Monday, September 28, 2009

The Sufficiently Hierarchical New Sir Sequels

This is the first complete week of classes at UCSD--but I don't have to be on campus on Monday, so I'm here trying to clean and organize my desk and put away my clothes.

Thus far, the only class I've attended is a graduate movement for theater class with Charlie Oats. It was incredibly fun, and the mime/walking exercises we did were challenging. On Tuesday I have a poetry workshop with Rae, and on Wednesday a class on Modern art movements with Michael. I'm TAing for John Granger's nonfiction class and one of two RAs for the New Writing Series.

Even though I've barely started, I'm already feeling exasperated--not with classes, but with being back in the structure of a university and having to deal with the irritations of interacting and being confined by said structure. Please note, I don't wish that I were still teaching ESL, or that I were still working in business, or even in public policy. It's just been a while since I've had to deal directly with the particular passive-aggressive type of behavior that academic bureaucracies (and probably most types of bureaucracies) enable. In a university, communication tends to happen indirectly and is always filtered through a variety of complicated channels--rarely does someone tell you directly what to do. Of course, there are things that you are absolutely supposed to do, and there are hierarchies, but one can't admit them directly (at least not in the humanities). It takes a while to realize the difference between a suggestion and a command.

I won't bore you all with the details of all the running around me and the other RA have done for the New Writing Series thus far, but it's been quite amazing. I'm looking forward to the Winter quarter when in theory we'll both know what we're doing, how things work, and where things are.

I organized my manuscript files, and found a half-finished manuscript called The Death of a Toad that's a kind of mashup flarf conceptual piece. I don't know what it is. As a manuscript, it suffers from theory head and a lack of energy, but it's full of ridiculous language. One section is called "The Sufficiently Hierarchical New Sir Sequels."

I feel dramatic and melancholy, and like most of the people I love and events I want to go to are on the east coast. It's been too long since I walked home from a party.

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