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All the Students' Tears

I woke up this morning to all of the student's tears pouring down across the campus after last night's strange lecture somehow about the history of modernism, postmodernism, psychoanalysis, ideology, and artist burnout. I would like to ask others if anyone understands anything from that. I would be surprised. It was an odd way to end the evening.

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Yesterday afternoon, we had a research methodologies meeting where people brainstormed together what was our schick when it comes to research. And Dont (yes that's his name) was talking about how when we find something that blatantly contradicts, we tend to just throw it out, like "Ah, ha! I caught you!" and throw out the entire source. Or we then seek out to prove or disprove the statements. But what we should do is let those contradictions sit with us and they "become the borders around a path that needs exploring." Contradiction points to an area that needs further understanding.

What Dont might not realize, is that I just read a little bit about this. Stemming from Socratic Logic and how a premise is either true or not true. Everything is right or wrong, binary. The reaction to contradiction he described is distinctly western. And basically what he was advising is that we become more Asian. In some eastern cultures, contradiction is not a problem that needs to be solved, they view it as a sign that they both could right and wrong, that each view is incomplete, and that the true answer is probably somewhere in between. Which reminds me of Curtis' joke, could be A, could be B, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

We also talked about how when we don't understand something we often throw the book away with repulsion—I don't get it!—and never want to look at it again. But what we need to realize is that understanding is not like an immediate revelation, it's a slow emerging one crumb at a time.

Over lunch, Dont announced to the cafeteria, "Hey everyone, I just ate the gnat!" and then the whole cafeteria cheered. We are all annoyed by the little gnats that sometimes fly around our face or food when we eat. This is a very strange place. But a full blown fly sat on my sandwich, so I didn't finish it. Then the fly sat on my salad, so I didn't finish that, then the fly sat on the rim of my soup bowl, so I didn't finish that either. It was very disappointing, and left me not exactly full from that meal.

I heard from a student that in their research discussion group they had a visitation from "Anna" the resident ghost on campus. Simultaneously, two people felt dizzy, two people felt nauseous and had to run to the bathroom, and one person started crying. One person came back from the bathroom feeling okay, the other had to stay there for a while. Everyone responded nonchalantly, "Oh that's just Anna again." Supposedly, she is a benevolent but mischievous spirit who moves objects and slams doors and other various activities to keep us on our toes. The café in the main building is even named after her.

I'm trying to decide if I should participate in the "open mic" on Tuesday night by reading a Billy Collins poem. I probably won't do it, but it was a fleeting thought.