The truth? I’m still not sure I am a geographer.
Over the last year I’ve become more comfortable claiming to be one, or at least marginally less fearful of being exposed as a fraud. But at parties my go-to response to the dreaded question of “what do you do?” is: “oh, I’m a writer.” If the conversation survives this admission, and I happen to mention that I’m doing a PhD, and I happen to mention that the PhD is in cultural geography, I might make an attempt at explaining how these things are linked. I might say, “I write about geography.” This is not really an explanation, but if you say it confidently enough, it almost sounds like one.
“Writer” was not always – is not always – a comfortable identity either, though. It took me a long time to learn how to say it without cringing, to stop…
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Wish I could do that!
“Don’t imagine you’ll have it forever. Use it while you’ve got it because it’ll go; it’s sliding away like water down a plug hole.”
So said Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing of creativity. The author of The Golden Notebook, who passed away recently at the age of 94, said this five years ago when describing a creative slump. But as Tara Bahrampour notes in The Washington Post, in many ways creative thinking can stay with you well into your final years, and perhaps even be stronger and more dynamic.
I put forward as Exhibit One the estimable Dr. Francine Toder, author of The Vintage Years: Finding Your Inner Artist (Writer, Musician, Visual Artist) after Sixty. In her guest post for The Artist’s Road in May, she profiles creatives who started a new creative passion later in life. Francine herself took up the cello at age 70.
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Moments like that?
Our World: Market Rebounds after Assurances from Fed Chair
Mathematically Literate World: Market Rebounds without Clear Causal Explanation
Our World: Firm’s Meteoric Rise Explained by Daring Strategy, Bold Leadership
Mathematically Literate World: Firm’s Meteoric Rise Explained by Good Luck, Selection Bias
Our World: Gas Prices Hit Record High (Unadjusted for Inflation)
Mathematically Literate World: Gas Prices Hit Record High (In a Vacuous, Meaningless Sense)
Our World: Psychologists Tout Surprising New Findings
Mathematically Literate World: Psychologists Promise to Replicate Surprising New Findings Before Touting Them
Our World: After Switch in Standardized Tests, Scores Drop
Mathematically Literate World: After Switch in Standardized Tests, Scores No Longer Directly Comparable
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That is hilarious, made my day. Thank You!
Finals? Hahahahaha! Please. I’ve still got an entire week left. Do you have any idea what I can accomplish in that short amount of time? Seriously, there’s nothing to worry about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna’ go paint my nails like little zebras.
Okay, it’s not like I’m mad about finals or anything, but seriously? A comprehensive test? How unfair is that?! And it’s worth, like, 96 percent of my grade. I’m too mad to study. School is so stupid. No, everything is stupid. LET’S START A REVOLUTION!
I’m just gonna’ go over to Tiffany’s for a quick study session. I always do my best work in groups. Oh, and Jennifer, Michael and Josh will be there too, but we’re definitely gonna’ get stuff done. Definitely…
Okayokayokay. Two hours left until the test. I have four Redbulls in the fridge…
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Aaaah, the past was great
There is no easier way to frighten the pants off of anyone over thirty than by telling them anecdotes that make it abundantly clear that they are aging: ‘The Tale Of the Little Girl Who Had No Idea What A VHS Tape Was’, ‘I Handed A Child A Real Photograph And It Tried To Zoom In Using Its Fingers (A True Story)’, ‘What Is The Relation Between A Cassette Tape And A Pencil: A Horror Story In Two Acts’. Thirty-somethings now stand around at parties whispering about the intern at work who only remembers floppy disks because of the ‘save’ icon, and whose childhood memories of ‘Batman’ are of Christian Bale, not Adam West (and this reference will date itself once Ben Affleck takes over the franchise, I’m sure). At those times the generation gap seems more like a chasm, impossible to bridge.
Just as a gramophone or telephone switchboard has…
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Here at Interesting Literature we’re celebrating our one-year anniversary this weekend. With that in mind, we wanted to offer the twelve most interesting facts that we’ve uncovered over the last year – one for each month we’ve been up and running – and as a present for all of you who read our posts and interact with what we write. (Consider what follows an early Christmas present!) So, here goes:
1. In 1910, Virginia Woolf and her friends dressed up in costumes and donned fake beards in order to convince the Royal Navy they were a group of Abyssinian princes. And thus they pulled off what became known in newspapers as the ‘Dreadnought Hoax’, earning a 40-minute guided tour of the ship. Several members of the Bloomsbury Group were involved, but Woolf was the most famous among them. More information can be found in this Guardian article.
2. None of…
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You have to love to live, and live to love 🙂
Waiting crazes when
cancer’s in lymph’s slow slide like
fish about to spawn.
LISTEN–I thought for
words; instead, for music in
voices, steps, breath–now.
Pinch me, I’m happy!
Chemo’s eclipsing our lives
yet sky’s blue, birds sing.
Outside eight bluebirds:
two too young for blue learning
from blues bright as sun.
Your soft snore shores my
sleep and my wake, reassures
me we’re here, alive.