I don’t know exactly why grad school became the answer to the ancient “Quo Vadis?” I’ve placed my nose under a few dozen books this week and just flipping through them and absorbing the ideas seems a little pointless when I refuse to buy a cup of coffee from a posh shop. A friend asks casually if I’d like a cup and in my mind, images of pages upon pages of text recently reproduced through my neighborhood xerox lady whisk by in the same speed it takes to pay for this self-education. Incidentally, another friend just confided his plan to teach himself everything he’s always wanted to learn and in the throes of trying to recall which subjects it was that he wanted to learn I find myself back in the posh coffeeshop contemplating a cup of bliss thinking, “Oh man, what have I done?”
A 9-5 would have rejuvenated my aching bank account and nursed it to health but let’s face it, we know what we want sometimes and for me, it’s this time to be up this late thinking about things I wouldn’t have the audacity to come up with at work. I’d be too tired and focused on a job completely ignoring the signs of the times that keep waving to me from the city’s landscapes to the stories splattered on billboards (in some kind of homage to Jackson Pollock, maybe).
The fact remains. If I go on like this I won’t afford a cup of Joe until Christmas at which point I’ll need to spend again just ’cause it’s Christmas and thoughtfulness counts. Why is it even called a ‘cup of Joe’? Who is Joe and why am I meant to taste him or swallow his essence each time i drink from this cup? Why is he Joe and not Jane? Why must Joe be reminiscent of all American G.I.’s? Do I drink a cup in order to feel secure or do I do it in memory of all those who’ve fought their ‘just’ wars? Why is Joe the coffee I drink and what does he have to do with my location: South of the system perhaps in the periphery? Here are the issues to contend with as various school’s of thought have engendered them.
So here I am wondering why grad school and why this endless stream of questions when in fact I couldn’t care less about branded Joe. The real reason I’m stranded has more to do with the loss of warm water for instant coffee. Translated into my discipline, that probably gives it an M-ist spin, if you catch my drift. Lack of resources because other people aren’t kind enough to share the wealth will leave those of us in the periphery to suffer from an obvious loss and because we are the Other, we will naturally react.
Some of us may even write.