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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.

*Mary
**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).

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debetesse

November 2012

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