ON GRAD INTROS

  1. β€’
    I'm in grad school, and my classes for this semester started up this week.
  2. β€’
    At the start of the first day of each class (in my experience so far) the professor asks us to do a kind of intro activity.
  3. β€’
    We go around the room and say our name, degree/department, and why we're taking the class. The last part, why we're in the class, quickly becomes an exercise (for many, not all) in academic performativity.
  4. β€’
    Don't get me wrong: I LOVE hearing about what people are passionate and joyful about. There's something so lovely about the experience of someone explaining to you something they are super interested in. It is genuinely enjoyable and interesting and worthwhile.
  5. β€’
    Now, there are certainly students in my classes who, in sharing their research interests, seem like interesting people who want to learn and discuss and share what they're working on!!
  6. β€’
    What I find both frustrating and anxiety producing are the students who use their turn to demonstrate to everyone how smart is is they really are.
  7. β€’
    These are the people who find a way to say they have a background in "French post-structuralist philosophy" (yuck) and then name-drop fancy scholars they've read or work they've done, and do it all using only 10-dollar words of academic jargon.
  8. β€’
    I totally get that people are insecure or feel like they have something prove. I understand why they might be trying to impress the professor and/or other students.
  9. β€’
    But I think it hits a nerve for me as being so representative of academia as a whole: a constant masturbation of intelligence and never ending pessimistic, cynical laments against society/culture/whatever else.
  10. β€’
    I dunno. Maybe my own complaining right now is just an exercise in rationalizing my own insecurities. So be it!!
  11. β€’
    But I can't help feel lost and confused by the problems so apparent in academia being so clearly replicated by the next generation.
  12. β€’
    where does that leave me? what do I want, and can academia be that for me?
  13. β€’
    who knows!!!!!! 🌹🌷🌼🌸🌺🌻