Monday, May 18, 2009

did any of that edukashun stick?

i was reading an article in the IHT the other day. the article was on the golem and how the little monster figure is on the ascendence again in prague. the whole notion of the golem rang a bell deep within the recesses of my graduate school brain. the article defined it as "The Golem, according to Czech legend, was fashioned from clay and brought to life by a rabbi to protect Prague’s 16th-century ghetto from persecution, and is said to be called forth in times of crisis." i couldn't really place the golem thing, tho' it's undoubtedly some central european lit i once read. i like the idea of a golem, actually, a kind of protective figure. i think we could all use one of those.

but it got me thinking about what other remnants of grad school are there lurking between the song lyrics that are cluttering up my thirty-twelve year-old brain.

: : lots of marxist rhetoric.

: : oddly filtered through ayn rand.

: : and even more oddly which involves the chasing of little green bits of paper and ascription of meaning thereto (or it thereof?).

: : a residual embarrassment of not getting pilnyak's naked year on the first read (and admitting as much to the professor--tho' that was as an undergrad).

: : occasional musings on how master & margarita might be a modern example of menippean satire. (thank you bakhtin.)

: : an unhealthy adoration of derrida, tho' in retrospect, i had no idea what he was talking about.

: : ditto foucault. and baudrillard.

: : an ability to turn to whatever scene you reference in my copy of dostoevsky's brothers karamazov in under ten seconds.

: : a desire to frantically and thoroughly clean when a deadline looms.

: : the time my serbo-croatian teacher said, "spanish is easy, you can learn it in a weekend."

i'm sure there's more, but half-watching a total crap movie about stewardesses starring gwenyth paltrow (which cured me of that stewardess envy thing, by the way) has so thoroughly numbed my brain that i can't come up with them now. t.v. is evil.

happy monday, everybody.


will said...

Funny, you did this post - about college esucation. I was just considering doing one on the various classes I took when in college.

Unknown said...

TV IS evil, although I'm kind of sad that I missed Eurovision. Probably for the better, as Spain did so badly!
You got me thinking about University, I wish I could go back! I know, I'm weird.

Jelica said...

Same unhealthy adoration of derrida here--tried reading him in a few languages but that didn't help make him more understandable :)

Do you still remember some of that Serbo-Croatian, I'm curious?

Bee said...

Ha Ha! Within three months of entering grad school, everyone seems to learn how to "talk the talk" of Derridean and Foucaultian lingo . . . (even though most of us probably had NO IDEA).

I didn't realize that golems were connected to other lore, and meant to be a protective totem of sorts. If I hear the word golem, I immediatedly think, "Precioussss."

Elizabeth said...

I'm in need of a Julie-dictionary!!!

Suecae Sounds said...

My biggest gripe with some of the intellectuals you listed isn't so much with what they say, as much as how they say it. Maybe they should have taken a writing class or two about the virtue of writing in a pedagogic and easy way? :)

McGillicutty said...

TV has gradually been replaced in my home by blogging, card games, searching for the perfect picture, worms and marbles. Love it!!!

Just Jules said...

I'm with Elizabeth - far too early and not enough coffee for this much concentration - I'll check back and reread this afternoon when my brain awakes (not just my body)

Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

Just yesterday I heard my first non-JRR Tolkien gollum reference. On The Sopranos of all things. Yeah. Gotta hide the remote and buy more books.

Char said...

I think I may have read one or maybe two of those.

d smith kaich jones said...

Magical object thinking. A tv is just a tv is just a tv.

:) Debi

Extranjera said...

Ditto on Derrida, but raise you with fokken Barthes (who will always be a big blob in my brain), and Gates and my Brothers Karamazov is Song of Solomon.

I know you didn't ask.

Laura Doyle said...

I have to be honest with you. I haven't read ANY of that stuff. I went to school for Organizational Leadership. Ha!!!

But I know that movie you're talking about. It's awful. I mean just awful. Isn't a quasi-musical or something too? Is Down With Love or something like that? God, why on earth do I remember that?


julochka said...

Bill-i definitely want to read your post on that!

B-you should be happy you missed eurovision. it's the ultimate in kitsch.

Jelica--sadly i remember very little of the S-C it was but a summer course and then i drifted off into macedonian, of which i remember very little as well.

Bee--totally true of grad school. everywhere--i went to three and all were equally bad. tho' it wasn't at all of them that you ran the risk of running into homi bhabha (one of the worse of the incomprehensibles) in line for a latte.

Elizabeth & Jules--sorry about that.

SS-you're absolutely right! i once had a hilarious prof. who said to a pretentious grad student who was pretending he knew what all that stuff was about, "please explain it again as if i were a small, dull child."

McG--i do know what you mean about the blogging thing, but when i'm alone in a hotel, i tend to have the t.v. on to not feel so alone.

FM--the sopranos is more highbrow than one would think. sometimes.

Char--you probably blocked them out!

Debi--i know. :-)

Ext--i almost put Barthes in there, but strangely, i actually felt i got something real out of him--esp. those essays on photography. but i had a class entirely devoted only to him and we read it all, so we really got into it (it was the class i refer to above with the cool "speak to me as if were a small dull child" professor. that helped. the one i should have put was zizek. i have lots of his stuff and have read lots of it, but am not sure any of it stuck.

starlene--you're no doubt lucky. :-) tho' the movie was awful. i never did find out the title. but it was stunningly bad. in every way.

Abstaining Irene said...

wow...well now I just feel like I have no brain myself. Was any of that english? I agree that t.v. is evil. Also, check it out! I nominated your blog for an award! I enjoy your postings!

julochka said...

AI--thanks for the award and for stopping by! and don't worry about the brain thing. hardly any of it stuck anyway. :-)