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I stand corrected

August 11, 2008

Ever the wiser, a friend of mine made the following observation about my last entry:

“Life is about living, not studying. Or, something like that…. Somewhat ironic coming from a teacher don’t you think? And, amongst individuals who don’t have the privilege or gift to attend graduate school…not just colllege…on scholarship. Maybe, life is more about making the most of every opportunity and finding the ones that bring the most out of you.”

Very true, especially her concluding remark.  For some, studying life enlivens them more than just living it, and we need people like that – otherwise, we wouldn’t have books about history, solar panels, cures for diseases, and so on.  

But I still have a problem with academia, and my problem lies in its methods.  It’s not acceptable in academics to make arguments based on intuition or emotion, yet many people, including me, understand and negotiate the world through these senses.  You have to appeal to logos and ethos in academia, and pathos is left completely out of the picture.  Not that some academics aren’t motivated to do their work by feelings of empathy and concern, but pathos is supposed to stay out of the final arguments they make.

Maybe right now I’m just frustrated by my grad school experience and trying to make myself feel better about being a drop-out – but I don’t think so.  Even when I was an undergrad and had excellent professors and classes, I still felt ill at ease in academia, disconnected from the world that non-academics know and understand.

Or my ramblings could just be the result of polyurethane poisoning.  Back to painting…


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