Of No Earthly Good
It may be too early for a post like this, but I have to admit to a certain amount of dissatisfaction with my classes. Oh, not all of them to be sure. My Screenwriting course is as fantastic, illuminating and challenging as I hoped it would be. But the other two courses--the required cores of Film Form & Film Sense and Film History & Historicity are, well, boring.
One of my professors, a learned, published and respected man in the field, reads his lectures off notes, rarely looking up, as if he were reciting columns from the phone book. My other professor is much more engaging and buoyant, however, her class also suffers from a certain amount of, shall we say, negative energy. I'm getting more from my reading than from the lectures.
I wonder if I am the only one who feels this way. Others seem to engage in our discussions enthusiastically, while I struggle to keep my mind engaged. I'm somewhere between the teacher's pet and the guy a few seats down surfing the internet or playing solitaire. It's not that I can't keep up or follow along. I know it is important information and I know this, like any pursuit, has its fair share of data one simply needs to plod through, get the check in the old mental block and move on to warmer climes. And yet, I pray that's all it is.
While it was never a driving force to begin with, I think I can safely say that life as a full-time academic is not for me. While there are those who's heads are meant to be in the clouds, there are others who prefer to find their feet on solid ground. I fall somewhere in between I guess. Neither too theoretical to be of any good to anyone, or too practical as to be little more than a muscular gorilla.
As with any academic venture, Cinema Studies has its stuffy, pompous, self-important side. It's just that I'm seeing a lot more of that lately than I am the more grounded, practical side. I firmly believe that there is a point at which we can become too smart, too smug, too sophisticated for our own good. There is a line of snobery and when we cross it, the only people who will give a damn about what we're saying is each other. And that is a sad indictment.