This is just some further thoughts on yesterday's entry. I think we are down to 2.2222 readers per day on this blog, now, which is not too surprising, since I'm writing every day, again.
I'm still going through English professor bios, and finding very few with areas of interest relevant to my study. I have a lot of impressions, but will save them for another day. I will only mention one strange phenomenon--the vibe I'm getting from these professors is very much grouped by college; or, perhaps, by department. I suppose that reflects the head of the department, or whoever is making the hiring decisions; or, it may come all the way down from the top. But some English departments are sattvic; some are dark. Some are Marxist; some are gay. Some are psychoanalytic; some are overly-analytic. And so-on. Even when I find someone specializing in a relevant area, they are someone Mathew would have given a wide berth to, in-the-day. For example, I just ran into a professor who apparently thinks that any time Charles Dickens waxed metaphysical, it was a manifestation of Victorian neurological disease. He might write on Dickens, but he's about as far from my viewpoint as one could possibly get. Dickens stole real metaphysics from Abby Poyen, thinking he had a "ghost story."
So I got this smiling, viciously patronizing response, which I shared in yesterday's entry. And this morning, I have the response from my first training assignment for an online transcription service, which I'm trying to get on with. I thought I had done a near-perfect job--and the feedback is encouraging, but apparently there are errors in format, and errors in researching the spelling of foreign words, and so-on. The trainer, also, is being a bit patronizing, telling me I should do certain things which I already know about, and thought I had done, as though I had neglected them altogether. I will have to bite my tongue and go along with it, and I will have to learn how to compare revised Word documents--clearly, there's a learning curve. I am not good at learning other people's systems. I am far better at devising my own systems. In other words, I can transcribe--but whether I can transcribe according to your formats, is another matter.
All this throws me back upon myself, and makes me question whether I am too arrogant.
The long and short of this is that I can type, and I can transcribe, but again, it's hard for me to learn new formats and remember them. And most trainers tell you to do things as though you didn't know. So I have to have a certain beginner's humility in that regard, and try not to resent what feels like a put-down, and an intrusion into my own freedom. I don't like the constraints imposed by another mind on my own...but they have a perfect right to establish their own format.
With the professors, however, it's not what it seems. I am actually the authority, here. It would be like this Ph.D. professor trying to impress a six-grader hall monitor. Have you ever seen the film, "Lost in America?" A professional couple lose everything in Las Vegas, and are forced to take menial jobs in a small town. Her boss at the Burger King is a 17-year-old boy; he gets hired as a crossing guard, with little kids jeering him.
It's that way when I try to write to these professors. They imagine they are the authorities. This isn't arrogance on my part, it's just how it is. I don't mean I have expertise in what they think is important--I mean I have expertise in what actually is important. And I have the correct interpretation of history, within my little sphere of study.
But there is no-one so unable to learn, as the person who thinks he or she is an expert. And thus, when I radically challenge their views, I am dismissed.
I just released a mouse, caught in a live trap in my kitchen; and for some unfathomable reason, something is telling me there is a parallel in it. Maybe I'm too tired from lack of sleep...
Let's try this...these professors are like mice srubbing about in my kitchen for food. Bits and pieces of what used to be good food. I catch them in a trap, and of course they resent it a great deal. But the end result is that I release them into the wide outdoors, where their natural food is.
I guess that's not a bad analogy, after all...
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page, "I Imagine Myself," by the author