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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Granieri

It's April, Which Means I'm a Dry Husk

I am arguing with a faculty member in my head, and even with me in the God seat, steering the exchange, the argument is not going well, because even my imagination understands that no matter what I do, said faculty remember will refuse to be satisfied.

I left academia in 1995 because I abhorred the politics, the very particular brand of politics and obfuscation-through-jargon (Pedagogy! Praxis! Alignment! Ecosystem) that fueled most interaction. It felt needless and dangerous, and I see what academia has taken from people---from their self-worth, their savings, their security. No, thank you. I loathed knowing I couldn't study what I wanted (conservation) because, as a topic, it was deemed unsellable.

But then, at age 38, I slipped back into academia via the dean's office, and while my experience is surely not what it would have been had I remained an art historian, the hierarchy that exists, the preening egos and the sense of entitlement, well, that all checks out.

I am tired. I want kindness. I want softness. I am sick of being cast off as the Other, as less than, being disparaged as the person who never does what a faculty member desires. It is depleting and dispiriting.

I'm finding it difficult to come down from the day, to slide from all of this mental energy to a state of relaxation. My nervous system is jangled. All I can say is that at least I notice this now; I'm not seized by the emotion; I'm seized and curious.


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