A couple years ago, I read a rather interesting article that suggested that summer vacation is a dated concept, that it only exists in the first place due to some dated ideas about medical limitations or something like that. So I pose a serious question: What is summer actually good for? It’s a nice breather, I suppose, but so long that by the time school resumes, you’ve usually forgotten half of what you learned. I often complain that young people spend too much time in school these days and not enough time out in the world actually doing stuff. (It took a lot of convincing to get me to pursue another degree after getting my B.A. in English.) Including residency, doctors train until they’re thirty or so, then spend the next thirty, maybe forty years doing what they’ve between the first third and first half of their lives studying for. I understand that if somebody is going to cut you up and give you a new heart, you want them to know what they’re doing, but I can’t help but feel that we could shave a few years off of that time if we really tried. European doctors train for far less time than do American ones, yet they are, to my knowledge, about as good. So what gives? I’m sick of people treating education as if it’s only useful if it’s training you for your profession, yet I can’t help but thing that something is wrong with spending so much time dicking around before, you know, actually getting productive.
To be fair, “productive” is something of a loaded term. If I spend all day blogging and watching stuff on Netflix, I might consider that productive, whereas another might see that as merely loafing. I decided not to pursue a Ph.D. in literature even though some told me I might make a good professor because I didn’t want to spend my entire life on a college campus. Sure, I could stay in school until I’m 35, then move to a small town in the middle of nowhere and make $35K a year telling everyone I’m smarter than they are, but that lacks a certain something. Mainly, I think most people want to avoid feeling railroaded. Pleasant surprises are nice when they happen, although the surprises that happen to me tend to be mostly shitty.
Because I don’t feel that I have said enough about my Doctor Who obsession lately, I feel that I should expound on it thus: I like Doctor Who enough that I seek out stuff that my favorite Doctors were in just to see more of them. I was so let down that Eccleston stuck around for only one season (apparently, he didn’t get along with some people, see Personal Quotes) that I watched Cracker (a detective series in which he was a supporting player), Let Him Have It (a politically charged drama that was his breakthrough film), and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (which was not good, but it was about as good as you could expect a film with that source material to be). I’ve had Heroes in my Netflix queue for quite some time (he guest starred in season one), and since he has said that he prefers stage acting to film acting (again, see Personal Quotes), I hope someday to make it London’s West End to catch him live (apparently, he doesn’t do Broadway). As for Patrick Troughton–who, like many English actors, had countless TV and film appearances, but rarely anything in a major Hollywood production–I’ve begun to track down some of his guest starring roles on TV and watched the original version of The Omen a summer or two ago, in which he played the priest who warns Gregory Peck that his son is the Antichrist. A bit off-topic, but I liked Patrick McGoohan so much as the Prisoner that I’ve sought out his guest spots on Columbo. He was a notoriously reclusive actor, having apparently turned down both Dumbledore and Gandalf (although that could have just been for health reasons). Everything that I learn about branches outward into about a million other topics–which is nice, as it reminds me that knowledge is infinite, but is kind of daunting at the same time. I have other shit to do, after all.
Oh, and I didn’t mention that Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor, played Radagast in The Hobbit? Well, that almost makes up for the ridiculously bloated running time. Maybe. I suppose.
I think the problem with being on your own is that you keep looking for ways to break up the monotony. It’s not that hard once you get used to it, but have you ever realized just how shortened our attention spans have become? I know people who open up a dozen windows every time they use their computer just because they like having all this information at their fingertips. That seems to me like kind of a depressing way to live. Social media thrives because people can’t do work without looking for something extra, something just a little bit more to give them a boost. It’s like the real world just isn’t real enough, or something like that, as I’m through with most of my deep thoughts for the day. I have a lot of work to do. And I’m not sure if blogging away like this really counts as work.
That said, sometimes I do wish the work felt a little bit more like blogging.