Jul. 10th, 2012

debetesse: (Default)
When you have a freshly-written script for a PSA based on a joke from a radio sitcom from another country sitting on your desktop and plans to film, edit, and release it...

And the annotated Shelley* and complete Milton** are serving as mutual bookmarks on your bedroom floor...

And you have a presentation script due tomorrow--sorry, today--that you really ought to be writing...

you might reasonably be mistaken for a humanities major.***

There are times when I think one should be able to earn credits toward a degree in cultural and media studies through fandom activities. I have certainly had higher-level discussions online than I have with my classmates, more than a couple times.

But there is a Life of the Mind aspect of education that seems to be fading, as more and more students go to college seeking to be trained for the sole purpose of getting a good job. I know it's an incredibly privileged position to take, but it makes me sad when students ask what the point of something is, and respond to the instructor's "it's just so cool!" with a "why would that matter?" rather than "Yeah, this is not my thing, but I get it: I have my own just-so-cool thing."

I can't honestly say that I wish I lived in a society where there were regular, well-attended public lectures: I don't generally go, even when I have the chance, but I read, and I listen to podcasts, and I wish...I wish the room would keep up with me, more often than it does in meatspace.

Yeah, there are a half-dozen ideas here that are begging for their own posts, but that is work for another day.

**poetical. ISTG, the word "poetical" is on the cover.
***I'm not, for the record. The presentation is part of my coursework for a doctoral program (clinical, not PhD).


Jul. 10th, 2012 11:24 pm
debetesse: (Default)
I forget, sometimes, that I can Speak. That's not actually what I mean, on two counts. First, I am more than willing to speak up in class and elsewhere; I consider it my obligation, even, although at times I specifically bite my tongue and let other people (feel obligated by the silence to) talk. I am well aware of my ability to Hold Forth. I keep a portable imaginary soapbox for the purpose. Second, I know that I'm more comfortable in front of groups than most people. It's strange to me that people can get through college and still dread it, but, then, people are strange.

But, having never not been in theatre, having gone to State in impromptu speaking in high school, having coached and directed and taught...these things have given me the ability to generate things to say and then say them in a way that is not only clear, but engaging. I forget the gap between my "normal" and other people's.

I half-ass it a lot (because generally there no incentive not to*), but I should probably keep the joints oiled more than I do: you never know when you'll need a bit of oratory to blow the doors off the place, and that's the sort of Speaking that takes work.

*Even today, I was at 3/4 ass, at best.


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