Saturday, September 27, 2008

working on the proposal

I know I have told this story before. It is one of my favorites.

Why did you choose to study philosophy?” someone will ask.

Ah!” I will chuckle, “I was an English major for an hour.”

Only an hour?”

I was the first one in the classroom. A seminar room with the tables arranged into a circle. I sat with my back to the windows so I would be sure to pay attention. A literature class. I was so excited. I love literature. Another girl came in and sat across the room from me. Then a friend of hers came in -

Ohmygod! Like, how are you?? Like, I haven't seen you since, like, um, summer started? You look, like, soooooooo good! Like, what did you do?”

Ohmygod!!! Hi!!! Like, I'm, like, good! My summer was, like, super fun! Oh, and my hair? I braided it!! See? It's like, braided!”

Ohmygod!!!!! You like, totally braided your hair! That's, like, soooo cool! You look like, really good, we should, um, like, good shopping or something? That'd be super-neat!”

Then their friends came into the room ...

The professor, when he arrived and began the class, informed us that, as we read the literature he would
assign, we would learn a bit about the philosophical ideas and movements that influenced and informed the novels. That decided it. I didn't need to listen to these girls yammer on. I could study philosophy and read the novels on my own. I already knew I could do that. Yes.

I didn't do that. I ran out of time. I was busy. I didn't pay enough attention. I forgot to connect the two. Now, it is 8 years later and I have not deeply connected philosophy and literature in the ways I intended. My reason (justification?) for studying philosophy in the first place.

How to make up for lost time? Where to begin? A period of time? Which timeline should I use – philosophy or literature? A series of authors? Which – fiction or philosophers? Is it a bit late to want to go back now? Is this just dissertation procrastination? Or might it be important?

Like, it would be, like, soooo super cool if, like, I could totally figure out a, um, dissertation? by reading more fiction? like, even maybe cooler than my new purse and hat? awesome!

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