Time Is The Enemy…..Or Is It?

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

-Jack Kerouac

Oh look, a meme that encompasses everything I feel about writing and what time of day to do so.

I read a wonderful post on Reddit the other day. The post creator wanted to go back to school to earn his degree, but was not keen on the idea that he would be 40 by the time he finished. Another Redditor put it simply: “You’re still gonna be 40”.

I’m the type of guy who hates hates HATES waiting for something to come in the mail. And yet, when it inevitably does, the duration I’ve waited never really seemed all that excessive to me. I eagerly await the next entry in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series this year, but when I stop and think about how much has changed since the last one released in 2011, it doesn’t feel all that long ago.

This isn’t a blog about reminiscing about the past and how it relates to the future, no I’m pretty sure I know how it relates. Rather, I’ve been contemplating as to whether or not my writing is as time-sensitive as I originally believed it to be. Sure, we write primarily what we know and I’ve certainly know a lot more now than I might have when I originally conceived the idea back in 2011, but the important thing to me is whether or not the story is meant to release when it’s finished, or is that just the procrastination talking?

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

-Stephen King

Oh, Stephen. I want to agree with you wholeheartedly on this, but when I think of your $400 million net worth and copious time spent migrating between your three houses, I suddenly feel less inclined to do so.

Okay, my petty jealousy aside, I do believe part of my issue with my writing being as trickled down as it has is partially due to my disinterest in reading anything meaningful lately. Part of that is intentional; the last thing I hope to do is end up with a novel that reads a little too much like the last one I read. But at the same time, there’s also that sense of building experiences, developing vocabulary and writing prose that just doesn’t suddenly come out of the blue.

But the references that come from them (Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) are eternal to time.

I’m always the first person to say “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” when it comes to lengthy things, but I can’t help but feel that the inverse could apply to my writing, even though it is probably one of the biggest time-consuming things around. I’ve scrapped many passages that I felt either didn’t flow right or weren’t what I felt was needed at the time, and despite that being part of the writing process, I get just a tad bit jealous when writers younger than me put out anything sooner, and to great acclaim. The acclaim part isn’t because I necessarily fear negative reception (there’s bound to be some for any work regardless of the scale), but rather if the amount of time I put into something is truly my best work, and if the time spent reflects that.

There’s a long-standing rumor that Lawrence of Arabia had burned the first manuscript of Seven Pillars of Wisdom instead of lost it, solely because he was finding it unsatisfactory, and decided to rewrite it. And I figure that if someone with significantly less writing efficiency could find the courage to start over again and rewrite solely from memory, I can appreciate the fact that I had a little more patience with writing my own work. I guess it’s just a little shocking to see the end finally in sight, my big project finally coming to light.

Also, nothing of what I said applies to George R.R. Martin. That man has been enjoying the fruits of his labors for nearly a decade now.

Black is Beautiful

“People have the impression that African American Vernacular English is nothing more than a collection of errors because that’s how they’ve been socialized. If it’s not Standard English, it’s wrong. So we have this framework that all of us have been indoctrinating to. There’s a right and a wrong in language. Language is always right because there’s always a systematicity. There’s a pattern to it.” -Walt Wolfman

 

Image result for living single gif
Living Single

 

My thoughts exactly Wolfman.

Moving on to the exciting and difficult part of my thesis this week was a process, but a good one. Last week’s class Dr. Zamora was helping me with some ideas as to how I am going to structure my thesis. Short stories? Documentation? Visuals? Images or videos? Audio? Also, what relationship does research have with this thesis? Creative and analytical? This was a lot to tackle over a week, but then I had an idea when Dr. Zamora said the word “collage”. I sketched this image when she said it (and yes I spelled collage wrong but I was rushing so no judging! Please and thank you).

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That picture turned into this:

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Here’s my rough idea: Growing up, I knew black was beautiful, but the rest of the world didn’t think so. “You’re not black enough to be a black queen.” “You talk funny.” With this image, I want to show that black is beyond beautiful. It’s rich. It’s royalty. And in each letter of the word “BLACK,” you will see these individual boxes. Within those boxes I want a person to be able to click on them and be able to unravel all of these pieces of research I have been collected. Images, videos, audio, text, etc. I want it to be a multimodal collection that formulates my thesis.

Research would have to play a big part in this thesis because a lot of my thoughts, opinions, and feelings about this topic came from what I read and studied. Since this is a heavy and controversial topic, I will need as much academic and credible support as possible. The last task I had to do was come up with a few chapter ideas:

  1. History: What is AAVE? Where did it come from? The importance of it and learning it’s origins?
  2. Education: Mainstream/Standard English. Oakland CA School Board, Ann Arbor, and the use of AAVE in the classroom.
  3. Community: Representation, oppression, embrace, culture, beyond words-gestures, hand motions. (The gestures and hand motions are a small part to this chapter).
  4. Power: Oppression, empowerment, society, racism (covert, institutional, overt, systematic), discrimination, “the upper hand.”
  5. Identity: Family, voice, self, reclaiming, and anecdotes.
  6. Conclusion (This is a maybe): Where do we go from here? What to do next?

That’s all for now!😊

Here is the link to my Early Proposal Draft (3). The parts that I changed and added some text are highlighted in yellow.

 

Basically Done!

This is another short & sweet post because I’ve been in-and-out of being sick and also so busy with about a thousand other things. Sorry!

Hey~

So…. I’m basically done with my thesis??? I mean, I’ve been done with it for a while but now I’m actually done?

At the very least, I’ve completed the content analysis section of my work. The last few sections will definitely need some proofreading and polishing but the content is good. The ideas are down and my main points are made. I feel… accomplished. I know I have some rough edges to clean up and a lot more work to be done in regard to the installation part of my thesis but, right now, I’m happy with what I’ve gotten done. It took longer than I thought it would and, technically, it’s still not done done but it’s on its way. I wrote a graduate thesis and it didn’t kill me.

success

From here, I need to focus on completing the installation part of my thesis and creating a WordPress site to house the content analysis and Elit aspects of my work. Creating the site will, realistically, only take a few hours. As for the installation part of my thesis, I have a lot of work to do. This Thursday night, hopefully I can get the bulk of the piece assembled. I foresee that I will be coming in on many weekends between now and Research Days in order to complete this piece. I’m hoping for it to be presentable enough for Research Days at the very least. Additionally, I want to make a flyer to advertise my presentation and start a hashtag for it. (Is #takemeseriously too long?) On WordPress, I believe you can display a specific tag from Instagram so that would work for my purposes.

Also, I have to plan how I’m going to document this installation. It helps that the Netnarr class is going to be part of my presentation now. Any contributions they make will be very helpful to me, especially those who video parts of the installation and their experience of it. With their permission, I can provide those video clips on my site which will hopefully allow others to experience the work.

I still have plenty of work to keep me busy but I do feel like I’m finally on the homestretch. I just need to power through these last few weeks and then I can take a much-deserved nap. Wish me lots of luck!

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~Till next time~