Alternate paths…? Trying to get back into reading fiction and lit. crit.

(lit crit = literary criticism)

New developments:  I am considering what to do if I cannot hang in with the Master’s program.  It would have been fine, we were right on schedule, then…1/3 of our group paper is not submitted.  None of us realize it until after evaluation.  This is in the class where one has to get a B or above to stay in the program.

This introduces the issue of what if I get a B- or below this semester, and what happens if the same thing happens next semester.  I will not be able to stay in the program, in that case.  Then, I will of necessity have to figure out what to do as a career, unless I really want to try my hand at a different Library program.  Given, though, that I’m more interested in Information Science…things can be done with that which don’t require an ALA-approved program.

My top career choice, outside of Libraries, and with no more schooling required, is Publishing.  This is what my undergraduate training prepared me for; however, I have no experience in Publishing, as I didn’t take an internship during college, as I couldn’t drive.

Speaking of which, we’re moving forward on the latter point, now.  I am somewhat relieved, although I don’t know what the point was of waiting until the rainy season started to begin training.

Anyway, I’ve found through my work in the Library Science program that I do actually still like to read, and two of the easiest and more enjoyable tasks (for me) in this program are writing and editing.  I was told at University that Editing isn’t really a creative job, which at the time was something to turn me off of it.  However, it appears that outside of media and technology (particularly animation and video games)…I can’t say my impression is that creativity is highly valued in this country.

Sure, we have a lot of creative products (particularly in music), but are their creators being fairly compensated?  It’s something I haven’t researched, yet; but I know that far more manuscripts are written than published.  This pattern (from what I hear, having to fight to get paid) may be peculiar to the literary arts.

Still; especially from the days when I was looking at the possibility of going into Graphic Design…there were a lot of people who wanted designers to work for them for no pay, which is unreasonable considering that, at least in the U.S., we live in a capitalist society and need money to continue to subsist (or to get back to subsistence).

It’s the reason I don’t play an instrument at the moment:  what could I do with that, other than play music on the street and wait for donations?  If I thought it wouldn’t be a waste of time, I’d be playing classical guitar.  But it’s a lot of effort — and a time commitment — for perhaps negative payoff, in my case.  The upshot is that music is one of those things which is directly calming when I’m in an episode.  The downshot is, well, time lost:  and a lot of it.

It has been a while since I read for enjoyment.  I find myself wanting to read more, particularly where it comes to literature, literary criticism, and science fiction.  I don’t have a really strong background in fiction reading…or so it would seem.  Since I graduated, I’ve been largely staying away from fiction.  Reason(s)?  Many.

Case in point:  I picked up a book which I hoped would be on writing, today, that ended up being about Christianity and being a, “servant to the word.”  I don’t need this.  I wanted a book giving insight into writing, not insight into Ezekiel.  For that one particular writer, I’m sure Christianity very much informs her process; but I kind of don’t want to take on her mindset to be able to understand what she’s saying, because I know that mindset to be directly harmful to me.  I don’t want to sit through a sermon which is posing as a work on fiction writing.

I wonder if I was triggered?

Things like this — which have been extremely common in my literary experience — have, in the past, driven me away from the entire fiction medium.  What this does say, though, is that when I read things that other people have written…if there is something lacking or missing (and there is a LOT that is missing; to the point that I’ve just wanted to give up on literature), I can add it in my own contribution, and the relative uniqueness of my view will likely be a selling point.  But that won’t happen if I let a glut of religious Christian writers represent all of English fiction writing for me.

I think I have said it before:  my experience in the English program made me want to stop reading and writing.  The Writing-program side of it was relatively good; but not the English-program side.  The latter was where I ran into a Professor who said I couldn’t call people who owned African slaves “racist,” if they existed before the term was coined (SERIOUSLY???); and another Professor who inferred in front of the class that I was “Godless,” because I objected when she wouldn’t stop talking about her God in class.  Every.  Class.  About.  Her God.  (Her God is not my God.)

English class is not about religion.  I don’t know how many people think it is or should be, but in a publicly-funded institution, it is really irritating when you find yourself in a sermon that you didn’t expect and didn’t ask for and don’t want, and you PAID for this, AND it’s triggering you because you’re a minority, AND you get straw-manned when you object, AND your Professor probably thinks she’s doing something good by subjecting you to this, AND you have to drop her class to escape it.

Yeah, I was having problems back then, but this stuff didn’t help.

Anyhow.  I’ll try and read, more.  Maybe the science-fiction genre will have less of this…


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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