first, thank you for asking this, and i hope it’s okay that i’m answering publicly in case this is useful for anyone else. second, i want to express solidarity with you and others who can’t “afford” grad school, in whatever variation that might take. the majority of what i know has not been learned in graduate school or any school at all, unless you count the tactics i’ll be listing below, which i do.
for the past four years my method was this: i stole food from work, put in exactly the hours it took to make rent, and spent the rest of my money on books, travel, and luxury because they sustained me. most days i consider it a miracle i am who i am today, and it is only due to a few people who recognized me — who fought to remain alive and responsive in this world — and to my own obsession and desperation. this blog is that hardship’s archive. autodidactic learning is about following a trail, so begin with one beloved book and use the bibliography as a bridge to the next. this tracing and tracking is what will propel you through para-academic learning. organize your time, develop and refine a ritual, and say yes to the restrictions that free your energy for thinking. in avital ronnell’s words: be monomaniacal.
here are a few other ways.
sneak into conferences. sign up for the listservs of academic departments and collectives. attend campus lectures — you are a student, you are studying. visit your city’s archives and collections. join a reading group, or find a few people whose ideas you respect and make your own. don’t be afraid to contact people online or collaborate with people you’ve never met. don’t waste time on non-responsive intellectuals, superstars, or figures. don’t idolize people for whom the internet or public presence is merely a platform for receiving attention and never giving it. give of yourself what you have to offer. don’t overestimate academics, but do acknowledge that a person’s backlog of knowledge is not always visible and allow yourself to be humbled. scavenge the passwords to online databases, especially from a friend who can keep you up to date on frequently changing keys and passwords. remember public libraries. stay awake to free and discounted days at museums. join/teach at a public school, or make your own. regardless, and this is the second most important thing, you must be in dialogue with people, and this must include physically sharing space with other bodies and voices. you can learn all you want but you’ll realize that you are not all there is to it.
additionally, i know that there are elusive, emotional, and historical costs to which you might be referring. but to touch on the purely financial aspect of “affording” it, do not pay for graduate school — make them pay you. most phd programs offer a full ride and occasionally so do MAs. you do not have to afford graduate school in this way.
lastly, you can show them the limits of official belonging. by this i don’t mean being impressive or seeking (the other kind of) recognition, but that “academic freedom incurs a cost” (fred moten). you can serve as a living reminder of what is possible when you are not economically accountable or beholden to an institution. you can demonstrate the fruits of disloyalty. this is another way of being loyal.
for a list of resources,
cities in motion
i have never been very much into sim games; much less enough to mod them
what if i made a lefty mod of cities in motion?
like one that rewarded you for helping marginalized folks access public transit, instead of punishing you for not “making enough money”?
i would like that game
kirk and her crew — an AU where all of the main character Enterprise crew members are women
Click the link and scroll down to the text post. New favorite artist.
HOUSE CLEANING ANXIETY
how do people keep their houses clean ughhh i feel like i clean for at least an hour and a half every day and it never gets any cleaner
summer binding double sports bra death
Oh this is just some hot guy I know…
oh, man, i had forgotten about that shirt!
my loss; and your beard is lookin’ ace, friend
It’s not about the kissing, holding hands, the dates, the sex, and showing off. It’s about being with someone who makes you happy in a way that no one else can. It’s about being with someone who accepts you and your weirdness. It’s about being yourself around them and they can be their self around you.
my favorite part is that his grip on reality is clearly in gradual decay from scene to scene; he increasingly ignores how little interest the world would even have in a singing frog show in pursuit of his narrow, ridiculous dream of wealth and fame
one froggy evening is the first piece of media i can clearly remember making me feel really, really weird; really confused about who i empathized with, really confused about belief and proof
transartorialism said: i hope you all have a great time! i wanted to go this year. i hope it is good!!!!
i’m kind of excited but also kind of nervous tbh; i’ve heard so many wildly different things about idapalooza
*so* many good things (fun music and good food, making lots of new connections with interesting folks and spending happy time with old friends, beautiful surroundings, lots of friendly openness, lots of enjoyable substances and spaces to enjoy them in) and *so* many bad things (cliqueishness to the max, plentiful racism and misogyny, nasty competitiveness and self-aggrandizing, lots of pressure to be ‘body positive’ in a way that just doesn’t work for lots of people)
people’s experiences with the event seem super polarized, and i’ve been kind of surprised by who’s told me they’ve had a good time and who’s told me they’ve hated it
i especially wanted to go this year because i don’t have a full-time job or school right now, and i don’t think there’ll be a year again in the near future where that’s the case - i’d rather find out now whether or not it seems to be worth it, because it’d be a huge bummer to have to scramble to get time off of work or plan my academic schedule around ida and then find out it doesn’t work for me
dunno, i’ve *really* enjoyed alchemy, and in my head i guess i was kind of imagining idapalooza as an all-queer burn, which sounds pretty great; but a couple of days ago a friend of mine who’s been to both said she felt like ida was kind ‘the opposite of a burn’ (that being not-a-good-thing) …
well, anyway, there’ll be a lot of folks i know and love there, and i do think i’ll have a good time with them at least - it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the festival turns out
ride to ida from atlanta friday?
i still don’t tumblr much any more, but my boyfriend and i are looking for someone headed to ida who’ll be leaving from or passing through atlanta early friday
our original ride changed plans, and we’re unlikely to be able to leave before thursday, and would prefer to get going friday morning if possible
so, yeah - if someone could help and has space for two folks with a tent, please comment or PM me; we’re both pretty low-key, friendly, and up for helping with gas money
got a ride!