A Correction

Yesterday, Medb made a comment about yesterday’s post. She informed me that I had forgetten the support of my friends.

She’s absolutely right, and I’m not being fair to my friends. I struggle very much asking for help, but have little problem offering it. I suppose this is hubris but whatever the reason, it is something that big brother Duncan would hit me in the head for and tell me to accept that help.

He’s right too, but it’s ironic because he’s just as bad if not worse, he’s just had longer to get wiser. For a bit, though, I’m caving. I’m throwing myself into books and recharging. I’m not avoiding Latin, though I am avoiding the organization of the class and the need to take charge in the study group.

I am extremely angry and bitter at the Centre for Medieval Studies right now. I was not angry at all when I was not accepted for a PhD here. I knew it was a hard competition and though I was not happy, I could see that others might have presented better options for CMS.

I don’t feel that way about the MA application. Dr. Orchard, whom I have a lot of respect for hinted that I could still apply for an MA here, which as it would take only a year would fit nicely timewise. I could have focused on Latin and Old English, and thus while a second MA was not overly important, the skills of a year thrown into languages would have been very useful.

They said no to me again and this time I’m pissed. I’ve hung around with their MA students for two summers now. I know who they have accepted. They are good people and have the makings of fine scholars.

But they’re not better than me. They do not have more credentials. They have less experience. I started the study group in the Beginning Latin last summer. I never really tooted my horn on that, but I’m going to now. Sarah, who taught the class, has told me and many of the people around the Centre how helpful that the study group was. She told me yesterday that a girl I met at Kalamazoo, Hilary, had gotten up in this year’s Beginning Latin and said exactly what I said last year. I’m not surprised, I told her exactly what I did last year and how it helped. She told me she thought that was a great idea at Kalamazoo and that she’d probably do that in the program.

This is good. I find it ironic however, that her and her fellow students, many of whom will be taking the MA program, are benefitting from my idea. I find it especially ironic, given that I started a study group in the MA summer Latin, and once again I was the leader, the instructor, the tutor, the prime force behind it. If I do not go, nothing gets done. The irony comes from the help that my construct gave to many MA students over a couple of years at CMS.

But the powers that be at CMS do not think that I’m good enough for their program.

I don’t actually know that. It is possible I got unlucky and got put out because of numbers. That does not appease me however, as I know what I need and I would not have overly taxed them. In fact, I might very well have helped them, given I’d have continued the study group over the year.

But at least I can take comfort in the study groups themselves. I can take a lot of pride in leaving a legacy. I feel good that there are people who have and will do better because of my idea.

“In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river ran,
Through caverns measureless to man,
Down to a sunless sea.”

It seems like Coleridge wrote that for me at this point. I have created something that is worthwhile in my mind, and yet it exists in the sunless sea of my anger right now.

2 thoughts on “A Correction”

  1. I’m glad to see you’re taking advantage to rant- it really does help in some ways. I use it, and I’m not a writer at all normally.

    Excuse the language, but if CMS thinks you’re not good enough for their program, then they’re _fucking idiots_. You said yourself (amazingly, since you rarely take the credit that you’re due) that you have as good or better credentials/potential as the people they let in. I hope you do at least make the effort to find out the real reason you were not let in- after all, you said yourself it’s not like you’d be risking anything at this point.

    PLEASE, don’t hesitate to contact me at work or home if you need to talk or get a hug (I even have emergency days I can use if needed). You may not be able to commit right now in terms of a dating relationship, and I understand that, but I am NOT going to stop being your friend. I would be just as concerned if it were any of my other friends, and while I don’t want to push you to talk about things if you don’t want to, I REALLY want to help in any way I can, even if it means pushing you to come out of your books after a suitable wallowing time has passed. I expect you already know, but I’m going to say it anyway- wallowing is only good for so long, which I really know now- my depression is chemical of course, but I hid from everything for so long one summer during my undergrad that I started becoming suicidal. The episodes I have now are nothing compared to the ones I had that summer, and I refuse to let my friends feel like they’re alone when problems arise, no matter how small.

    Right now it’s probably good for you to escape into books and recharge, but please don’t struggle to ask for help- I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to help, and eventually I may follow Duncan’s example if I think you need it. 😉

  2. Damn, Rob. I’m so sorry to hear this. I was looking forward to having you up here and seeing you making progress towards your goals. Do you have a feeling for what your plans will be?

    Drop me an email if you want to talk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.