resa: (academia demands: writing)

Three pages down and not too bad either! They're not perfect, of course (oh vocabulary, where art thou?), but I think I've got my mind on the task and my argument works. Kinda. Eh. Anyways, have a look! 

What my academic writing looks like. (~ 240 words) )


Furthermore, it feels like I'm finally doing something really worth my while again where my studies are concerned. But... When did I develop this much of a political consciousness? I like it, hell, I'm proud of it! But to me, it kind of emerged out of nowhere. I've never considered myself much of anything, a romantic or, haha, an outsider if anything at all. Now, I'm getting more and more politically conscious, becoming a humanist, and a feminist to top it all... That's me, that's me evolving, but... All the people you can set off with "having opinions" on your own. Maybe I want that, a tiny little bit, because I enjoy a good discussion a lot. But I've been an outsider, a loner for such a long time that I see myself struggling hard between keeping my mouth shut to please and to belong, and speaking my mind, doing, if there is, the right thing.

Anybody else thinking about politics lately? What do you think goes wrong these days?

I have a very strong opinion on the death penalty and Guantanamo prison because of the obvious reason which is my term paper. If you want to know more about it, ask away. (I've refrained from rambling too much here on the content so far, because I didn't want to bore you unnecessarily. But if you'd want to know, I'd be happy to tell.)
resa: (reading is hard work)


I just had an amazing epiphany.


You know, last night, I was reading a text for my seminar on cultural pessimism. I've been procrastinating an introduction to that topic, but in a nutshell, we read and talk about people who think humanity is on its way down, down, down. We discuss the impact of industrialization, wars, ideologies, and world wars on our thinking, and considering all that and more (and sadly, there's a lot more), one can definitely become pessimistic about the future of humanity. However, I've suprised myself by keeping up my hopes about the future throughout the whole semester so far and I don't see it fading.

Anyway, I was reading an interview with George Steiner, who is an outstanding thinker, and suddenly, I felt like something was off. His arguments were sound and all, but I felt like I missed something important. Today, after breakfast, roaming around my flat, I discovered what it was. George Steiner admitted to thinking that, basically, teaching (in his case at university) made the world a better place. He said, " [a] vocation is a calling, the sense of ... privilege, of being called to make some tiny, tiny contribution in the bitterly difficult process of getting the mind to creep forward a little."

I tell you what many other cultural critics and pessimists, starting in the 19th century, have said about changing our ways:

1) Humanity has to realize that there are problems; so far, it doesn't.
2) We can't do anything about them; there is no cure.
3) That's it; yes, it is.

And now George Steiner! In his words, the mind can creep forward, there can be change. If not, why even try? (That also seems to be a common thought in cultural pessimism - we don't try.)

I have to tell you I'm really, really happy about this... )

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Resa

August 2011

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