Hi everybody! Hilary suggested that I write an introductory blog post about myself, so that’s what this is I guess! My name is Sarah, and I am the new Program Coordinator for MAPH. For immediate identification purposes, I am the really short one lurking at the desk in the MAPH office. You may also encounter me as Confused Wanderer of the Classics Building or Awkward Interjector into Office Conversations.
I graduated from MAPH in 2011, so believe me–I am more than familiar with all the feelings you may or may not be feeling during these first few weeks and beyond. My thesis was called “Being Ugly in Flannery O’Connor,” and that’s pretty much what it was about (I think. Even at the time it was pretty difficult to know entirely what was going on in that paper). Under the guidance of Mark Miller, I applied ideas from affect theory, disability theory and psychoanalysis in my attempt to make sense of the bizarre affective spaces in the short story “Good Country People.”
I graduated with two thumbs up from Dr. Miller, so I guess I technically succeeded the thesis trial, but at the end of thirty-some pages I honestly felt more confused about my thesis than ever. However, I had learned to accept and even embrace that state of perpetual confusion.
So my advice to you, as a former student, is to not freak out too much about feeling confused. Especially not with Hegel; I’m pretty sure not even HEGEL understood Hegel (in fact, if anyone tells you they “get” Hegel then you have my permission to tell them they’re lying, Sarah said so, and all protests can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org). So just take a deep breath and several steps back, try to parse out something that you already think you understand, and be amazed as even that basic knowledge disintegrates, along with any sense of reason, self or confidence. Just kidding! You’re doing great.
Seriously though, MAPH was one of the best and most defining years of my life thus far, and even though I was approximately 90% sure I was about to die through most of it, I made it out a better, smarter, stronger person. And I am so looking forward to journeying through this new year while you make a similar transformation.
So please don’t be shy–come bug me at any time. I will be occupying the space behind the glass in the MAPH office from 9-5 every weekday. I’ve been armed with comfy chairs, a limitless supply of tea (no really–they gave me a company credit card! FOOLS) and a formidable knowledge of baby animal Youtube videos. There Will Be Hedgehogs, etc. Come and chat, gush, complain, flail wordlessly–I’m all ears. Well, all eyes I guess for the last one.
That’s it! I will leave you with this powerful video by my favorite inspirational speaker. Please come say hi!