Academic Pursuit

According to my favorite etymology website, the Latin prosequi or ‘follow up’ in the English word pursue/uit is also attached to such familiar terms as prosecute and persecute.  Not all followings are positive for the followed, eh?

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I ‘ve gone and joined Academia.edu.  In hopes of attaining what end specifically, I do n’t know.  I do know it reminds me how few marketable skills I can honestly put on my C.V. (Curriculum Vitae or academic résumé).  No positions held.  No peer-reviewed publications.  No lectures or talks given.  One conference attended purely as a spectator.  One Masters of Arts degree (which will have a few transferable skills).  Much reading yet to do.  Much writing yet to attempt.  Many secondary skills in need of considerable sharpening (if not something akin to generation).  Oh right, and there ‘s much networking yet to even begin.   

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It is a considerable struggle not to desire such items (or their betters – in terms of location/timing most likely) for the sake of prestige, easy to forget the lesson of the undergraduate: that you know exceedingly little compared to the senior members of academia.  It is easier to forget the lesson of the graduate student: that senior members also know exceedingly little (at least outside their special lens within their field).  Of course, the latter does not truly abolish the former.  But on the path to becoming an initiate, or a recognized member of the academy, there is considerable temptation to grasp for knowledge-credentials rather than knowledge itself.

***~

So if this blog comprises the majority of my minimal credentials (lending credence only for those who both find my work intriguing and proceed to apply it in ways that reach back into that dialectic I attempt to participate in), should I radically change my approach?  I ‘m not yet ready to give up judging my location by the searching for some unattained object which is yet my pursuit.

Perhaps it is too much to assume that one day soon I shall be past lacking these base credentials.  Maybe some day later I shall even enjoy modest success (currently defined as a place in which I can continue pursuing these objects and assist others in their intersecting pursuits), but that is a concern for another time.  For now I am only concerned to recall that the C.V. could be littered with items unrelated to the pursuits for which I consider academia to offer any value for me.  In other words, I can’t accept the title ‘Dr’ without having written out some slivers of the inner book.

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What I see is that I also must acknowledge truly that I must start from some point.  In truth, I am at some point.  But I must find a means of locating my voice for the moment so that another one or two might meaningfully respond and so drag me a few steps forward.  Such a pursuit feels to me like an invitation to prosecution, to being rejected for the unknowing choices that lead to me being hereand not there.  But I cannot accept this.  Even to be rejected is to be affirmed as having a location worth requisitioning.  I should remember not to glibly mis-locate others permanently to one sphere of discourse.  Such is a real fear for me, but one I cannot accept bowing under.  Located I must be, though stepping lightly I shall yet attempt.

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So, as to where I am, or at least what this location is: this is an attempt to gain an accent, to try out various intonations in communicating within a discourse.  True, that discourse allows me considerable freedom and may demand much of my reader.  Texts may be chosen at will and need only participate in some skepticism or some sphere of language by which I might attempt to reach out and appropriate a value.  This is a ground of play in which to learn skills that I hope to wield better, and more carefully, when a soberer maturity is attained.  For now it is best that I laugh.  Perhaps later that shall diminish to a chuckle and elicit looks of wondering disdain by those unfortunate enough to be termed colleagues.  But in truth, I feel all shall be well enough if I can yet help others to laugh; for maturity is not the negation of play.

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I guess what I ‘m saying is: while I do n’t expect to be here always, I want to learn things while here that will help me be a better person when I ‘m no longer looking through the fence at the older kids who get to play baseball till the twilight.  I want to be as much that person who does things, not because someone else would like to do the same, but because as far as I know I ‘ve made an honest attempt to do them the right way.  Until then (but most hopefully then as well), I ‘m learning as much as I can.

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