Apt. 11D: New addition to the blogroll

Apt. 11D

I came across this by chance, but I’d like to follow this up. One seeming disconnect between me and my fellow PhD students (and some faculty as well) becomes particularly boldfaced during “extracurricular” events, like the potluck we had this week to welcome new students/faculty. That is, we are all smooshed into one house, are feasting and imbibing with relative abandon, and while I am ready to forget, for just a moment, that I have 15 books stacked on my desk at home awaiting that frantic sticky-tab franzy I like to call reading, there are always a handful of revelers who corner me to discuss projects, exams, diss work, etc. I was cornered twice thusly last week.

I am not averse to “talking shop” while outside the proverbial shop. However, once a conversation begins that is seated in scholarship, something happens (like…*poof*) that makes it awkward or inappropriate for the conversation to segue into non-academia. It makes me sound/feel like a doofus. Let me illustrate:

party-goer: “I simply felt as though the presentation lacked a clarity of frame; that the author continually re-shifted her angle creating a problematic disjunct between herself and the audience.”

me: “uh-huh.”

party-goer: “…and she had several opportunities to connect her work to obvious theory-heros, but it was almost as though she hadn’t read them…”

me: “oh…”

party-goer: “worst was her complete lack of awareness concerning femininst and critical pedagogy…”

me: [eyes glazing, shoving curry into mouth to avoid having to speak]

party-goer: “…all told, however, a well-delivered talk, one I may be able to return to, as a springboard into [blah blah blah]…”

me: [as party-goer pauses to sip wine] “Did I mention that little Billy is walking? Not even ten months old yet!”

party-goer: [with something like pity in her eyes] “oh…”

There is a lot more going on in this conversation that I’m ignoring, I know. I also have issues with hyper-criticality (and I encountered this at the potluck as well). Actually, let me be frank: I avoid agonism of any sort like stinking death, but remind me to blog on that later.

Luckily, our program here doesn’t seem to be as bad as Apt 11D’s, where people she worked with didn’t know the names of her kids. In fact, one of SU’s “selling points” was its family-friendliness. There are a handful of other grad students in my program who are parents (many dads), and our incoming class has another MOM which I am thrilled about.

There was an atrocious article in the Chronicle last year about the number of moms who are jumping academic ship in order to be SAHMs. God knows that thought crosses my mind daily.


4 thoughts on “Apt. 11D: New addition to the blogroll

  1. I’ve had the honor of being the only parent (for most of the MA anyway) and almost always the oldest student around. I’m not sure why the 23-year-olds even speak to me but I guess I must not be as unhip as I think.

    Or maybe I am because I’m definitely out on the lingo: what’s an SAHM?

  2. Crap! Stay-at-home-Mom. Got it. My, aren’t you bold. I’d but a certifiable crackjob but I confess I am scheming to work out staying home during the summers. Summer day camp is so unbelievably expensive when one’s kids are in public school and monthly tuition is not customary. It would be nice to put an end to that summer tradition and it gets easier as they get older.

  3. I always talk about the food. Great barbecue, eh? (for example) But I can only imagine how often you’re getting the diss question. It’s a hard line for new folks, too: Do you know what *you* will be working on? (Um…sorta.)

    But it is a nice feeling to have bunches of kids running around at a party (even when my kid is the ring-leader and the one telling scary stories…been meaning to apologize about that!).

    Oh, and I’m curious about the “agonism of any sort like stinking death” thing. You said to remind you.

  4. the kids–yours, derek’s, the faculty’s, new-girl-aleisha’s–were the best part of the party. they kept cornering me. with really important questions like “have you seen phillip?” and “did she go that way?” and “do you have any board games we could play with?”

    i wish we could get more of that kind of cornering into the school part rather than having the carry-over always work the other way ’round!

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