This one super heinous bitch from the "Creative Writing" dept. -- okay fine, the bitch who was the only person I could find last semester to sign on as my second reader -- just wrote me the coldest email! It's true she signed the form while making it completely clear that she didn't want to do it and wasn't willing to give me any actual help or meet with me once in the semester while I was writing the thesis and doing the translations....Okay, that's disappointing, but fine...
But UGH! she now says that she didn't understand that she was supposed to come to my thesis-defending thingie. Hello... one hour of her time is all I ask. I offered to accomodate her schedule in any way! And give her a copy of my proposal-to-be-defended in advance. But no! She just sent me the snippiest email. They don't DO that in HER department. She thought all she had to do is "sign off" on my thesis. The bitch, I'm sure she would not even have cracked the spine.
So mean and cold! And so unprofessional! Way to make me feel like my degree has any meaning, validity, professional value! I'll just wipe my ass on the pages - that's what they do in HER department. Then they don't even have to read it - they can sign off on it just from the smell.
I don't even care how overworked she is at this point. You'd think someone doing work similar to yours, fairly rare work, cool feminist work, dedicated work... ACTUAL work... would make her want to be a part of it? (And need I mention that the Crappiest Class in the Universe - the worst class I've not walked out of, ever - is "taught" by her husband? )
How is my work supposed to be improved by membership in academia or whatever, in being in a public sphere or in the fucking discourse if nobody will even discourse with me? Fuck a duck, man! It sure makes me appreciate the friendliness, the hard work, of the profs in my own department. They rock my world forever! They have what it takes! They walk the walk! They make me feel like they see my flaws and virtues; they kick the ass of my flaws and pat me on the head for the virtues - they suggest extra reading - they read and grade my papers with many useful comments! They must be so incredibly overworked... I hope they don't burn out. Nothing could be nice enough for me to do to pay them back for their help... I have sort of said that to them a couple of times, diffidently trying to express it without looking like I'm asskissing. And they just go, "Well that's our JOB" and look sort of noble about it. I love them both!!!
Rook points out two nice things: one that my fabulous geniuslike skills will still produce a good work even without the input I am longing for to make it better and fantastic and beyond fantastic. And that also, this prof is such a damned stupid bitch that I should not at all want her anywhere near my work.
Once again I resolve firmly (Like a Roman and a man... no, wait, like a San Franciscan and a wom) to not ever have a giant attitude and always be helpful to enthusiastic driven articulate people who are doing the sort of thing I'm doing when I might be able to help. It's not like anyone's clamoring for my help, of course. But to me a person who really wants to teach will be full of that enthusiasm for criticism, will listen to your vague ideas and leap up from their desk, rummage through file cabinets and bookshelves and know just the perfect thing that will help your ideas take off, who will ask you challenging questions... who are up on what's happening now in the field... It's like a fucking wet dream to have real mentors, even if it's just for a few hours a year! (I think of how I showed up in J.F3lstiner's office with a giant fistful of translations - and he just shrugged, said somethign like, "well what do you expect me to do to help you? you can pay staffnord to audit my class if you want - it is 5000 bucks." In his place I would have at least pointed the person to professional organizations and suggested the names of some magazines that publish that sort of thing. How hard would that have been for J.F. to do? Big Man. Fucker.)
I guess I'm extra mad because it's just the crappiest icing on the cake of massive stone-cold indifference and hostility I've always gotten from EVERYONE in the CW department! hanging around the P0etry center - trying to chat with the people who run it - no one cares, because you're not in that dept. The one person who ever WAS 'friendly' was a creepy guy who immediately shut the door to his office and put his hand on my knee and started talking to me about, I forget, Henry James naked or something. So they don't care if you write poetry every second of the day; you're not in that department. They're fools!
I'm lucky. If I didn't have such nice profs in my dept. I never, ever would have stuck out school this long. It wouldn't have been worth it. I mean if I'm just going to be teaching myself and writing in isolation and sending it out into a void, I might as well save the tuition.
Class tomorrow will be hell: more "discussion" of Duch4mp. I put something up on the class bulletin board this week with the title "Why Duch4mp is Irritating". Then my lesbian-feminist translation of a very modern1smo poem... Oh, THAT'll make me popular. I'm going to make my ideal tr4nslation class syllabus someday...
Also I think I will head down to the women's studies dept and the english dept and throw myself on the mercy of anyone who seems vaguely feminist and poetics-aware. Screw this prof and her refusal to do anything interdepartmental.
well... cooling off slightly... I think of all the cold-call approaches I made to various translator-people, 5 years ago... it took me a lot of calls but finally someone was nice and recommended 4LTA which is a marvellous organization full of all the nice people. Finding out who was rude or just responded very stupidly or unhelpfully was often a clue to who really sucked: for instance M. Aggg0sin and J. F3lstiner were particularly discouraging and assholy, and then later when I saw more of their work I realized it was no coincidence. And think who was nice: John O., and S.K., and F.F., and my old prof from Texas, Naomi L. So just for a moment of sweet satisfaction, take a look at... oh, dear, if I link to it, she might trackback from her stats. Hmm. Take my word for it - it's astonishingly sucky and pretentious!
Now seriously, would you want this person in the room as you explain your sincere attempt at making a cool anthology ? I sure don't!
I'll write an icy polite letter to the chair of the department after I'm not anywhere near them anymore, this fall.
It's just... it's like... it's the ultimate "fuck-you" of the patriarchy, people like her and like F3lstiner who won't even allow a moment of communication - of human contact - without you being in their hierarchical structure... all they care about is the structure and the credentials... that is the ultimate unfeminism... So it pisses me off on every possible level, personal and otherwise... Not in my department! Give me 5000 bucks! I won't give you the time of day! Fuck off! What a sad, sad thing.