I thought the moment I passed my Master’s defense my brain would shutdown.
That it would pause for a little while before preparing to pick up the last bits of the semester–to finish teaching, grading, researching, and learning.
It would be like those movies where a nuclear bomb goes off and then the chilling moment of silence ensues as remnants of dust dance to the ground.
For the past week or so, I’ve been staring at a blank word document trying to make myself write something. Anything.
It’s not that I didn’t have anything to write. I have to finish writing features on games, work on job applications, create my class curriculum. The list goes on.
But the word document just sat, its cursor mocking my gaze with its blinks.
It’s my first true encounter of writer’s block; something I like to think I’ve encountered before on those long nights, writing my seminar papers at one in the morning, invoking a glass of red wine as my muse. But never to this extent.
Writing. Critical thinking. Rhetoric. We often times find ourselves placing these words on a pedestal that focuses only on canonical literature or verbal literacy and communication.
That’s a major problem with academia, something that stems (somewhat) from the rise of philosophical thought and the shadows on Plato’s cave. Not that philosophy is bad, but it did undeniably see itself over art and visual thinking as some sort of intellectual behemoth well above cathartic moments and classical art. It was in this that our conceptions of the verbal and visual were divided as two separate and unequal modes of thought. *rant rant rant, academia, rant, ivory tower*.
As a person who has been in the “ivory tower” of academia for quite a bit of time, I can say first hand just how traditional it is in its values. One would think that education would attempt to take advantage of technological advances — yet when I teach my composition courses (that focus on digital literacy, mind you) I often times find myself in a classroom with nothing more than a chalk board; in terms of digital literacy, this can prove to be very limiting to what we can do. Sometimes the graduate teaching assistants and professors at our university get to branch out the curriculum, leading into activities like analyzing YouTube videos, music, and pop-culture.