Sunday, October 02, 2005

There are some days, nay, some moments when I wonder: "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING HERE AND WHY AM I DOING IT?" I guess it comes with the realization that I am not living in the United States anymore. I mean the indications of not living in the US are all here but sometimes it just does not register with me. So, in the depths of the night, I wake up or, even, in moments of clarity, ask myself the question above stated.

I am studying early Ireland and a mythological guy who was lawyer in their literature. First, no one in their right mind would write about such an insignificant person. Plato? Sure. Caesar Augustus? Sure thing. Fí­thal? WHO?!? A lawyer?! Who would want to study a lawyer? Are those not the people who twist words for a living and make working people's lives hell? Second, this requires knowledge of a language that some people have described as "hideous", "terrifying", "hellacious". Third, to learn this language, you are forced to use grammars, written by Nazis (I am NOT kidding; the Grammar of Old Irish was written by a Nazi), that are made for experts in the field rather than people just starting to learn with dictionaries made by people who never cared for the human race, let alone you.

All you get out of this is the vague feeling that you have done something no one else has ever attempted but, at the same time, that definite feeling that when you tell someone what you have done they will stare at you and then ask you again what you have done. In my case, you will also get a strange stream of verbiage about what they "know" about the "Celts". This, I think, is a unique form of hell for getting a PhD in Celtic Studies. You, then, have two choices (guess which one is the wrong one and the one I always choose): nodding and saying "that's nice" or saying "No that's wrong and here is why". In any case, when someone in a job interview has to ask you again what you did to get your PhD, it is not going to be great day.

All of this is probably very funny/sad (the two are often the same). I still have not answered the question that I screamed out at the top of my lungs at the beginning of this post. At this point, I have no answer. I am sure someone can enlighten me as to the reasons that I am here. I would really like to know.

posted by Chris  #10:13 PM | 0 comments |