Monday, April 20, 2015

Travel & UNSW

Hi there reader,

On my LinkedIn profile I state that "if it's not ground-breaking in some way, I don't write it." This suits me most of the time, but sometimes I'm feeling mellow, or come up short in the controversy stakes. This is one of those times. Bear with me.

There are some interesting developments coming up over the next few months... I'm going to be travelling all the way up to the European summer in June, which should provide me with fresh material. I've also developed such an interest in my language studies that I will try to get a B Arts in French starting from next year. There's lots to think about, and one of the good things that came out of the nightmare that was 2013 is that I feel more confident in dealing with others and embracing wonder. University doesn't seem as threatening as it did ten years ago - probably because I'm more comfortable with my kaleidoscopic belief systems. It can't elicit much in the way of conformity from me. It can only dull my shine for so long. It's nice to be surrounded by bright young things who still strive to change the world. Many of our workers have given up on that dream... though not all. You only need to type in "TEDx" into YouTube to access a network of practical dreamers.

Yes, I've made peace with UNSW. I'm even attending a series of talks in its Law building --
-- which is delightfully postmodern. The talks are, of course, on feminism. What else, right? ;)

I have a lot of different associations, some of them contrasting, when it comes to this institution of higher learning: Forward-thinking, reductive; shiny and new, second-best; casual, pretentious. Every time I visit I find I have carved out a new niche for it in my mind. It's slogan is 'never stand still' - and perhaps I have developed some affection for it as the place where my ideas are more free to rearrange. Who can forget that academia is the place where pontification on postmodernism is most welcome? The 'real world' can be unforgivingly locked into its absolutes.

Browsing through the UNSW website, I feel like its discipline categories are largely irrelevant to my life. When will they come up with the bright idea of teaching the arts and sciences together? When will they break out of the old format and pursue more innovative combinations of learning? It's a good thing I'm not going back to study English, or Politics, or Sociology, or European Studies - I could never choose between them. Just a language or two, thanks.

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