Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oldest Living Graduate Student Tells All

It only took three years of regular student loan payments and career instability to get me back on I-75 twice a week. That's right—I'm back in HotLanta, making that three block trek up the littered sidewalk from the parking garage to the old General Classroom Building that sits on the corner of Decatur and Central Ave with as much grace as a street worn and city wise homeless woman. It's Ph.D time, people.

You know I love school, dear reader; I love notebooks and colored pens and good handwriting days and class discussions so captivating that you leave as a group and move down the hall jammering on with some idea before any one of you realizes you're not all going the same direction, and there's an awkward laugh, and a "okay, see you next week." I love the deep, dark stacks of the back worlds of the library; books you have to tug at a little harder because they've been left on the shelf so long. I love undergraduates, with their student activities and impromptu games and confusion over how to "make it print" in the computer center.

I also love poking fun of all these things. So here we go.

For my first day, I decided to embark on this new investigation of the campus. Starting with the law school, I plan to hang out in each division of the university while I kill time between my own classes. I never got to know the rest of the campus last time I was at GSU, and I'm curious. Separation of the disciplines is a relatively new phenomenon; back in the day you just learned everything—science, math, Latin and Greek, etc. I'm curious about scienceland and businessworld—what other beings inhabit the halls of these strange planets? What separates them from my familiar literature geeks? Can I blend into these other environments, or is there some outward expression of my own literature-ness of which I am unaware?

I come back to these halls more jaded, with more to lose, and more dedicated than before. And my somewhat playful trek among other colleges only strengthens my commitment to my own discipline. Literature is the only discipline to study all disciplines—straightforward math abstracted in a poem, real science explored in a fictional world, the plot of history and the characters of law.

Speaking of characters…well, just keep checking back in.

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