I went to LASA in Puerto Rico and visiting this colony, or country was an interesting experience I have not yet assimilated. I am going to pay for it by grading the AP examination in Louisville, so I will be gone again and in a foreign place again.
I repeat that everything in my life since Reeducation — which means since joining the professoriate — has to do with having been told that now that one is a professor one has lost the right to care for oneself and one’s own work; and with having to deal with oppression at home that eats into research time as well as concentration and peace of mind. I reiterate that discipline or the refusal to let one’s mind wander are not appropriate remedies for these things.
When I get home from Louisville I will be here for five or six weeks, during which I do not want to fall into these habits of mind … as I have done in summers past, summers of mosquitoes (les maringouins!), dark skies, low budgets and hot rain.
I want to become a good Fullbright candidate. I wanted to become a good law school candidate but it is late; now I want to become a good Fullbright candidate. In graduate school my motivation beyond interest in field was that I wanted to continue in my program and receive grants to do interesting things.
Later, in professordom, I had negative motivation because my goal was to get to a place where I could thrive, and the most obvious route to that was not to stay in academia. Since my chosen field is my second and not my first choice, it in itself was not enough. I do want a career, however, and the most practical motivators I can think of now are (a) to become a good Fullbright Candidate and (b) the vita to back my AAUP work.
Am I interested in my research results? Yes. But to maintain this interest consistently I need some form of identity that is not the broken, cowering, and also snapping, seething one the university confers, its interpellation from oilfield and plantation.