Yeah, so I don't know what's going on with me and the blogging of late...I just don't seem to have much to say. There's plenty of drama, but I seem to have made a move away from using this as a tell-all space...My feelings of self-consciousness have finally won out.
So I've been in Home Region. I've been Here, I've been There, I've been in three different cities in the last week-and-a-half. Stayed in five different places. Gotten to know my new piece of luggage really, really well.
Christmas cheer? I have none. (And I don't say this in an embittered kind of way...I just don't feel it...I'm okay...) Though Christmas Day at my mother's was surprisingly nice. A fun Christmas dinner.
Now I've spent the weekend at R's, taking care of the cat. She's away. On Tuesday, my birthday, I move over to A's for the last four days of my time out here.
I've been doing a bit of work. Some of it involved grading for the PhD student described here. Hir final paper. Oy. A disaster. A disaster, I tell you. Over the course of this Directed Studies with hir, I have become more and more appalled by the level of the work. This is someone who needs some undergraduate-level training, I kid you not. And now this paper. It angers me, actually. I don't understand why this person was admitted to this program. And I feel as though hir work and potential were misrepresented to me - someone heavily edited hir proposal, that much is clear. It had a level of sophistication that hir work doesn't have, not at all.
In reading all of this person's work, and now the paper, I've been fighting a certain level of...revulsion. For this person makes some egregiously essentializing moves in hir writing...really egregious. In fact, hir project seems to be based on this. The fact that zie doesn't know better, after the Directed Studies, than to continue to peddle these assumptions, this worldview, is very upsetting to me. I feel as if I may as well have not conducted the course, since clearly zie got nothing from it. What good was the feedback I gave hir? What good was a whol ehost of readings that problematized these assumptions (along with some that reinforced them)? And it's that old thing...fine, you and I can disagree on this issue, as long as you back up your position with thoughtful marshaling of evidence from the literature in the field. But no. Noooooo. This person has naturalized this position so deeply that it wouldn't even occur to hir to treat it as anything other than a given. This does not an intellectual make.
And so I become extremely emotional. Enraged. And this is not good. I haven't let my emotion dictate hir grade on the paper or anything. The paper was terrible enough, aside from the awful essentializing, that I didn't bring it down on that count alone. But it makes me wonder about being on this person's committee. I need to get off. I feel that the work is so profoundly flawed that I don't want to have anything to do with it. This worldview, and the uncritical way it is being espoused - reproduced over and over and over again as if it is 'fact' - is too disturbing to me. I find it problematic that anyone would support this work, actually. But that's not my problem. My problem is that I need to get off, lest I fly into a murderous rage every time I read even a sentence of hirs. I can't be a suitably objective judge of the work. This is an intellectual issue - sure it is, because zie is not providing sufficient (or any) justification for this position. But it's also an emotional issue for me, as I am implicated in what zie is writing about. In fact, I implicitly become a "bad person" because of where my life fits vis-a-vis what zie is working on. Shudder.