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I'm a little numb or stunned or something these days. It's slowly hitting home that I might have to spend most of fall semester 09 and half of spring semester 2010 in Sweden in order to get the academic title I want. My old professor whom I talked to about this in May was too optimistic and wrong, he thought according to the old system, but all main European universities have reformatted themselves recently, according to what they call "The Bologna system" and so, there are lots of us stuck between the two systems and we have to bite the bullet.

I don't like it, it's way more than I bargained for. Two months in Sweden was okay, but this is not. I'll miss the Geek and my family and my life in the US, it really feels like putting my life on hold for 7-8 months, and on top of that I might actually experience problems with regards to where I could live during these months. I have some good friends with whom I can live during fall, but I'm not sure what to do mid January through March next year. We'll see what happens, I'll go to an academic counselor and talk about my options and what can be done to shorten the time in Sweden, if anything.

My best option is still to do all this in Sweden, but had I lived in Sweden I wouldn't do it, since my degree is far beyond good enough to get work there. Here in the states it's gonna help to get an internationally recognized title however, and it's gonna help a lot - even though my degree is already better the the MA's from the library colleges here.

I might miss a lot of things about Sweden, but that doesn't mean that I want to spend months and months in limbo there, without actually living there. And it's gonna cost money, all this really is like putting life on a hold, and in a time where I feel I don't have any time for such pauses.

Summer has been spent with a couple of different jobs and by working on an ecological farm which my family is shareholder in. Weird to work with vegetable patches again, since I swore off ever having a garden again when I was a late teen. (I grew up with a big garden and many fruit trees and berry bushes, belonging to a rickety old house and it all took so much maintenance, it sort of colored my childhood in certain ways.)
Anyways, the ecological veggies have been tasty, although I discovered that the only and first food allergy I've ever had, is to turnips!

I'm trying to drag myself up by my bootstraps a bit and not be so disappointed and morose about how my current situation has turned out, but it's going slow and I fear more setbacks when in Sweden. I'll be taking some work with me there, and I think I can be in the US most of December and I'll visit in mid October (for the Geek's mom's birthday), but bittersweet exile it is.

For the record let it be said that I've deleted several parts of this entry, in which I dwell on the things I've given up on in life, but they are part of the glum stuff that my head is made of currently, and this academic exile kind of represent the last nail in that coffin. I'm not sure it's true that it is, but it feels like it.

The Geek and I are okay, we'll plow through this, we've handled harder things together, but something in me is a bit weary of life plans never coming together in spite of efforts.

On top of all this, I've been reading articles and links about the Pittsburgh women murderer and gym shooter George Sodini (thanks for good linkage [ profile] creactivity), and how he was affected by the Pick Up Artist (PUA) culture. It brings me back to the beginning of last year, when I was debating a lot with masculinists and anti feminists on Swedish debate forums like Passagen. One of the most skilled and outspoken debaters there was a guy calling himself RealMX who claimed that The Game was the most important book in modern times (no irony!), and he held long argumentative rants about why it was so..and yet it became abundantly clear that the guys who were interested in pick up artist games had a few things in common (including this guy). They sensed women as much much different from men, to the point where it almost (and definitively in some cases) created a female contra humanity view on gender polarity. And also, the guys ruled by PUA games were claimed to be "nice guys" wanting to shred their "nicety" which, according to PUA myth was the reason for not getting women. Basically this article about the nice guy syndrome sums up what I thought and think pretty neatly. It still sucks to be right, and to have been right from the very beginning about these tendencies, because the world and the internet is full of masculinist guys in this very moment spewing their anger against anyone daring to criticize the PUA culture and what comes out of it.

Date: 2009-08-12 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wish you could send me in your place.


Date: 2009-08-12 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
not even getting into the 'PUA' can of worms, so you need to make up the difference on your degree because of a change in administrative policy? Ugh. That's really unfortunate, and I think feeling like your life is being put on hold is entirely reasonable--what a mess. It seems like the international community is only making it harder for people, rather than easier, these days.

Date: 2009-08-12 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've been thinking about a line in an Atwood short story: "Everything you wanted, I wanted too" and how giving something up because you are aware that you can't have it is reasonable but doesn't quite remove the resentment you might feel when somebody else gets it.

Which is not to say that I understand something that you deleted; but I might.

I nearly got into a facebook argument with some person of Claw's that I don't even know, because I am PISSED and more importantly FRIGHTENED about what seems to me a new and more complicated (but no less certain wave) of misogyny in the States. TF? I recognize I've got some pre-planted anger, so much that I could blow up at any old thing, including random people on the internet, but: walk into a room and find me 10 women who went to aerobics class last week without a shiver; or who aren't scared to walk to their cars at night; or even try to find me 10 women who haven't been raped. As you say: It sucks to be right.

Date: 2009-08-12 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wish you could go too! (as long as I could get my title)

Re: Ugh

Date: 2009-08-12 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
well, I don't have to go, but some of the work I've done before doesn't seem to count due to changes in administrative policy, and to make it count I may have to do even more. Crazy...

In the end however, it'll hopefully be worth it, hopefully.

Re: Ugh

Date: 2009-08-12 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
frustrating! Fingers crossed it works out for the best.

Date: 2009-08-12 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your exile sounds like it sucks - how horrible!

I read those articles you linked to. I also watched a programme this evening about chrystal meth use in USA and how 85% of the women have suffered physical, sexual or psychological abuse at the hands of men.

I fucking despair at the state of the world. I can't believe women are in this horrible place still.


Date: 2009-08-12 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry things aren't working out as planned. That's always frustrating. But you'll get through it, and then hopefully move on to better things!

I can't even get into PUA culture right now, b/c I think if I get all enraged my body might just collapse on me. But thanks for the link to the article on Nice Guy Syndrome -- I'm totally going to use it in class! I'm interested to see how my students (who, with the exception of one woman, are all male) will respond to it.

Date: 2009-08-12 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
FB is so ill suited for most intelligent debate, so it's probably just as well you didn't waste your significant intelligence on arguing there. I wish the wave of misogyny was just in the states, but unfortunately it's all over the first world sphere. The "complications" seem to partially be that the guys (and gals) who are anti feminist claim that equality is here already and that feminism is an oppressive force. Also that females have innate qualities which are to blame for certain things being unequal, and thus it's really as it should. I simplify, because usually these arguments are dressed up in academic language, but still.

One curiosity is that an overwhelming majority of people having these opinions are anti-left politically. I would very much like to perform some real statistical inquiries, but this is my observation so far. Just like when, on political forums, the guys who speak up saying that accusations of racist behavior against someone is "race-baiting" and that white people also are "oppressed" because they don't always get first place, and that minorities getting special treatment in progressive programs is unfair to the mainstream populace, all these guys are unfailingly some form of libertarians or republicans.

Pattern recognition getting the best of me here, but I can't ignore it anymore, it's so blatant.

Date: 2009-08-12 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hear you, the state of the world is shit, particularly when I think of how it could be.

My exile would have been quite okay, had it just been a month or it is now, I'm worried and frustrated and a bit sad. I hope it's worth it, it'd better be...

Date: 2009-08-12 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
PUA culture and the arguments for it and about women falling for PUAs is debilitating in a very particular way. On surface the arguments can make a certain simplistic sense, until you realize that the people wielding the arguments are the same assholes who spent all their time pondering how to get "women" and by women only counted those looking like cheerleader barbies. They want a particular kind of woman, they hate the men those women (who are a minority among women) date and yet try to imitate them, and thus, by imitating alpha males of a certain kind, they get the ex prom queens (into bed, rarely into a relationship)and after that try to claim that they "understand how women work".

As you can see, this subject is an easy way to get me started too...

Date: 2009-08-12 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
YES. And it's such a simple, basic thing, but I absolutely LOATHE the idea that men somehow know better than women what women want. It's yet another way to trivialize us. And it blows my mind that I even have to sit there making the argument that I AM A WOMAN AND I AM TELLING YOU I DON'T LIKE MEN WHO ACT LIKE THAT. Of course I don't presume to speak for my entire gender, but I think I'm at least MORE qualified to do so than a guy is, for fuck's sake.


Date: 2009-08-13 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wish I could go there with you. I think we would have a marvelous time of it. I mostly wanted you to know that I think you are fantastic, and I am sending you my love.

Date: 2009-08-13 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks babygirl, I hope I can show you Sweden one day.

Date: 2009-08-13 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't envy you this argument with some of your 20something male students. How could you have any insight, they know it all.

Date: 2009-08-13 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not even getting into the PUA thing. That level of misogyny is just beyond my ability to process right this minute :P

I can say I don't envy you your need to reach a decision on the academic thing. Wanting to finish when it means being in limbo that long... well, you'd have to really want that because the cost and putting things on hold that long, I can't even imagine how disruptive that could be.

Date: 2009-08-13 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am saddened by that! I very well might be back in Boulder for Thanksgiving. Oh well, I guess I might just have to visit Sweden now, darn! Sorry for not returning your call, I have been having a ton of stress topped with being super busy. Give me a call this week(end) (well not on Saturday) and we will talk!

Date: 2009-08-13 11:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ouch, you're right, 7-8 months is a long time to be away. I'm hoping the best for you though!

Good Luck!

Date: 2009-08-13 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry that your life is going to be put on hold for so much longer than you anticipated. I guess the best thing to do would be to try to focus on the best end result (having the internationally recognized title and how it will help your job) and move ahead as skillfully as possible. Life throws us these little curves and we can view it as a curse or an opportunity to show our strength and ingenuity. Just try to focus on the positives.

Date: 2009-08-13 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is disruptive..but if the outcome is what they say, then it'll be worth it, according to how most degrees are viewed in the US. I guess the decision is already made, unless they throw me another curveball with something even worse to digest, which I really really hope they won't.

Date: 2009-08-13 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was thinking about Thanksgiving the other day, if I somehow can pull it off in the states, I'll tell you when I know, although it does look doubtful right now.
I think I just called after you texted me that you'd arrived safely back in Cali, to check on you, but I can surely try a call this weekend.

Thank you!

Date: 2009-08-13 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fortunately it's not that long in one sweep, I'll be home in between, but still, it's a big chunk of life and plans right there...
Edited Date: 2009-08-13 03:11 pm (UTC)

Re: Good Luck!

Date: 2009-08-13 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're right, focusing on the outcome has kept me going this far, I do need to keep it in mind so I won't pull my hairs out completely.

Date: 2009-08-14 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That is quite alot in one post, but yes, and yes, and hell yeah.

Date: 2009-08-15 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll call you when I'm back in Sweden, it'll be good to see you again!
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