purely conjectural

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hi again

Ok, regular posting again. And this time, I extra mean it.

I'm in the midst of my last year getting my master's degree (al! freaking! ready!) and lately it's been weighing on my mind. It's not as if I'll have difficulty finding a job that pays more than I make for the year I'm taking off while Nick finishes his degree--frankly, working full time at Burger King, I noticed, makes more than I do as a GTA--but, that after that year, I don't have the direction that I ordinarily have had. I'm stuck, ya'll. As I see it, I have three options:

1. Get my PhD in literature. Honestly, this one is last on the list right now. I at first disowned the idea after my first year of grad school ended in some seminars I really struggled with, but since then, I've felt distanced from academia and all of the ridiculous hoops I'd have to jump through to get a job. My friends, who are largely in their PhD programs, are all panicking about what they need to do to get hired--at least, I think they are, since they're buried up to their necks in Henry James so they can "have a wider teaching load." I understand the economy is not being very polite to its citizenry at this point, but frankly, I think the tenure system is sort of an outmoded thing and I'd rather not have to bust people's heads and ignore my husband and hypothetical children to keep a job.

2. Get my PhD in Library Science (or MLIS, if I can't get into schools because of my English MA). This one feels the most likely, and my experience in libraries has really made me feel at home here. Plus, my insatiable desire for books has been quelled a bit since I've started working in them; after all, those are my libraries now, aren't they? There are lots of job opportunities that fascinate me that I feel I'm more than qualified for, but unfortunately opportunity 3 has made me rethink this choice, and that is...

3. ...to give day jobs the bird and really dedicate myself to my writing. Obviously one can both have a day job and a writing career, particularly when one is starting out, but this doesn't help me practically make decisions at this point. There is a thriving SF community here in Lawrence, and I've made a ton of friends, and my writing output has shot up exponentially since I've joined such a supportive group, both in terms of sheer word output and in terms of quality. Hell, a week ago, I just spent all night talking to China Mieville, one of my favorite writers, all night long at a bar! With jokes! And hugs! And email addresses! I could be a part of this! But what a gamble it is. I've not been out of school for a very, very long time, and aligning myself with the SF community--which I've received numerous invitations to do--is, for the most part, not scholarly. Potentially I could get my PhD with an emphasis in SF, like my friend Chris and Nate have, but James Gunn, the professor/grandmaster of SF that works here, is only 2396512056 years old, so I don't know if there'll even be an opportunity to do it, should I want to.

Oh, well. Anyone who reads this blog will likely have heard me talk about it before, but I just wanted to get it out there.

Dream Theater's Black Clouds and Silver Linings, which I had put away since its release in June, is back on my playlist with a vengeance--my God this thing is so much better than I first thought. Also, Redemption's new album has made me relisten to The Origins of Ruin more closely, and I'm so head over heels from them. I saw them live, but they opened for DT, and I essentially wanted them to play their silly setlist so I could see Petrucci's arms in real life. I have an aural crush on them now, and not just because Ray Alder sort of looks like a young Admiral Adama :)

Oh, here are a couple blurry pictures of Mr. Clean--er, China Mieville--himself, for the 0000 people who are curious. I didn't get any pictures of us hanging out because I wanted to act totally cool around him, sadly. So here he is doing a reading from his new book The City & the City.


China 3

China 2

China 1

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