that all theorists (including every individual in the class!) were part of a common discourse regarding the understanding and conception of society. In looking at all theories as part of a common discourse, the group was able to put aside bickering over which theorist was closest to being ‘right’ and instead looked at how all of the theories could work together to provide a greater or more complex understanding of how society, gender, class, and media interact.

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