I'd Like Black Tights, Please

Before we get to the meat of this post, a quick update on my new semester. I have been to all my classes now, and I've got some early impressions.

Advanced Sociological Theory will be a typical theory class; a ton of conflicting readings, two lengthy and convoluted papers, and in the end, very few satisfying answers. One of my classmates called me right after this class ended yesterday and asked if we could get together to discuss the material that was covered, because he was lost and thought that I could perhaps clarify it for him. As flattering as that is, I must confess that I am in the dark as well. I think that may be the recurring theme in this course.

Women of Color will be a challenge. Not so much in the academic sense, but rather in terms of connecting with my classmates. Although this is a Sociology course, it's cross-listed in Women's Studies and Chicano Studies, and the composition of the class is what you would expect - it's mostly female, and mostly African American or Latina. In fact, this class has more people of color in it than any other I have ever had at Black Vatican U - it's nice to see that the efforts at developing diversity on campus are finally paying off. Unfortunately, as a middle-aged white male, I am pretty much the enemy to most of them.

Society, Environment, and Disasters promises to be a reading-intensive seminar. The instructor has already irritated me by forbidding laptops in the classroom. Not because she is afraid we will be checking our email and playing WoW, but because the clicking of the keys bothers her. [sigh] I have been using a laptop in class for years now, and I have my note taking down to a science. Of course, this prof is also a bit of a self-confessed Luddite; she told us that she is having a hard time learning to send text messages. [big sigh]

The class I'm doing my Graduate Assisting for is an Intro to Sociology Class, and that should be fun. In addition to keeping all of the records for the class, I also get to teach the sections on Sociology of Religion and Gender Inequality - both topics that I have studied fairly intensely before. I am looking forward to teaching, as it gives me a few hours per week to foist my liberal, leftist, hippy, pacifist, vegan agenda on the youth... Ok, all kidding aside, I also have this strange notion about giving back to the academic community that spawned me. I feel that it is the duty of educated people to share their knowledge, and teaching is one way to do that.

Now to the topic at hand - I have received the most awesome blog award EVER, just recently. Our beloved WNG inducted me into the "Karmic Justice League" - I am being fitted for my spandex suit and thigh-high boots this weekend! I totally want a cape too, but I'm not stupid - I've seen The Incredibles. Maybe just a tasteful cowl and a sash...

The post that sealed my admission to the KJL was all about positivity and the can do attitude that I am trying to cultivate in myself. That pretty much guaranteed that I was destined to experience an epic fail in this area of my life in short order. Tuesday was that day, and it stretched into Wednesday morning.

I was irritated by several things that happened on campus, then there was more that happened at dinner, and by 9:00PM I was sick to fucking death of everyone and everything. I kept it in check until right before bed. Then I couldn't sleep, so I stayed up too late reading, and got up the next morning to do a group kettlebell workout feeling like a very grumpy, very old man. After the workout, I capped off this manky little stretch of futility by making one of my roommates cry.

Some Karmic Avenger I am.

Once I got to my office on Wednesday, I began to snap out of it. Yes, the events that set me off were real, and I was not out of line to feel what I did, but how I react to those feelings is my choice. The world is what you make of it, every single day, every moment. Your every thought can bring into existence a garden - or a sewer - for you to reside in. You can allow the toxicity to increase, or you can make your world a place that encourages growth. Unlike so much of modern life, this is the one thing you truly have control over; no one can "make" you think anything. Your mind is possibly the last and only inviolate thing you possess. Own it, take responsibility for it, and be its master.

My mind today is much more hygienic. I have hosed out the sludge and it smells a lot less like fail in here now (yes, my mind has an odor). I'm back to making a garden. Perhaps the KJL will let me keep my decoder ring after all.


Unknown said...

You can keep the ring, Pater ;-)Good jobpicking yourself back up and hosing yourself off! None of us is perfect.

I mean, I come really close most of the time but that shouldn't make you feel bad or anything...

Linus said...

Thanks WNG - I knew I could count on you to be supportive... superior, but supportive.

Unknown said...

that's how i roll, Pater ;)

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