Tactical Ninja - This kid doesn't want the party to end just yet
Aug. 21st, 2013
09:02 am - This kid doesn't want the party to end just yet
Today at lunchtime I am going to go home and ruthlessly get rid of any clothes I don't wear. I'm also going to (much more difficult) go through my costumes and ruthlessly.. um.. I don't really know what I'm going to ruthlessly do. I'm about to actually have my own crafting/costume storage room for the first time ever since Horokiwi where I lived entirely in one huge room, and I'd like to keep as much as I can. But I have to be realistic. So I'm going to ruthlessly look at them and then probably put them in bins for the move.
I did list the flamenco dress and one of the ridiculous tutus on TradeMe though. Which is basically fishing to see if anyone has as poor a taste as me, in which case I might list some other things.
If you were to ask me right now if I want to continue my academic career, the answer would be a resounding OH HELL NO.
For those who are new, I completed a degree in Social Policy and Criminology at the end of last year and graduated in May. This year has been a gap year after which I'm supposed to go back and do Honours - the NZ equivalent of a 4th year. The thing is, because I work full time and am also a parent, it took me 5 years to complete my degree, one course per trimester (I already had 100 points credited from Ye Olden Tymes). To complete Honours will take me another 2.
This year, I've been academically free, and loved every second of not having to think about that stuff or, more importantly, write about that stuff. For a while in the middle of my degree, I spent most of my time ranting about the sorry state of the world and feeling impotent and powerless to change anything. The more my understanding of power structures grew, the more hopeless the situation seemed for anyone not in power. My only recourse seemed to be academic ranting that informed other people of how awful and wrong everything was.
This year, I've actually managed to get my brain to think about positive things and my well of creativity has opened up again. I've been deliberately ignoring the news, the world's problems and the ways in which I must always be doing something to try and fix it. I've been to a conference which was awesome, I've made frivolous things, had holidays, and generally traipsed through life as if the world is actually a reasonably good place to live.
And you know what? It hasn't made a hapeth of difference to anyone except myself. I've been happier, freer and more creative. I like having most of my brain reserved for doing things and thinking about things that make me happy. I enjoy being able to choose how I spend my free time. Hell, it's fantastic just to have free time to spend. It's like getting a breath after swimming under water for the last five years. And meanwhile, I am still making submissions to select committees about legislation, donating to my chosen charities, attending protests, and talking to people about my chosen academic field. I'm still reading the journals and keeping abreast of what's happening in my field. So really, I'm doing all the things I did before to change the world, but I'm happier and have more free time to take care of myself.
There's always a but, right?
But I still want to do that research that has the potential to make the educational framework around drugs more realistic and to reduce harms in an environment where recreational drugs are beginning to be legalised and regulated. I want to do it because it needs doing. And in order to do that, I need the backing of a university.
Also, while I'm happier, I also feel a little as if I'm letting my brain stagnate. Well, that's not true. My brain goes PING every time I look at something and try to work out how to make it. It's just a different part of my brain that's on fire at the moment, and the academic part is being allowed to atrophy somewhat. I feel this when I talk with my smart friends, and have little to contribute because I haven't been thinking about that stuff lately. It makes me feel as if I should be working at that just so I can keep up, and by not doing that as well as everything else, I'm somehow letting myself down and will end up feeling dumb and uneducated like I used to. Silly, huh?
The time for choosing Honours courses and applying for scholarships is coming up - I have to have applied by the end of October - and I am torn. I know I should just knuckle down and do it. On the other hand, I feel my freedom coming to an end and I don't want to let go of it just yet. I want to go to Canada next year to meet other costume makers and go to a large expo and prance about dressed as a videogame character, and thoughts of "What if there's an exam or something right then?" burst my adventure-bubble. But I want to do this research and getting on with it is the only way to get there. I feel as though I have a duty to the world to apply my brain to making it a better place.
Any thoughts from those who've been there, or points I should consider, greatly appreciated. I know right now in the middle of a house move is probably not the best time to be making these decisions. My life is upheaval right now. But it'll still be pretty upheaved in a few weeks when I actually have to get onto this stuff. So yeah. Stern admonishments, support, encouragement, advice and criticism all gratefully accepted.
Meanwhile, this made me laugh indiscreetly at work - Kiwi farmer rouses his sheep to political action (1 minute 21 seconds):
What do we want? BAAAAAAA! When do we want it? BAAAAAAA!
 For those who don't give a crap about my academic angst, remember Pronunciation Book? Well, it seems that the folks on reddit have been making a spectrograph image of the audio from the vids. Here is the image so far. Disclaimer: I have no idea if this is legit, but it's interesting.