Monday, August 1, 2011

My Body Frenetic

Well, after many months of neglecting this blog, I decided to update it once more. This blog so often acts as a last resort for me to express some thoughts/ideas I have when;

1. No one else understands

2. No one else cares

3. There were some people that kinda cared, but they stopped listening to me talk because i kept going on and on and on.  .  .I can be delightfully manic if I have the right topic.

I am still a grad student, feverishly pursuing my MA in Children's Literature in the magical city of Boston. I swear, every time I drive over the Tobin Bridge and see the city skyline, I feel like Dorothy when she sees the Emerald City. My semester classes finished in May (A- in my Picturebook class, as a follow-up to my last post), but I decided to take a summer class, which culminated in a long weekend, four days to be exact, of lectures and seminars.

It was a wonderful weekend- despite the fact I slept on the floor of a non-air conditioned dorm room- and I had many magical moments with my fellow classmates, and we gorged ourselves on signed books, many nerdy discussions that only Child Lit people understand the importance of, and wine. The theme of the class was The Body Electric, and it only reinforced a thought I've had all along:


Let me explain. Ever since I started this degree, I have learned more than I ever thought possible, and I assume I will continue to learn much in my remaining time there. But to be constantly engaged with so many different literary theories.  .  .that stuff doesn't just slide off you at the end of the day. It sticks. FOREVER. And now doing activities which were insignificant before, and watching movies which I long ago put in my 'stupid humor' file seem so valid.

For example: the movie It's Pat! (based on my fav. SNL character) is completely destroyed for me now.

 Ever since I had to do my hour and a half presentation on gender theory, I can no longer watch that movie with my eyes glazed over. Now when I watch my DVD, all I can think about is constructs of gender, and performativity, and.  .  .before I know it I am outlining a paper on Otherness in Saturday Night Live Skits.

The theme of my summer class was The Body Electric- every single book and article we read for a month was related to the theme. And I am already seeing side effects of this class and its theme. Today, to relax i watched The Little Mermaid. And ALL I could think about is Ariel's body- who controls it? her father? the sea witch? Ariel? As i was sinking further and further into this train of thought, I missed my favorite song and had to skip back.

So I got up to review my movie collection, and come to terms with another batch of movies I will never be able to watch passively again. I know that themes of the body can relate to almost anything in the world, but there are a couple which will never be the same for me again. The one I am saddest about?

Mrs. Doubtfire.

How can I ever watch this wonderful movie of my youth again without all this theory sneaking up on me?

Particularly the scenes in which Robin Williams dons the rubber 'old woman body suit' thing, and the scene in the end when his old lady face peels off as he rescues Pierce Brosnan from choking on a spicy piece of shrimp. I'll sit down with a snack, and before I know  it I'll be drafting a paper on artificial bodies or something. 

It's a losing battle to enjoy small pleasures.

On a closing note, I fully expected a dance scene to break out at this institute this weekend- I thought for sure people would be doing the electric slide in Java City.

Maybe graduate school doesn't ruin EVERYTHING.  .  .

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