Saturday, May 27, 2006

A clean slate

Though there's nothing fun about a relationship ending, there's a lot of potential too, including a clean slate AND potentially gaining a friend...

WRT the clean slate: everything's wide open...I'm not tied to TO, my career, etc (not that my relationship was tying me down to TO in the first place, but it made it more attractive to be here). So I was reading through my stack of magazines that I've accumulated over the past few months (a topic for a future post: what are your reading strategies? How to read everything you want to in a lifetime, when everything includes novels (new and old), academic literature and journals, magazines and poetry? How?), and I started reading my alum mags (Tabaret, which is actually quite a good magazine AND it's bilingual!). Then I thought hey...why not start seriously thinking about a PhD again (this thought occurs to me every 2-3 months. And I realize now that this post is fraught with parenthetical thoughts....Which reminds me of Andre Alexis' book Childhood, which is really an exercise in pomo intertextuality, which is so cool...all these footnotes inserted into the text and parenthetical references).

The problem is, I can never narrow down the 5ws and 1h (I have 6 very helpful friends, I go to them for advice...Their names are Who and Why and Where and What, and When and How).

Why do I want to do a PhD? Because I love to learn, because I love to do research and I love the academic world. Love conferences and just pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Then again, a friend of mine in a PhD said that PhDs are NOT about learning...Food for thought.

What do I want to study? At the core of it all is language, the written word, nature and feminism. Not sure if I want to study literature itself, or magazines, or something broader in communication. Topics of study might be Canadian women's writing (comparison of Quebec vs non-Quebec writers' relationship to home and nature, for instance, or fourth-wave women's writing and themes of nature). Or, Chick Lit...Why has it not flourished in Canada? Or, Canadian women nature writers in magazines. Or, the influence of home magazines on the feminine mystique in the late 20th century....Have we re-domesticated ourselves through magazines?

How? Not sure. Option A: continue working at York and do the PHD part-time and use the employee benefit. Option B: sell condo. Return to student lifestyle. Then options would be more open and I wouldn't be tied to York. Option C: marry rich heart surgeon :P

When? This year, maybe the next...Have to start reading journals again to really decide if this is for me.

Who? Obviously, me. But then the question of supervisors come into play. And finding someone whose research is interesting to me, but whose personality is a good fit too, is really important.

Where? Depends...Toronto or Ottawa. Not willing to go to the States although U of Oregon reportedly is the place to study ecocriticism.

We'll see. This week is the Congress at York. Perhaps to show you what a nerd I truly am, I've been so excited about this for months. It's the largest academic gathering in North America, with 8,000 delegates from the social science and humanities fields. Think about all of the knowledge that will be shared in the space of two weeks!

Anyoo...Enough for now. I'm sure this will come up again. It always does.


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