Thursday, November 13, 2008

All Systems Down

You know in Star Trek when suddenly you all the lights on the Enterprise have gone out, the ship is shaking violently and there's a red alert. Yeah, that's us right now. And by us I mean Planet Earth.  Unfortunately there's no script that tells us things are going to be resolved in the 45 minutes by some stroke of technical genius (Data) or brilliant leadership (Captain Piccard). I'm not sure why I'm using a Star Trek analogy..I haven't watched that show in at least 12 years. But, well, we have been boldly going where no man has gone before in the past hundred years and, as it turns out while we may have gone boldly, even brazenly, we've not gone wisely.  And so, all the systems that have kept our ship going are failing. Each one so dependent on the next that they seem to be in a crumbling competition.   Every where I turn I see another system with red alert lights flashing - Wall Street, Maple Leaf Foods/centralized food system, educational institutions (no one fails and no one thinks critically), ecosystems, healthcare systems (superbugs).....oh dear me.   What are we to do? NOTHING that any leader is proposing as a solution to any one of these problems addresses the root of all these system shutdowns which is that they were never built properly in the first place.  These systems we've constructed, they are the problem and so long as we try to save the day by plugging solutions into this system, we might as well start counting down.   

I could rant much more poetically and coherently but I'm tired and need rest.  I'll get back to this when I have time...maybe over Christmas.....


Monday, November 03, 2008

Great Expectations

I've discovered I have an expectations.  Oh how I cringe at the idea of living up to someone else's expectations. Heck, I have a hard enough time living up to my OWN expectations. Well, it turns out that in deciding to go to grad school I've opted to let myself be subject to others' expectations. I can't count the number of times I've been reminded that I'm a grad student - and occasionally that I'm a grad student at Queen's. Apparently that has merit, apparently they don't accept just anyone. Sigh. I'm not saying this to toot a horn of any kind, I'm saying it because it freaks me out. I don't want to be subject to expectations regarding my ability to perform to standards set by others, and particularly those set by an academic institution with particular views of what merits worthiness and what doesn't. Eek.  I decided to embark on this journey because I had a passion that wasn't being nurtured, but now I am getting a bit stressed because it turns out, as a grad student, people expect certain things of me - namely that  I can think critically and produce higher quality work than I did in my undergrad.  
And I don't doubt my abilities. I'd just prefer not to have the pressure to demonstrate them all the time. Can I not have an off year in my ability to think critically? Seriously.  I have completely neglected my creative writing since the  craziness of summer began and now with school in full swing, my dedication to myself seems only to be with attending to my physical well-being. That is to say, I am still going to the gym every day and doing WW, but not sitting at the computer, writing creative stuff. Nor am I checking out indie films or reading anything besides food literature and environmental assessment articles. Gah.  

OK, moan over. I am going to go back to writing my SSHRC application b/c apparently I have to seek out scholarships. Fun!!