In just over a week, I will be 30 years old. I’ve come to certain decisions in the last few months that are important to how I manage my time in the coming months and years. When I set out to get a subject masters in the humanities, my career goal was academic reference librarianship, and to teach as an adjunct professor. I still want to teach and look forward to having the qualifications to do so, but I have decided to stay in public librarianship, for many reasons, but the main one is the range of possibilities for learning and developing. Brooklyn Public Library, it turns out, is very supportive of employees trying new and creative ideas. I also noticed that they have paid attention to my strengths and invited me to participate on committees, go to trainings, and run programs related to who I am as a librarian. Settling into this career, I think, helps me shape and guide my desires going forward. For example, if I stay at the Brooklyn Public Library, I have good reason to buy a condo in Brooklyn in the next few years, given the rental situation in this city. It probably makes sense for me to find particular kinds of communities — Jewish, intellectual, gaming, writing, etc — and to invest more time into my relationships with institutions in this city.
I have also been thinking a lot about my master’s thesis lately, because I’m hoping to graduate in May. I developed an entire outline which relies heavily on Arendt and Foucault, and somewhat on various secondary sources, to make a complex argument about Arendt’s amor mundi, finding space for Place on the political Left, Foucault’s carceral state, the neoliberal suppression of the relationship between citizen and Place via database theory, and the resulting carcerality of the neoliberal state. Yes, it’s about three theses in one. But I’ve been thinking about it for months, and managed to work out a rough outline of what it would look like, and a bibliography. it’s a writable paper, and it can be done in sixty pages or so.
This morning, I came up with an equally interesting, much more straightforward idea for a thesis. Perhaps it is true, as they say, that you need to have the messy ideas before you can have the elegant ones. At any rate, it was immediately evident to me that this new idea is the direction I ought to take my thesis in — easier to sell an advisor on, more relevant to a wider population, and still wrestles with problematic assumptions in my political communities. Most importantly, it addresses directly what I came here to study: the construction of meaning.
Various people have suggested my original idea for a thesis was too ambitious, but I’ll tell you what’s too ambitious: taking a BISR class, three NYU classes, a sign language class, sending my novel manuscript to Kirkus for editing and then shopping it around, and writing my original thesis idea for my website all while working full time.
A girl can dream, right?