Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I've spent the largest portion of today convinced that I am:

a) a social misfit
b) disgustingly weak and unattractive
c) repulsively over-invested in the idea of being attractive
d) appallingly undisciplined
e) a failure as a self-sustaining adult
f) a failure as an academic
g) a sloppy fool
h) somehow not living up to my "initial promise," whatever the hell that was.

Why? Really, I'm not sure.

Almost certainly because I've failed (again) to be at the stage I'd planned in getting this godforsaken degree finalized. Probably because I felt like I was wearing some huge "potential victim" sign just because I'd walked out my front door on my own. (A large group of high-school boys hooted at me at a bus terminal. I ignored them and felt very little alarm; they were pampered kids who were just showing off. What really exhausted me was the gentlemanly, well-meant reassurance of the middle-aged guy who said "You're okay; I'm keeping an eye on you." That and two male bus drivers warning me to be careful. Seriously, I'm always careful. Having well-meaning men constantly telling me to be careful sometimes feels less like a kindness and more like a categorization, a restraint, or even a veiled threat. I'm tired of looking like the sort of person who "needs" this kind of caretaking, though I suspect I couldn't stop looking that way to some folks even after all the Krav Maga training in the world. After all, I have ovaries.) Probably because I'm feeling tired and vaguely unwell most of the time. Probably because of all the work I have to do and because I always feel as though I really ought to be working or, if I actually am working (and I often am) that I really ought to be working on something other than what I'm working on.

But none of this should have added up to a withering feeling of complete inadequacy and perpetual, predestined failure.

Then again, that's depression for ya. Comes without reason or invitation, sits right down in your psychic living room, props its feet up on your coffee table, and sends you to fetch an imported beer.

I really hate that bastard.