While still in grad school and still at the onset of my research project, I came across this workbook authored by Wendy Laura Belcher entitled ‘Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success’. The title is very catching and captivating especially to those want to pursue academic publication. To borrow the words of Spivak, to be published is something ‘one cannot not want’.
To pursue publication is a very daunting prospect because writing can be a very scary, painful and frustrating process. Yet, the title of the workbook somehow seems to insist that, on the contrary to what one might think, writing a journal article is not only possible but also relatively easy. It does not only guarantee that one can finish a journal article but also Insists that it can be finished on the 12th week.
As part of The Study Game, I was reading Judith Butler’s work entitled Bodies That Matter this morning. The Study Game refers to the exercise I perform where I retrace and relive the years I have spent in graduate school by studying the texts I have read one course at a time.
Like Gender Trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity, Butlers work on Bodies That Matter is very difficult to understand. I did not fully grasp the ideas conveyed in these text when I have first read them while still in graduate school and little has changed since then. As I revisit these texts, I still do not understand them.
As I have said, I was reading Bodies That Matter this morning and to put it via Candidly, I do not have any clue what Butler was talking about or at least I find it difficult to discern the connections of the different ideas being addressed in her work. I can sense a barrier almost so palpable between myself and the text. It is like hearing a conversation in a different language. When we do not understand the language being spoken, we hear a nose instead of a conversation.
In the beginning, I was just merely watching the sitcom hit in the 90s entitled Friends. The more I watch it, the more I find myself to be studying Friends and treating it like a case Study. In this blog post, I intend to reflect upon my ‘addiction’ to watching Friends, but also how this addiction has made me immune to the humour of my favourite sitcom.
Since ‘Friends’ becomes available on Netflix, I cannot stop watching it. Last weekend for instance, I have spent the whole Saturday watching its episodes after episodes. As much as I do not want to be disrespectful to the experiences of those individuals who are actually struggling with their substance addiction, my watching behaviour last Saturday mimics addictive behaviour if not a symptom of addiction itself. I have lost control and this has already happened in the past.
Unlike the more structurally scheduled programmes on local television channels, Netflix offers us relatively more choices and freedom to watch what we want, when we watch them, and how much of it we want to watch in one sitting. As David Brook once wrote in his book entitled, The Social Animal: ‘freedom without structure is its own slavery’ (2012:58). While my face was glued on the screen watching Friends the whole day last Saturday, I was quite aware that I was being a slave of my own freedom.
Staying late in bed is one of my guilty pleasure. What I mean by guilty pleasure, is literally guilty pleasure. That is: I find it quite pleasurable and yet felt guilty right away after doing it. Last week, I made a Brilliant plan for today to wake-up early as 7:00, leave the house at 9:00, be in the library before 11:00, and have a very inspiring and productive day. I was hoping that inspiration would come and visit me today.
When the alarm woke me at 7:00 this morning as instructed, I was having a reassuring dream from which I do not wish to wake-up. I cannot remember the details of my dream, but I was certain that I was in that happy place.
Today is my day-off. If truth to be told, I do not enjoy a day when I do not need to go to work. I enjoy going to work and I like that I feel a little bit tired after a good day’s work. It very gratifying and give me the sense of enduring happiness.
The only advantage I can appreciate on not going to work like today is that I can stay late in bed. That, of course, has its own peril. Staying in bed as late as I could – and I can certainly stay in bed as late as I could – makes me lazy, bored, and lethargic. The sense of emptiness that comes with it is just unbearable. That idleness is the greatest enemy of one’s soul is a Viable claim.
Just quite recently, I have developed a daily exercise which I would like to refer to as ‘The Study Game’. I allocate Almost three to four hours of my day for this stimulating mental exercise. The Study Game entails that I sit behind my desk and play pretend. I pretend that I am still studying in the university and with the help of the syllabi I have collected from each course I have taken, I am retracing my steps since day one in the graduate school.
When I read and study the texts required for one particular week in that particular course, I read and study them seriously as if I am, again, Almost preparing for an examination or a class presentation. Basically, what I am doing is retaking the courses I took in grad school for the second time around on my own and on my own time. The graduate school has provided me the theoretical concepts and methodological tools that enables me to study and work independently.