Wednesday, August 20, 2008

all so new and shiny

Today is day one of the department orientation for the incoming grad students. A few of us are really stoked about it, which is good because we are responsible for talking about "graduate school survival and success"—as the panel is so named. We (me, Tor, Laur, and Critter) got together yesterday to "plan" what we were going to say for an hour.

Each of us have our talking points, each of which are about dispelling myths. Our points take approximately very few minutes out of our allotted hour, at which time the panel will—as Tor put it—become a hot mess. But in a good way!

Hopefully we will show that it doesn't matter which program you're in (the panel is made up of an MA student in lit (early modern), an MA student in r/c (and digital media stuff), a PhD student in lit (19th c american and textual studies), and a PhD student in r/c (working with video games in all sorts of ways))—if you have something to contribute or something to ask or something to say that (god forbid) contradicts something else, just do it. No one will hate you or think you're stupid or brand you forever as an imbecile. Well, none of us will.

One of the major points we want new students to understand is that we do not support the rift between r/c and literature folks and that little boxes, although handy when introducing yourself quickly to someone, are ultimately limiting. We're not turning out a billion PhDs each year here, but we hope the ones that do go out in the world tend toward the sunshine and puppies/let's all work together side of things as opposed to the "my field is better than your field" pissing contests that are all too common.

Anyway, today should be fun.