Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Well my first quarter at grad school has been the most stressful and depressing time of my life; way worse than highschool. But I'm trekking forth, because I'd rather fail than give up.
For my break I'm back home at my folks' in the great city of Modesto, CA. All I do is sit around, tryin to organize myself.
I've been writing this paper for the last month and a half, had to take an extension, and I just can't get it organized or concise, which is my general problem. It's actual the fatal problem, if you want to write, or do anything successfully, which I do. That and I need to think of 'big questions.' In graduate school, the main thing you do is 'come up with questions.' "What is the big question you are trying to ask?" is a common phrase I hear a great deal of here. Maybe if I were brighter I could think of something.
I never considered myself particularly intelligent or good at anything; just a dumb kid from a shithole who tried with all his might to get where he is in life, which is not anywhere particularly great, but he's still trying. He doesn't know how much harder he can try, but he'll try to try harder. Try to try.
I understand the fear of failure, though: it hurts a million times worse knowing that your best isn't good enough than it does cop-out and never face the cold reality. And it really is cold. You feel a cold shiver up and down your back, up your neck like a mullet, and around your head like a crown of shame.
I know that the typical psychiatric response is to say something like "you should love yourself anyway," or "your success in life doesn't reflect your worth as a human being," or even "you just haven't found out what you're good at." Well, I'm not particularly good at anything (plenty of career tests have told me that), I don't know if anything reflects a person's value, and I guess I'll try to love myself, but I don't really see why, especially if I'm a complete ass-hat.
Nevertheless, there's something to be said. Just because you don't feel valuable does not mean that you aren't. Your very existence has some immeasurable value to it. This is the religious response to the sorts of personal distress noted above. I simply haven't found a secular response that isn't utilitarian or mechanical in some way. There may be. My philosophy, anthropology, and theology have always been quite negative; I think the key is to accept the limitations of your own mind and abilities and let them be. I may not be good at doing the things I enjoy, like painting, cooking, math, philsophy, basketball, writing scholarly articles, or thinking deeply, but we're all just going to die anyways. Whatever important thing you do in life doesn't really matter. God be praised.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

SBL N'worlins

Well it's Thursday, thanksgivin'. I am thankful for the many friends that I've made here at Chicago.
Over the weekend I had traveled to New Orleans to attend the annual Society of Biblical Literature meeting. I recall that last year I had attended many meetings, but this time I only went to about four because I wanted to see the city.
Mr. Howell and I ate gator, we went to a couple jazz and ragtyme shows, I went to cemetaries, voodoo places, and katrina towns. It was moving.
So I got back on tuesday and have been hanging out by my lonesome, except Irene finally showed up last night.
Not a very exciting blog, eh?

Monday, November 9, 2009

forgeting oneself

It's sad when one must log on to his facebook profile to remember what his interests are. I haven't updated that thing in years.

Nobody loves you.

So welcome to the most badical blog in the world.
We live in a universe of information in which no one with computer access has any excuse to be bored. In fact, my 7th grade science teacher once said that "boredom is borne out of ignorance," and that more than my protestant upbringing reinforced my hatred of boredom: because while boredom is suffering, it's also your own fault, unless someone kidnaps you and drops you off in the desert.
So I'm too busy for boredom, for you see, I am enjoying my first quarter as a graduate student at the University of Chicago. The university is a loving mother who provides her children with an immeasurable wealth of knowledge; actually she's an evil step mother who slaps you until you cry, then slaps you and slaps you until you stop crying.
Anyways, blogs are for one's own enjoyment, unless there are strange folks out there who actually care what I have to say, which is not a hill of beans.
So I must venture to my greek class. It is delightful to have you as my guest.