Friday, February 01, 2008

Soul Finger

"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."

~C.S. Lewis

Once again, I haven't written on my blog in a long time. There are a lot of reasons for this. Not excuses, just reasons. I haven't especially felt clever, for one, and I suppose I sometimes convince myself that if I can't write anything clever or funny, I shouldn't write. That right there is what is technically referred to as "bullshit".

The real reason is school. I don't know that I agree with calling it school anymore, because now it is a race. Its The Race. This race makes Ironman seem easy. It makes Ironman seem easy because in Ironman I knew what lay before me, I knew before I signed up, even, what I must do to finish. And once you finished, you did not have to consider anything. Not a thing. At Ironman you finish, feel wonderful, feel like shit, sit down with some pizza you cant possibly enjoy fully and go limp for a few... weeks.

This race that is graduate school is vastly different.

There is no "finish". That is the single most important thing to realize if you consider going to get a PhD in a hard science. The finish is really intangible. The final product is not the end--there is really no final product. The end is a state of mind when you, and more importantly your committee, and the faculty, can see you standing on your own two (too) pompous scientific feet before the world, proudly proclaiming "I am science. Let me be free to spread my science and the gospel of my predecessors thus to the world." More or less they feel that if they let you graduate, they won't be embarrassed. Perhaps more importantly, they now see you as a consumer of their scarce dollars instead of a producer of the rare scientific PK research commodity we produce.

Perhaps what is harder to understand, and vastly more difficult for me, is that at the beginning you are almost--no, you are completely--fooled into believing the drivel that the faculty shovels your way. That this is a very structured, well thought out process that simply involved doing your pieces along the way and then viola--PhD. Not at all. Nope. Nada.

I haven't written because I am a soul. I am a soul with a body with extremely high pressure placed upon it at times. In these times the brain overtakes the mind, and the mind overtakes the soul, and now we find ourselves not standing hand in hand with our shadow self, but looking back over our shoulder at it. The body has taken over because the brain says "hey, this pressure is pretty heavy right now. We are about to crack and YOU, SOUL, are just sitting there daydreaming and twiddling your little toes in the cool creek gurgling by. Soul, I am sorry, but you aren't getting this done."

We can appear soulless. We can even convince ourselves we are a body.

And when that point occurs, apparently, you are awarded your PhD in Pharmacokinetics.

1 comment:

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