Friday, July 3, 2009

Cannibalism and other things.

I'm in a really great lit class right now, Cannibalism, Consumerism, and the Cultures of Cruelty. I've always been a bad lit geek, because I've never been terribly interested in much that was written more than 100 years ago or so. This class is making me realize how interesting the whole "cultural studies" approach can be, and how reading in that way is just a whole different thing than the way I sit down and read a contemporary story just for pleasure. Maybe I am a late bloomer and the notion that there are multiple ways to read things should have just been obvious. Or maybe most people who enjoy 18th century lit really do just sit down and enjoy it the way I enjoy a contemporary story, in which case we are back to me being a bad lit geek. Maybe this is why lit is not my major.

I feel old sometimes at school. I've always been sort of backwards. I used to feel insecure about being young, because I was married with a baby by 22, and my "peers" all seemed so much older. Now I'm a 28-year-old undergrad and I always feel old. Not old as in, old, but grown-up, or supposedly grown-up. My 17-year-old neighbor asked me the other day if I had ever seen facebook. I was already on the internet back when I was changing her diapers, but that probably doesn't make me sound any younger.

The other day in my lit class, I was talking to a girl and a boy about writing. The girl asked what genre I write, and I said "literary." And the boy said "no, she means like sci-fi, fantasy..." And I said "right. I know what genre means. Realism, with some magical realism thrown in." Then we talked about other things. It was an odd question and I think they thought I was stupid. I fear I make that impression a lot.

I have to go do my homework now.


  1. That's so adorable, the child trying to explain genre to a writer like you. Kids, these days.

  2. You know, I should say that mostly I'm quite pleased with my fellow college students, and there is a fair amount of age-diversity there, and it's not nearly as bad as I feared it would be when I was preparing to return to school. But yeah, some people make me feel odd. Or old. Or both.