it keeps happening.
i’ll be walking to or from class, and memories just wash over me. it seems a lot like wandering around, invisible, in the midst of the past. passing a corner and remembering one time i rode my bike past that corner and saw an old acquaintance from high school, shouting a thing we always shouted at each other, and then rolling by.
parking on Cramer again, as i do every wednesday, looking at a house i’ve only been in a couple times, remembering every time i stared at that house 15 years ago.
i wonder if this is what dementia feels like. just awash in memories, indistinguishable from the physical world.
i wouldn’t call it an epiphany, as such, but i definitely came to understand something significant about the way i have always read historical texts that may help me in the weeks to come.
i think there’s something that divorces one from the context in which a particular thing was written, at least when it comes to reading for class and discussion.
i realize that i have always approached texts and readings as dry and straightforward, and i have tended to forget that they were written by people with personalities and agendas, who were trying to make their points as eloquently as they could to affect change, in some cases, or at least to register opinion.
in last week’s case, for instance, there were readings by the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, Karl Marx, and Heinrich Von Treitschke, and it was not until i got to class and discussion began that i understood what the three of them were really getting at. i’m glad that i figured it out, at any rate, but it’s kind of odd to realize you’ve read for an hour and didn’t really click with the material.
i understand now that i have to change the way i’m studying. at least i didn’t figure this out in week 12.
i have finally become useful.
i am now the guy who can pronounce the word “iconography” in my history of latin american cities class. i have now been called on 3 times to say it while the prof is stumbling to get it out of his mouth.
IT FEELS GOOD.
that’s in stark contrast to the thing that is also happening where every word out of my mouth during class, whether they are answers to questions or questions i am asking, sound like a baffling, awkward mush to my ears.
i know it’s my neuroses fucking with me. the ones that are imagining that the needle is getting scratched off the record with every utterance. where everything seems too loud, and every word trails off without conviction.
it can’t possibly be the case, of course. i recall thinking that the older students who always had something to say were kind of irritating when i was doing this before, but i’ll be damned if i’m not going to get as much out of this whole thing as i can.
if you’re going to do a thing, do the shit out of it.