Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Little Bit of Me

I've been wanting to post on here for a while, but transitioning from vacation mode to work mode has kept me more than a little busy. This evening, though, I found myself in a slightly introspective mood. It's the effect of all those planets out there... all the trines and conjunctions and retrogrades and going directs. In any case, so instead of writing my prospectus or reading for section, I decided to do the "writing as self-therapy" thing, which I guess evolved into this blog post.

So, here's a little bit of me. Be nice.


I am full of contradictions and, although it can get hard sometimes, I’m happy that way.

I’m never sure what one “needs” to know about me. And my limited knowledge of psychoanalysis inhibits my ability to profile myself.

Yes, I do tend to overthink things sometimes. And someday, I’d like to know Lacan inside out.

Which makes sense, given that I’m an academic – at heart, mind and professionally. Although, technically, I’m still a student... People back home still think I’m studying to be an engineer (which I was, over 10 years ago, till I saw the light), or that I work at the U.N. (where I interned for just one summer, 5 years ago). It’s funny how perceptions stick. But that might have something to do with the fact that I travel home once every 2-3 years. Flying to India is expensive…

I am an “almost math major,” which means that if I had one more class, I would in fact be a math major. But I decided that enjoying the last semester of my senior year was more important than having a major I wasn’t planning on using. Not that my “real” major, i.e. politics, is that useful either. A politics professor once told me that I think like a mathematician... which is partially true, I now realize, because I can design fantastically “logical” lesson plans, grading rubrics and essay-writing guidelines for my students. Not that I really believe in logic, or rationality, or truth. I think I’d rather be Nietzsche’s mad-man; but I’m not that “evolved.”

I love teaching. I think of it as a process of rocking the students’ world… mentally and emotionally. Academics are personal trainers of the mind. That’s why we’re so cool… and also potentially so dangerous. Though I’m never sure why academics are cast as the leftist plague. Has anyone looked at a college course catalogue or syllabus recently? I could count the instances of leftiness on my two hands. Besides, I’m proud to be a leftist (which, in my head, is different from being a liberal, which I am not. I could give you a spiel on that…)

I am obsessed with violence – not enacting it or the spectacle of it… I can’t actually even watch violent movies. But I am obsessed with understanding it, theorizing it. Say something to me, and I’ll show you the violence that underlies it… kinda. But that explains why, in another lifetime (my engineering one), I was obsessed with nuclear chemistry and quantum mechanics. The thought of it still makes me tingle.

I believe in karma, and astrology, and spirituality (even religion, to some extent)… all the things that a secular, “rational,” lefty is not supposed to believe in. But like I said, I think rationality is full of it… It all comes down to energy, and I believe in energy a hundred per cent. All those Enlightenment folks had it wrong… they were just terrified about their bodies (go Bataille!) and deflected those fears by focusing on the mind. But, of course, we’re still terrified by our bodies… we just sanitize them through beauty and glamour, and viola, the body becomes manageable, sexy even.

Some of the folks I know back home are taken aback by the fact that almost all my friends her are people of color and/or queer. I wonder why. I mean I wonder why the thin its weird. I mean, it's not like I hand out a questionnaire before I make friends, but I really being around people who don't think it should be my life's work to teach them about oppression. Those that I do do that for, I call students. And I get paid for it.

I sometimes fear what would happen if my friends from the States and those from back home were ever in a room together. I wonder in what ways they might be able to relate to each other... besides alcohol. I think any attempted “intermingling” might ensue in hilarity, or could turn out to be painfully embarrassing for me. But Saturn returns to my sign in 15 days. Which means, I get to start over… and find a way to integrate these two distinct circles that signify my two distinct lives.

I don’t do favorites. Because every time I propose a favorite, somebody around me is a bigger fan and more knowledgeable, and I end up looking like a phony. I was once obsessed with Jake Gyllenhaal. I did the whole web-stalking thing, reading fan sites… I stopped just short of posting on one of those sites or sending him fan mail. That lasted about a month… perhaps less. Also, I once mentioned to my co-workers that I “loved Rob Thomas.” They thought I meant really, like a true fan. A picture of him graced my office walls for an entire year, courtesy them.

I think Eddie Izzard is a genius. He's one of the smartest and most socially conscious comedians/actors out there. I own all of his routines on CD or DVD, and I saw him live last year in L.A. Also, I enjoy British humor better than the American stuff. But that might just be me being a good post-/colonial subject. :)

I don’t like poetry. I think it’s pretty and powerful and all that, but I can’t get into. Give me lyrical prose though, anyday. Gibran. Coelho. I do like spoken word though.

I think spicy food is the best cure for a cold. I went all the way to India and didn’t get myself any pickle. Now I have to wait till next month when I get paid.

I am pro-life and pro-choice. I support gay marriage but am anti-marriage in general and for all. I am Zoroastrian but I can’t get behind all the associated pedantic, formalist shtuff. I think Indians need to re-read Fanon. And if they haven’t read him yet, read him for the first of many times.

I have this weird desire to train for a marathon. Weird because, well, I have no idea where it came from. And also because, ahem, it’s me. Let’s see if it sticks. Hopefully. But I can weight-train like a dude… albeit not a super strong one. Just gimme time.

I love the sound of the 12.30 AM Amtrack in the distance, passing between Old Town and Downtown.

I need to drink more water and consume more protein.

I like eggs.

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