Monday, March 15, 2010

A Master's Reflection

I have officially finished all of my classes for my Masters in Women and Gender Studies. What can I do with that you ponder? Well guess what! I can do whatever the fuck I want with that and if you’re so interested, why don’t you sit back and wait and see; I guarantee it’s going to be pretty--as pretty as a greased pig getting chased by kids at a county fair. But alas. I just spent $40K on my brain. It’s a bit overwhelming and a little scary considering all the PBR I’ve been drinking, but I feel it’s still working. It is at least above par and in this society that makes me a genius. So some say ignorance is bliss. But what’s blissful about not having the language or the understanding of why you’re so pissed? If you live your entire life knowing, feeling, that something is off, but you don’t have the ability to quite grasp what the issue is (or what the issues are--as there are obviously more than one) how can that actually be blissful? Sure, I am often perturbed and pissed about the shit that goes on around me, but at least I can see it, at least I can deconstruct it and show what’s fucked up about it.

When I was in undergrad I remember having many philosophical late night debates with artists/people/friends/ men about the best way to change the world. Do you try to create change one person at a time…do you try take it on all at once, do you attempt some in between of that? Should one even try at all? The master’s degree I have just received has shown me the interconnectedness of many of our society’s problems: patriarchy, racism, capitalism. How each is a thread, but how each thread is braided together to strengthen each others staying power and control. For all of us who see those threads as problems it’s a slow chipping away process towards improvement. It’s an every day struggle to reveal oppressions that are keeping us all down…

The running theme through all of this and my undergrad degree has been to “speak” As Audre Lorde says, “you’re silence will not protect you”. But before one decides to start yammering onward one must know what to say and must choose words carefully. We shouldn’t talk just for talking’s sake but we should talk to build upon each others ideas, each others creative flows, each others intellectual capacity. We will never know it all and that’s the great thing about this life—there will always be another book to read, another song to hear, another film to see, another person with an amazing story to tell.

If I could reveal to you all I’ve learn in one simple blog that would be quite problematic to the amount of money I spent on improving my education. But I would like to admit that many of my women and gender studies classes have had a lot of negativity within them—they were really good at showing everything that’s bad about the world. And honestly, it burns and it takes a lot of time to heal from those problems, to not go into a nihilistic destructive stupor, to rise above the tasks of feeling like there are too many problems for one person to solve.

I’ve had to learn to balance idealism and reality on my own—but I don’t think any institution is able to teach a person that anyway. I have had to “rise above”. I have had to “pick my battles”. I have learned to untame my tame tongue and let it join the wild once more.

These couple of years have really been used to develop my sense of self. I am a creator, an understander, a communicator, a writer, a multi-tasker, a developer, a thinker, an artist. If I’ve learned anything it’s that there is so much more left to learn, so many more stores left to hear, so many more voices needing to speak. Luckily, I have learned to channel my own voice, to speak, to let my tongue roam free into the wild words of transforming a master language into my own.

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