I was never dumb enough to think that I would become good friends with all of the many dozens of people in my program over the course of twelve months. Truth be told, I never even learned all of their names. Even so, after attending my graduation ceremony not too long ago, the only thing that I could think was, “That’s it?” My diploma will be mailed to me, I returned my cap and gown and got a coffee mug as a farewell gift, shook hands with a few people, and will probably keep in touch with a few of them. I wish I had gotten the chance to get to know some of them better. After all of the stress and aggravation that I have endured over the past twelve months, I was a little disappointed to discover that while plenty of people were holding parties (some of which I considered attending but was too tired to go to), there wasn’t one all-out extravaganza that will go on for a week and everyone I know will attend. That might bring closure. But closure, I suppose, is something of a loaded word. At least the speeches were good, generally avoiding the cliches about how we’ve grown so much together and it seems like just yesterday blah blah blah. All I know is that I still feel kind of undefined. And that’s a problem.
The thing about the internet is that it’s not quite as cutting edge as it seems. When you get right down to it, what is it good for? It’s a means of disseminating information, and admittedly, it has come in handy for many things, from spreading democracy (see: Arab Spring) to watching movies. But there are very few things that I use the internet for that I couldn’t accomplish through some other means. In that respect, it is slightly different from a car or a cell phone. I don’t own a car, but when I lived in California and my parents let me use one of theirs, it opened up a whole new world to me. When I got my first cell phone, it didn’t take me long to realize how useful it was that I could now get in touch with just about anyone, anywhere, at any time, provided that I had their number. When we first got the internet on our family computer, not much actually changed. (To be fair, I was more interested in playing outside at the time, and the internet was still in its infancy. Google didn’t exist yet.) Even so, I can’t escape the feeling that the internet makes a lot of things easier, but very little possible that once was impossible. The dirty little secret of my need for it is that it’s not really a need at all. Oh, I could function without a cell phone as well. But it would be much, much harder.
I didn’t really expect taking a break from blogging to change much. And it hasn’t. I just got frustrated by my suspicion that people were reading this blog for the wrong reasons. What are the right reasons? Well, let’s just say that I don’t want one or two posts to speak for my entire body of work. Actually, that’s not true. If you’re going to let a couple of posts speak for the entire site, start with the “Get to Know Me” sidebar. Those are some of my favorites, anyway.
My family was in town for graduation. I’m not going to bash them here too much, partially because at least one or two of my family members are going to read this, and also because I have encountered worse people in my lifetime. That said, it was pretty difficult to adjust. I’d grown used to doing whatever I wanted over the previous few weeks, and now I was forced to basically tag along with a bunch of tourists as they did shit that I might have gotten around to sooner or later but now had to spend all day doing just because I was related to them. (Rambling sentence? Who cares?) There are some things about the city that you can’t learn from a guidebook. And my father needs to learn that the best way to help somebody stand on their own two feet is not to offer them “help” every goddamn day. If I want money, I’ll ask for it.
I went to the Museum of Natural History and saw a neat exhibit. Google challenged students from all 50 states to work the company logo into a drawing of what each student imagined as their best day ever. The winner was the girl who depicted the day her dad came home from war.
There is a debate in Doctor Who fandom over whether a woman or person of color should be cast as the Doctor. I am not opposed to this, but I am resistant. This isn’t about equality. I believe women and minorities deserve equal representation in our media. But even though the Doctor is a character whose entire persona is centered around reinventing himself with a new face and personality every few years, there are some things about his character that never change. Even at its most “modern”, there is something fundamentally old-fashioned about the whole thing. The Doctor usually selects young female companions from the present-day U.K., and until the TV movie and the new series decided otherwise, their relationship was always strictly platonic. Personally, I preferred it when the Doctor was more of a condescending but protective mentor than a distant lover. It just had more mystery, and seriously, why does everything these days have to be a love story? I liked the Cloud Atlas movie, but I really can’t say watching Tom Hanks and Halle Berry fall in love across the centuries was my favorite thing about it. It didn’t bug me, though. I’m just saying that while some things change, others never do. We have to figure out which one is which and, um, bridge the gap between the two.
Hey, remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? They were fun, but they kind of defeated the purpose of storytelling. The point of a story is that the author has complete control, not the audience. For that reason, they never had a shot at being great literature. But as the adults say, anything that introduces kids to the magic of reading is doing a good thing. I’m going to go watch TV now. It’s what I have the time for.