I am an MA (English) dropout.
Yes it’s true. I am not necessarily proud of it but I don’t have a decent pang either. I don’t want a Bachelor’s degree in English in the first place let alone a Master’s degree. Despite my reluctance to pursue a Master’s degree in this field, my father’s conclusion was already governing more than half of my life’s decision and so as usual I follow through. And I hate it. I absolutely abhor every part of it. From the early morning walk to INA metro station; the embarrassing ruckus for seats, the unpleasant stench of freshly emit skunk like body odor, the forlorn faces of people as they monotonously prepared for what they hate called “work”, the one hour metro ride from INA to Vishwavidyalaya metro station to the hot humid overcrowded classroom. I hate the tedious lectures, over smart students who always asks unambiguous questions and the alluring aroma of samosas from the canteen across the window just when you’re so hungry. I even hate the short break. I just wish there’s no short interval between lectures so that it’ll be all over for a day. And that glorious moment when it did.
But beyond all the vindication, I am an obliging dropout because I think its impractical. I don’t see the point in studying theoretical trends, confusing blends of cultural and formalist theory, the sexual politics of this and that or the myriad ways of interpreting the psychological stance of the Romantic poems. I ruefully wasted four years of my life studying dead language, Chaucer and other mystic philosophers whose neo-contractualist theory I’ve never really understand in every context. Somehow I pull through despite low attendance and late assignment after a depressing night of hurried fact digging. After waiting four long years I graduated and was yet again exiled in the qualms of my father’s dreams. My post graduation follows; until the sleeping Trojan in me woke up one hot dry day and I disappear. I got tired of the absurdity of avoiding the dull lesson in that little reverie of mine from the back bench of the classroom.
I love Shakespeare and mythologies long before I was academically introduced to them in college. And even after graduation I understand Shakespeare as a simply text; without its various thematic approaches and overdone feministic interpretations. I have respectfully reduced Shakespeare to a simple story of multi-genre; just as simply as I assume it to be. And I love it. And all those years of learning literal critiquing has come to nothing because I will always read Shakespeare as Shakespeare and nothing more than that. I refused to critique, dissect and deconstruct. I have appreciate him and his works – simplicity at its best as my ludicrous mind would allow me. And I have nothing against those of you who wish to learn English language and literature. Our great freedom allows us to do whatever we want and you’re doing just that. Keep on doing what you love. I cannot grudge you for that.
During my short MA English classes, we were introduce to Baldassare Castiglione’s “The Courtier” a Renaissance courtesy book which was publish in 1528. The text must have been very crucial during the time it was written but taken in the light of modernism, in today’s language it is nothing but a “Renaissance manual on how to be cool”. I could read but I won’t study it. Had I born during the Renaissance era I might devour the text, analyze the word line by line, carrying it around and reading a few lines in public places. But I am here today and nobody is a courtier anymore. A lot of people tell me “You’ve got only a year to finish grad school, even if you don’t like it at least do it for the degree” but I know I make the right decision if my only reason for doing so was to get a job. To be able to think for a living was a nice perk but I don’t want to be just another writer who makes her living teaching. Having all said that, I am not just a random MA(Eng) dropout, I am a very particular random MA(Eng) dropout.
A very particular random MA(Eng) dropout,