Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pre-SOP: Macbeth was my Star Wars

So, I've decided to go to graduate school. I feel like Dr. Hibbert should hand me an informative pamphlet. Bah.


Anyway, even before Statements of Purpose started looming in the back of my mind, it occurred to me that I don't really know how I got here. Five years ago, I was fairly certain that I would spend my life teaching high school students about literature. Now I am drooling over grad course titles like Inferential Statistics II. WTF? I preach (constantly, to the irritation of my supervisors) that it is important to understand the past to make a good plan for the future. The time has come for me to fix this hypocrisy in myself.

Whittled down, my story is this: Macbeth was my Star Wars.

Or, if you've never seen the engineers on The History Channel's Star Wars Tech gush about how the Light Sabers inspired a generation to start dissembling VCR's, Macbeth was my Vietnam War. Bear with. My sister once interviewed our neighbor, a camera operator at a local TV station, for a Girl Scout badge related to media careers. An astute young interviewer, she asked him how he decided he wanted this job. He said that he was fascinated by television since childhood, but wasn't interested in being a journalist or actor.

He then talked about watching the evening news as a teenager. A reporter was standing in waist-high grass, bracing himself against wind coming off of departing helicopters. My neighbor lamented his shyness. He was missing the adventure. And then it occurred to him that the reporter was not alone. There was someone holding that camera, and he was in on the excitement but out of frame. So my neighbor became a camera operator, and loves it to this day. My story is the same basic structure.

I loved literature classes in high school. The Writers and Readers Advisory Panel was the center of my extracurricular world. I basically lived in the library. I idolized my favorite English teacher.

And yet, I changed my major before I took a single English or Education class. All it took was a 10 minute conversation with an assistant anthropology prof assigned to the unfortunate task of scheduling incoming freshmen. By the time I took a creative writing class as a sophomore, I found writing fiction almost joyless. But that was not the epiphany.

Epiphany is the wrong word, anyway.

I hated that writing class because -- brace yourself -- it was about improving writing techniques! My poor professor fought a constant battle against my attempt to turn the class discussion from subjects like listing technique in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried to topics more interesting to me. I mean, could and archaeologist analyze those lists as artifacts in lieu of digging for material culture? (Seriously, that poor man. My fiction sucked and I was a constant distraction. How he didn't murder/fail me is beyond my understanding.)

In hindsight I started drifting off target in English classes long before that. I mostly blame my junior year combined American Literature and American History block class. So we would read things like The Red Badge of Courage during the Civil War unit and The Wizard of Oz while covering Populism. After that, I was subjected to plain old Brit Lit by a teacher I liked much less.

And I pick Macbeth as my point of no return simply because I remember it best. I was sick to death of talking about rhyme schemes and iambic pentameter. But I do remember sitting in that class, probably waiting for my best friend to write me a note, and feeling awash with this visceral awe because I realized how ignorant I was of my own language until I properly learned Shakespeare. I didn't want to talk about the structural differences between comedies and tragedies. I wanted to trace "double, double, toil and trouble" through history! I could have spent the whole Macbeth unit talking about Lady Macbeth and what Shakespeare thought about women. Oh Lord, I could have spent the whole semester musing on Lady Macbeth.


I like this analogy. In Contact, a young Eleanor Arroway dissembles a broken radio and marvels at the tubes. She grows up to be a radio astronomer. As a young woman, I dissembled Macbeth and marveled at the social power plays. I'm becoming a social scientist.



I'm still working on articulating what this means for my future. In the meantime, where do YOU come from?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone! Who knows where to upload the film Avatar?
I even bought the film Avatar for a SMS to http://rsskino.ru/kinofilm/avatar.html , the link was, but download fails, the system will boot quite strange cocoa something.
Men, advise where to normal as quickly download film avatar?

Anonymous said...

I sell a boat-program which will help you to outwit auction and to win, initially the boat was created for the Scandinavian auction http://internet-aukcion.ru/ but now the program can work with similar auctions: gagen ru, vezetmne ru and with ten.
The program-boat stakes for you, i.e. for this purpose it is not necessary to sit constantly at the monitor. The boat can set time when it is necessary to stake, thus you as much as possible will lower expenses for rates, and as much as possible increase the chances of a victory.

The price of the program a boat for the Scandinavian auctions 20$

For the first 10 clients the price 15$

To all clients free updating and support.

Behind purchases I ask in icq: 588889590 Max.

Anonymous said...

[b]Set software LoveBots v 5.2[/b]

All for a mass mailing dating http://24lux.ru/

The script is written in php5

Features:

[i]registration, account activation
manual input captures, or the solution through antikapchu
filling data accounts:
- Gulf desired photo
- Инфы about yourself
- Diary
- Sexual preference[/i]

gulyalka on questionnaires spammer on lichku
- Randomization Posts: replacement of Russian letters in Latin analogues

optimized to work in a continuous loop
check-activation-filling-spam check ..

Updates and support free of charge.

Price per set 100 wmz

For the first 10 buyers price 70 wmz (your feedback on the software).

For shopping I ask in icq: 588889590 Max.

Scrin program:

[IMG]http://i066.radikal.ru/1002/9d/a7a68e8c96ee.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i054.radikal.ru/1002/19/9db76967c0e5.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://s003.radikal.ru/i202/1002/24/20716e86512e.jpg[/IMG]

Flooding in the subject no! Write to feedback after the purchase.