Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Very Smart and Not Trite

Today, as I was working on a proposal for one of my papers, I sent a portion of it to Kili, and told her I was having issues because I felt it was trite.

And, to be honest, when one is writing about identity, one is apt to feel trite. Who am I? is perhaps one of the most cliche questions that can be asked.

When I sent her the revised version, however, she let me know that it was better, "very smart and not trite." And I decided that if I ever start an academic blog, it will be called "Very Smart and Note Trite" with a subtitle of "or at least trying to be." I think it's pretty apt, and what I'd like to be known for in my academics.

At the very least, I have a framework for how I'd like to approach my academics as a whole, which is more than I can say for my two papers I have to write before mid-December. That's forty pages. And who knows how many I have to read before then.

What I am struggling with right now is a lack of framework. This whole semester, I've been reading wonderful books and poems, and thinking hard about them. But what I haven't been doing is understanding these texts in terms of any theoretical framework.

Which is why I've spent the last few days holed up trying to understand what phenomenology is and how eidetic singularities and transcendent philosophy have anything at all to do with one another. Trying to figure out what those words even mean is already hard enough.

This being my first Masters degree (unlike Ian's second), I am unsure if this is because my program is lacking, or if I myself am lacking the initiative to go out and read Deleuze and Guattari on my own (here's looking at you, Chels).

Either way, I've got to get a chokehold on Heidegger before I can focus on being very smart and not at all trite.


trainsandsunsets said...

Funny. I just finished a whole paper on student development theory and how it related to my own experiences. Yeah, I study how to get people to think critically about "Who am I?"

Can I contribute to your academic journalog?

Ashley said...

Yes, obviously. As long as you're very smart and not too trite. :)

Chelsea said...

If I may make a suggestion, assuming there are at least a few other people in your program who might feel the same way: start a reading group! That's the reason I'm (re) reading D&G right now, because, let's face it, I wouldn't do it all on my own. Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, it gives you the motivation and a support group. Ours is interdisciplinary, which makes it fun, but if you were just with English people, you could always stick to texts that are closely related to what you're studying that term.

Ashley said...

Oooo, I LIKE that idea! I'll have to look into that. Book club book club theorist book club!!