I got several books about liberation theology at the library today. I am contemplating not watching TV for the summer, because I find that (1) I waste a ton of time watching Mariska Hargitay solve the same crimes over and over again, (2) I am not really stimulated by much on television except South Park, The Simpsons, or Lil’ Bush anyway, (3) I need to read more because I realize that is the only way to write better and to increase my vocabulary, and (4) I need to find other things to do, so that when gas prices exceed minimum wage, I will still have ways to entertain myself! Basically, I just want to try to revert back to childhood this summer. I used to spend the whole summer reading, gardening, playing, and dreaming. I don’t do so much dreaming anymore. I need to. For my soul. My soul hurts, and it needs to heal slowly and softly like raindrops fill a puddle.
I was glad to know that one of my professors has the same sorts of existential dilemmas that I have about being an academic. Namely, the dilemma is looking around and seeing all sorts of people doing amazing things for the world, and turning that same gaze back on myself and realizing that in the grand scheme of things, most of what I do doesn’t change the world and doesn’t mean much. I can write until I am blue in the face, but my words don’t write social wrongs. I can pull myself out of that introspective cluster-fuck by realizing that without former scholars, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and that my ability to teach well is, in and of itself, a gift that I am obliged to share with others. My role as a teacher-scholar is to help other people learn so that they can, in turn, impact the world in ways that I am not. I still tend to get a bit myopic about perceivably wasting my life writing and reading when I could be out “doing” something. I just have to keep reminding myself: I am but one cog in the wheel. From each according to her ability, to each according to his need.