Tuesday, January 30, 2007


raise high the roofbeam, academia.

okay, kittens. i have been keeping this to myself, in order to know how i feel about it, but i'm ready to discuss. with, of course, the caveat that if you actually know me in what the kids call RL, i am not ready to share this information globally, specifically not with anyone who has ties to my program or any similar one. of course, there is always the chance that no one else finds this top secret information! fascinating enough to talk about, but i am not one of those people because i am thinking about it constantly. if i talk to you in the next week, chances are i am using at least 30% brain power to think the same thoughts over and over again, re: the below.

i heard from a couple of Ph.D. programs. first i got a call from this one guy who--i don't think i said this before, but i sent him a dumb fan email because he wrote a good paper on something i was studying, something not a lot of people seem to be doing. anyway, after the email we talked on the phone and he told me i should apply to his Large Research University of Unknown Reputation, since he and i are doing similar work. i did, even though--and this is weird--he teaches in the dance department even though dance does not seem to be part of his current scholarship (or, more obviously, mine). and there is no theatre/performance studies department at his university. i would have a Ph.D. in dance.

okay, so he called last week and was all, your application is on the top of the pile and we're being very aggressive pursuing funding for you and here's how many dollars it would probably be, though we can't promise, and i want you to know how serious we are because we are a little bit afraid that there will be a bidding war over you.

academic drama!

oddly, this didn't make me feel good so much as it sort of stressd me out. this school was sort of the one on the list that made me go, why am i applying here again?, and it just figures that the oddball program i'm unsure-est of is the one that wants me. and it's a city we're lukewarm about, and some worries came up about what if i don't really want a Ph.D., especially if it's at this weird place, and i just go somewhere because i'm so relieved i got chosen for something? also, the "bidding war" part just made me giggle. like B3rkeley and N0rthwestern are really going to throw down over me at sotheby's; a scenario which seems all the more ridiculous when considered in light of last year's experience.

the next day i got an email from an eminent feminist theatre scholar (not the one linked to this blog), saying there was great interest at my work at her Large Research University, and would i let them fly me out for a visit next month and a couple of nights at a nice hotel.

the answer is: yes. yes, i would. holy shit.

so, now? feeling a little bit better. feeling a little more successful than last term. for all i know, this last week may be the extent of the predicted war of bidding, but that would be okay. after all the fruitless auditions, all the MFA rejections, the getting kicked out the conservatory, the horrible horrible new york of my first two years including the times i was so scared and discouraged i couldn't leave the apartment, i'm finally hearing what i suspected in the beginning but had been seriously doubting: i am probably good enough to do this.*

*this: school, theatre, theatre school, adulthood, self-soothing, waking life, academic writing, partnership, work that fulfills. i know i shouldn't need the confirmation from someone else so badly, but: that's how it's been going. no one should need a parade, but it's nice when a little one happens. and for the record? i'm still not entirely sure i'm going anywhere, to study anything. it just feels good that it's a buyer's market right now. onward, mofos.


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