It always takes long to come to what you have to say, you have to
sweep this stretch of land up around your feet and point to the
signs, pleat whole histories with pins in your mouth and guess
at the fall of words.
– Dionne Brand, Land to Light On
Currently curled in an indent into a drowsy between-semester ball.
This semester flew by and yet it seems like I’ve been back in school for ages.
The amount of reading I’ve had to do over the last four months stretches the distance between me as I stand now, and me as I walked into this degree.
As promised in the 1/4 post, here is a halfway check-in.
More than ever, I feel disinclined to stay in the academy after this is all over. As my peers rush to complete PhD applications, apply for internal and external funding, or try to cobble together something that sounds like a worthy research proposal, I check in with myself again and again to ask, “Hey, how are you feeling about all this? Do you feel pressure? Are you conflicted, confused, regretful?” For some reason I am greatly at peace with my decision, which means I haven’t forgotten what I came to do with my master’s degree.
People study for all kinds of reasons, and I am extremely blessed to have my parents’ support in this degree. I always wanted this degree to be the sinew to my poetry, the intellect in my grassroots work, and the context for my community.
In all of those things, it is going well.
I haven’t seen my family face to face in almost two years! This is the most horrible side effect of transnational adulthood that I would like to work against.
Investing in my DTS collaborative program, choosing my courses & professors with the intention of expanding my knowledge, and diversifying the academics I read has really paid off in strange chain reactions. Whether it be developing a stronger decolonized intertextual frame, or building an interdisciplinary perspective.
I am excited to know more women professors, particularly WOC. I am excited to seek out Asian professors in the department, or non-English specializing professors. Their perspectives, academic specializations and experiences all give me new ways to look at and think about myself.
I have been careful with my time, and spent time with people who make me better. This year I have come to know so many amazing women. May there be more and more women in my life.
I am seriously considering becoming a morning person again. But I am daunted by this desire.
I am always afraid I will grow entitled and feel that the more degrees I have, the more opportunities should be offered to me, or the more I should be able to accomplish. I feel that class privilege is by far the most difficult to dismantle, and I feel the need to be checking myself again and again.
Simultaneously working part-time jobs to support myself while I finish grad school has taught me again and again what it means to respect labour of all kinds, and the people that work them.
What I have come to love most about my master’s journey is the way all my experiences enrich my perspectives, and the way I am always learning to see a wider horizon. I never want to get to a point where my education blinds me to intersectional privileges, to the respectability of honest work, and the willingness to situate myself in larger socio-historical histories and contexts, even uncomfortably.
Recently I celebrated my birthday and was flooded with messages from all kinds of friends: from the very very old to the brand new.
Hearing them tell me about the ways in which our work together is bearing fruit, widening perspectives and offering encouragement was one of the best gifts of 2015.
Today I tried to count my successes and failures for 2015 and weigh them against each other. I found an explosion of breakthroughs, and a spectacular amount of failure.
This convinces me that I am definitely doing the adult thing.
Hopefully in 2016 I will take more chances, be somewhat wiser, a little bolder, maybe sassier, always thankful and infinitely more gracious.
Here’s looking to next things.