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About that PhD.

I worked damn phuking hard for it. A lot of blood, sweat, and oceans of tears went into it.

It took me 10 years to finish--in part bc I became a single mom in the midst of it & I had to slow things down bc she needed more time w/me.

But also bc I am ADHD...
Everything took me 10x as long as anyone else. I could not understand how my cohorts had time to go out for beers & movies & parties while I slaved away reading books, marking them, copying important sections, printing them out, then marking those, then re-reading.
My salvation was that I had acquired top notch writing skills...which I developed because for my entire childhood and half my adulthood I lost confidence whenever I had to speak, & I'd ramble incoherently. Writing was the only way I could communicate. So I compensated.
I acquired my writing skills by teaching myself--reading mounds and mounds of great writers & paying attention to how they put their writing together in ways both sensible & artful. I looked up words I didn't know when that meant opening another book, not just a web page.
I read tons of books I didn't have to read for school. I wrote journal entries working out ideas, taking down quotes I really liked, words to look up.

I didn't go to parties. I hardly went out at all. Bc for me a good book was more fun & the life of the mind more enticing.
Another reason it took me so long--the BIGGEST reason--is that in the middle of my dissertation, while holding down a very stressful & time consuming FT teaching job, I had to keep myself from having a total nervous breakdown as PTSD reared its ugly head...
...in the shape of terrifying, ugly dreams. Dreams of being sexually abused as a child.

Somehow in spite of all that pressure I finished my dissertation...but lost my teaching job &became seriously disabled by chronic pain & fatigue from getting at best 30 hrs of sleep PER WEEK.
I was never able to work full time again. I was lucky to be successful with part time work but only after a year off on disability.

That nearly killed me. I contemplated suicide more than once. The worst was when I planned to take all my many medications &slip into a river...
...but I was saved by the miraculous sight of 3 falling stars 1 after the other. That moment of awe stopped the tapes playing endless ugly commentary about myself in my head.
So don't ever call me arrogant bc you see that PhD & imagine it was easy for me & believing I think that degree makes me superior to others.

It doesn't make me superior. It just makes me more knowledgable about certain subjects than others. Like, for instance...COMMUNICATION,
...which was my primary subject. Along w/media history, comm history, comm theory, feminist theory, & sociological theories of agency, all of which come in very handy in analyzing our current conditions & trying to figure a way out.
My age [71] & a lifetime of applying what I learn [still learn; I still read & write constantly] to real life social/political probs also make me a bit of an expert in certain ways. I didn't have to read about the 60s & 70s. I lived them.
Yes, my expertise is "biased"--as is all expertise. In order to interpret one's world one must have a framework for making sense of what one sees. Otherwise it's just a blooming buzzing confusion of facts & fantasies.
You have to have theories to make sense of that confusion, even if you don't know you are in fact USING a theory that you've just taken for granted as a description of how things "really" are.
People who don't think they can benefit fm all I bring to the table, fm both personal experience & education [to which I rarely refer unless someone else brings it up] shouldn't follow me. If you think I'm arrogant about my education, don't follow me.
I climbed mountains for it. And because I became ill in the midst of completing it, I never even benefited financially from it.

What I received from it is all that I learned. I'll be damned if I'm not going to use the only payoff I got from all that hard work.
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