Unfortunately, my great desire to write has been squashed by the necessity to complete academic assessment. At the moment I am working on a reflexive portfolio for an anthropology subject entitled ‘Ethnoecology: Knowledge, Resource and Rights‘.
The task seems easy enough – complete five reflections, three hundred words apiece, on readings from right across the semester. The problem does not lie in the assessment as such, but in the readings we have been asked to critique. My biggest problem thus far? I can’t understand a word they are saying.
It’s not that I”m not a smart student. I’ve received great grades throughout my degree. I’ve fine-tuned my essay writing skills considerably, now able not only to waffle, but to waffle intelligently. I’ve perfected the art of skim reading articles and identifying the most salient arguments to eloquently regurgitate in tutorials. Heck, I even know what the word ‘salient’ means and frequently sprinkle it through my conversations.
But this anthropology subject. Ouch. It has certainly thrown me a curveball.
For example, tonight’s readings are about the concept of ‘place’. I get it, kind of. The first article was not exactly short. I personally feel I have displayed incredible perserverance in not only completing its pages, but now courageously moving onto the second piece. And then I read sentences such as this:
“I propose that mythopoeic feelings of ‘everlastingness’ exist not in opposition to bodily experience but as enteroceptions of a core continuity of being enveloped within a mobile sense of self.”
My brain is literally hurting and I wonder why it is that every anthropologist feels the need to alienate their life’s work from the greater public by communicating it in a language that is, quite frankly, completely indecipherable.
I know census date has probably already passed, but I am seriously considering dropping this subject and taking up something a little easier to understand. Like PHYS6041 Advanced Quantum Theory or something.
Ah, and to think I’m planning more study.