Two Words Where One Won’t Do: Against Conciseness

Dylan Taylor | 25 July 2017.

The dawning supremacy of M.F.A. writing is well observed and disparaged by many. Arguably, this ‘homogenized, over-workshopped writing’ has become increasingly content to follow prevailing literary models, making much contemporary English literature unambitious and conservative. Rather than push boundaries, many modern writers seem content to contribute their own version of a story that has been told a thousand times before: a story typically of love, of coming-of-age, of examining identity, in middle-class London or New York. Overwhelmingly, the stylistic cornerstone of such a story is prose that is polished and clear: all unjustified adjectives must go.

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The Paper Chase: Why My Piece of Paper isn’t Just a Piece of Paper

Maygan Eugenie Forbes | 18 April 2017

I recently came across an article on Forbes.com that told the story of a contributor, Neil Patel, who has deep regrets over pursuing his degree. In this article Patel writes: “Don’t listen to them! It’s not worth it…college was a waste of time, a waste of energy, a waste of money, and a waste of potential.” He then goes on to give a small description of his degree, and his early ambition to become an entrepreneur (which, according to Patel, is a job title that does not require a degree). He then proceeds to list a set of substantial degrees that he believes to be worth the time, energy, and money of a degree. For the sake of my word count I won’t write out the list, but I can tell you now, as a Film Studies MSc student, I don’t make the grade according to Patel. Everybody’s different but without a doubt, every degree counts. But is the question here less about the value of a degree and more about a void in cultural experience? Are we missing out on great wonders, wasting our limited time by being a servant to educational institutions, regardless of what degree we are pursuing?

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99 Jobs but a Thesis isn’t One: Pitfalls of Trying to do All the Things

Robyn Pritzker | 6 March 2017

Whether we’re fully-funded, partially-funded, or simply wishing our way through monthly rent payments, most research students worry about money. If your fees are covered and you have a stipend, you’ll likely still be worrying about where to get a grant to go to a conference. If you have a hefty student loan and help from your parents, you’ll be wondering how you’re going to afford to replace your computer, which is six years old and can’t run any software you need for your project. Perhaps you have plenty of funds for yourself, but you need to help support your partner, your child, your parents, or someone else. Concern about how to pay the bills and make it from day to day are hardly unique to graduate students, but we are often pressured by very specific regulations and limitations about when and how we are able to be compensated for the work we do.

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Spoons: Close Reading the “Spoon Theory” of Mental and Physical Health

July 10, 2016 | Bridget Moynihan

What does a spoon have to do with mental or physical well-being? How can a metaphor or other form of figurative language help someone communicate an experience that might otherwise be very difficult to explain? How do the existing resonances that surround our everyday objects, like spoons, inform and empower our chosen metaphors?

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Latin: A lost language for a privileged class?

June 13, 2016 | Matthew Tibble

I learnt my first piece of Latin without knowing it was Latin. I was reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Hermione cast the spell ‘oculus reparo’, a slightly tenuous bit of Latin that should probably have been speculum reparo (I repair the looking glass). At the time, however, all I heard was fantastic wizardry.

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