An Update…Sort Of

I realize I haven’t updated this thing in a while now…and even if I wasn’t aware myself the finger-wagging from 132-1 Earl St would still be inescapable. I’ve been in this sort of funk as of late–due almost exclusively to the realization that I utterly despise my program and cannot wait to be finished so that I never have to set foot inside of academia ever again. June 30 is still four months and five days away, but with each passing day that faint white light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting brighter and brighter. I still have a lot of work to do between now and then…but the immutable fact is that the end keeps getting closer. And I, for one, cannot wait.

When I finish, I’m going straight to Indigo–and I do mean straight…like, right after handing in my thesis–to buy It. I was at Indigo yesterday with Talia and Miragh, and as the two of them were gushing over authors and picking out titles they were dying I felt…sad. Sad because, after five-and-a-half years in university, I’ve been virtually stripped of my love of reading. Which is ironic, when you think about it, since I do nothing but read–so I’ll rephrase: having spent the past five-and-a-half years doing nothing but reading books (the vast majority of them related to U.S. history) I’ve totally and utterly lost my ability to enjoy reading. I used to devour books. My parents used to pay me to read; whenever I read fifty books I got a reward, and we’re talking nice rewards here, the sort of thing your average nine-year-old would drool over. Given that incentive, I was a machine when I came to reading. This love of books carried on through high school…but once I started at Queen’s, required readings shoved recreational reading to the sidelines with malice. And now that I’m in grad school and reading one or two books every week, the last thing I want to do when I’ve got a few spare minutes is read some more. Hence the immediate purchase of It: as soon as I’m finished writing my thesis I want to start rediscovering my love of books…and what better way of doing it than by reading a 1,000-page long Stephen King novel?

And therein lies one of the great ironies of my graduate school experience: for all its emphasis on reading, for all the books I’m made to devour and discuss and dissect, for all the thousands of titles that get foisted on me each and every week, for all the supplementary reading I’m made to do for assignments, I’ve been robbed of my enjoyment of reading. I feel as though graduate school should galvanize your reading…and the fact that it hasn’t is yet one more reason that I’m just not supposed to be here.

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One thought on “An Update…Sort Of

  1. You must learn, Steve, that mixing academic reading and recreational reading is akin to crop rotation. Remember Grade 10 geography? If you try to plant, say, corn in the same field year after year, eventually you ruin the soil. But if you mix crops, the soil remains fertile.

    Now, your brain is analagous to this field. You have to throw in a little recreational reading to balance out the academia. Try a little Ken Follett, a little Maxim, and a little TV Guide, and THEN go back to the academic stuff. You’ll last a lot longer.

    In conclusion, w00t.

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