Thursday, February 07, 2013

Dropped Kebabs and Despots: The Last Term of the Last Year Starts to Hurt

from Toothpaste For

I'm nearly at the end of my three years of university now. That's probably a good thing. I tried so hard to be positive about the degree, returning for year three after my summer scrape with the Grim Reaper, but by Christmas the effort had almost done more harm to my psyche than pneumonia did to my lungs.

Why not just be honest? I haven't enjoyed the third year at all. The time I've spent wasting time or getting to know certain people in the corridors and the canteen has been nice. But I wouldn't have done any of the classes, even the ones I chose, if I'd been properly informed about my choices. In fact, the ones I did go for, not really knowing how the modules would be structured, have turned out to be the biggest drag of the lot.

For my dissertation I'm writing about Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi and Meera Syaal. That's fine, in a way. I chose that because the Post-Colonial module was the only one I enjoyed in the second year. But what's the point of writing analyses of other people's books, really? I mean, these in-depth structural breakdowns?

Academics make a good living picking over other people's work like ants on a dropped kebab, so for them you can see the point. But I'd rather write my own book. And when my university is dancing a naked tango with the third worst colonial despot in modern, China (I'd say the United States and Britain were number one and two), everything I write about the aftershock of Empire and our nation's perfidy in India feels rampantly hypocritical.

Whatever. I only have a few more months to do it, and then I'll be shoved out into the world again. Maybe (who knows?) with a BA after my name that will help me get a job I can stand to do when I'd much rather be writing. Then, perhaps, the last three years will all seem to have been worth it. Right now I feel more flat and uninspired mentally than I ever did back in the care work days.


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