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The 3/4 MA Question

flumpool 大切なものは君以外に見当たらなくて

Time just slips by, and I find myself already having to colour in yet another quarter of my MA pie chart.

This semester has been gloriously everything I wanted it to be. Professors are great, classes are small, readings are rigorous, conversations are generally insightful and engaging. It is baffling how much I can keep learning about myself (some narcissistic qualities must enable this process) through my learning.

Mostly, I’ve discovered that I am terrible at asking questions.

I have always been insatiably curious. I have just come to realize I don’t express that curiosity via questions.

Whether this is good or bad is still something I have yet to decide,
but from an academic perspective, I have judged it to be a weakness.

I discovered this from trying to figure out why I was so attracted to some of my classmates’ ability to unapologetically, and shamelessly express what they thought something meant, and then through a series of questions ask for more guidance, suss out their own thoughts, or feel for other perspectives. I admire this boldness, this candour with not knowing, and this unapologetic learning stance.

I am always at a loss at how to think in questions.

For me, the end of understanding is where I intuitively feel the silent end of my thought, and I constantly find myself walking to the edge of that end, and looking into what might be on the other side of it.

The question for me is always on the other side.

I often think though, that when I come to the question, the question is my answer.
It has always been about getting close enough to the question mark to hold it in my hands.

Maybe for me, growing has always been about coming into the uncertainty of things, and recognizing how it becomes itself by slipping through my fingers.

I like this.
It may make me a bad academic, but finding my way to the question makes me a poet.


Another looming question for me is the one hovering above the ENG department.

As I come closer to end of this degree, I am discovering more and more how much I am moving away from what I feel are limiting conversations, designations, demarcations and identifications in ENG.

Maybe I’m spending too much time with interdisciplinary artists, and cultural critics in a wider field, and am more interested in the possibilities of those intersections.

I struggle with how the discipline limits the content that I close-read, particularly when the literary content I am interested in forays into multilingual genres, or visual-literary combinations. I feel bored in the endless repetitive conversations around the same privileged list of writers. Deviations from the space are not deviant enough.

This is why I have deemed myself unsuitable for an ENG PhD.

Of course, all of this is preference-based. The question for me has become, what do I want to spend my time reading and engaging with, and what kind of space enables me to do it most?

This question is one of the best answers the MA journey has given me.
Like all good answers, it implies a turn, a start, an enlarging.

These 3/4 days, although enjoying my learning,  I am also counting down the days I can move to new and other things.


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jaziimun is an interdisciplinary artist who works in text, paper arts and tea. She is also an arts programmer, and a ceramic hobbyist. She is also a proud bun mom.

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