As quickly as the seasons are known to turn in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so did the tide of my academic life. When I embarked on this doctoral journey, there was freedom on the horizon; a position in academia I could not refuse. One where time was at my disposal, abilities were championed, and I was given an amazing amount of room to breathe.
This was going to be the first time that I wasn’t just a pawn in someone else’s game; a piece in someone else’s puzzle. The past decade of blood, sweat, and tears was finally going to pay off. The talents I possessed, the skills I had learned, the years of experience I had gained was finally going to be put to use…these were the thoughts that crossed my mind as I stood in front of a copy machine today, printing out 18 articles on the human psyche and emotional behavior for my new Graduate Assistant assignment.
Momma always told me, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
As I stood there, hole punching over 100 pages worth of material that were to be carefully placed into a large white three-ringed binder, pondering what other menial tasks were in store for me in a tiny clerical room the size of an urban city bathroom; I wondered just what it was I had signed up for…
And then I got the itch.
That little scratch I get sometimes where I long for something more. I can’t help but think of Belle, in Beauty and the Beast, “there must be more than this provincial life…” But for today, I suppressed my itch. I had found myself in a glass menagerie. A captivity that I had not even realized I’d willing walked into; yet here I was. On display. Indefinitely. As I responded to each text that beckoned me to more copying…more filing…I stared through the bars of my clerical captivity and wondered how long this exhibition would last.
Now, if you know anything about menagerie’s, you would know that one might be able to keep the wild captive; but when they are unleashed…