Sunday, March 10, 2024

deep thoughts about deep thoughts.............

       I had come to grad school as a nontraditional student, older than my peers, leaving my job at a real estate development business to pursue a life of the mind.  I had failed as a student when I first went to college directly after high school, but when I returned in my twenties, I had a much different level of focus and commitment.  Unlike my first brush with higher education, I knew why I wanted to be there.

     When I reached my master's program, I took academia (and myself) very seriously.  I wrote dense essays about John Milton's Paradise Lost.  I attended conferences on pedagogy.  I thought deep thoughts about deep thoughts, and I was eager to tell you about them.  I used words like "epistemologies" before breakfast, without a hint of irony.

     My mental health struggles, my insomnia, and my fear of fully committing myself lest I prove my best wasn't enough meant I missed class fairly often, but I was still on the path to being respectable.  I was becoming a scholar.  A writer. A professor.  Somebody who left his small rustbelt town to do smart things with smart people.  I didn't have time for frivolous women and their frivolous art doodles.

     I was an idiot.

-Jarod K. Anderson

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