Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Meditations at the Midpoint

So here we are, already about halfway through June.  And I'm way behind on blogging.  Again.

In this case, it's not that I haven't been thinking about blogging--on the contrary, I'd say I've been thinking about it daily.

But the stuff of day-to-day life lately has not been cooperating, in the sense that it's all been very run-of-the-mill, with nothing particularly exciting to report.

Not that I'm complaining. (If I were complaining, I'd have more to blog about.)  I'll take "status quo" any day of the week.

Case in point: I was thinking I'd blog about The Chronology of Water, but after I finished it, I thought... "Nah."

Was it good?  Yes, in many ways.  It certainly wasn't bad, although I kind of found the second half far less interesting than the first half.  To me, there was too much literary name-dropping and a bit too much "I don't play by the rules, and the rest of society can just go suck it if they don't like that."

Because this may just be a personal point of ethics for me, but I do sorta think you deserve to lose your job if you become openly pregnant with your student's love-child during the course of a semester.  (And I'm really not sure how you turn around and just find another job like that! because I'm pretty sure no one would be hiring me.  This reminded me of Mary Karr's memoir, Lit, which I had some issues with, as you may or may not recall.)

In my book, what you're calling "not playing by the rules" could also be construed as "an abuse of power." I'm glad it didn't turn out to be that in Yukanvitch's particular case, but it could have been, and it's that potentiality that troubles me.

So while I appreciate being able to see the relationship and its context from Yuknavitch's standpoint, I also feel like someone has to be viewing it from the standpoint of the other students in the class.

Because if my professor is having my fellow-student's baby, I'm going to feel pretty confident that that person is getting an "A" in the class, regardless of how well the person, you know, writes.  And if I'm getting a "B," but I really feel like my writing is "better," well... you see where this is headed. 

So while Yuknavitch is quite critical of the hypocrisy and implicit prudery of her department chair, I gotta say, I feel the department chair's pain in this instance. 

Because while I too would argue that in many instances "objectivity" is just a ruse, my reaction here would be, "Humor me.  Keep some boundaries in place between your personal life and your professional life, please.  For the sake of the students you don't choose to sleep with."

And the fact that other people besides Yuknavitch (i.e. male professors) have a long history of sleeping with their students while others in authority turn a blind eye, doesn't mean it's right.  I would argue that they should be held accountable as well, not that no one should be held accountable because it's a stupid rule that no one follows.  

All that said, the rule-breaking that Yuknavitch practiced in narrative form and purpose in her memoir was interesting, and at many points her writing is quite beautiful and interesting.  So I was glad I read her memoir, and I would recommend it if you like good writing and an unconventional approach to life, literature, and sexual "norms."

And on that note, it would appear that I have actually blogged about The Chronology of Water, despite my initial claim that I wouldn't.

So the lesson learned here is that the next time I think I'm not going to blog, I should just... blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."