(it’s technically #7 but I missed the last one so…)
Today, I did laundry, wrote for my own pleasure and finished reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
Here are the thoughts I’ve had in mind for the past two-three weeks:
1 - I’m taking a break between the undergrad and grad school. The reason why I went back to school is because I wanted to. If I pursue to the Masters right after these three years, it won’t be out of desire but out of personal pressure. I still do want to teach. But I’m going to take my damn time to reach that point. I won’t burn myself out just to earn a certain position in society. Having an undergrad diploma is already a BIG step for me, and it’s going to open up enough doors for me to find a good job, pay my student debt, save some money, and eventually (maybe) go back to Uni. I say maybe because maybe the world will burn out before I do, and I’m okay if it happens.
2 - Taking a break won’t mean I’ll go idle. I want to write. I want to read. I want to keep educating myself even if I’m not at school. Hone my essay writing skills. I want to learn another language, most probably Chinese. I want to enjoy myself, and try that “one month on - one month off” education technique. I want to see how it would go.
3 - I’ve accepted that I won’t be productive every single day for 100 days. I mean, let’s look at the meaning of the word “productivity”. It implies “production”, therefore “product”. On a day-to-day basis, for whatever I do for school, there is no product to be found. There is knowledge, yes, but knowledge is an abstract concept. I could spend all day reading and not knowing anything new but read a little tweet leading to a peer reviewed article, and boom, in less than 30 minutes, I got new knowledge. One could say the product is the diploma. But even then, 1 - it’s so far away, and 2 - what does it even means? Is the diploma a product? Or does the diploma make me the product? In that context, does productivity means I am shaping myself as a product to be consumed? Is the only reason why I am being productive is so I can be edible and digestible for society’s needs? There is, of course, a measure of productivity that is meant to feel good for me. I do enjoy coming home to a clean apartment. I enjoy wearing clean clothes. I really like learning new things, and I do love how school schedules my week. But the line between doing something for myself and doing it because I think I need to is not as visible as I think. And, more often than not, both of these overlap.
I have so many questions still, most of them just shapeless blobs of thoughts that are pouring out of my fingers whenever I try to grasp them. I mean, I’ve had these thoughts in the past too, but University is giving me another perspective on this whole thing.
Once my thoughts are clearer, I’ll share them here.
P.S. I was wondering this week if there was such a thing as an alternative university. I know about alternative high schools, but… if I am to teach, I want to teach at an alternative university. Perhaps that alternative is right here, online… I’ll figure it out in time.