Alchemy

I took Anthropology on a lark because it started at 10 am. It was the first time that I realized my idea of what being a woman meant was so bounded by my time, by background and my geography.

Political economy presupposes private property. I sell my labour, the most human part of me, and it confronts me as an alien thing. Capitalism requires a separation of man and nature but never really defends private property or separation. I think of Marx when I contemplate my privilege.

And beauty. The calculus equation proving that a limit can never be reached. The prof said it was beautiful. It is you know, the idea that you get closer and closer to something, but never reach it.

The professor who was bored so he sold all of his belongings. The stats prof who did weird vegetable Fridays. The prof who taught Aristotle at the pub. Listen to the madmen and learn from the eccentrics. There’s nothing to be gained within the comfort of an echo chamber.

I wanted my MBA to be hard. I wanted it to stretch me to the point of almost breaking. I wanted the moments where the world was vast and I was small but burning with passion.

I’ve written papers. Mostly good, a few bad. I can tell you how to calculate the weighted average cost of capital, how to market a new product and how to account for the costs of goods sold. I can discuss Porter’s five forces and Kotter’s seven steps to change management. I can cite things in APA.

I have a semester left, plus my thesis. One last residency. I’ll have done the work of an MBA.

Last night, I realized. It’s not hard. It’s never going to be hard. In my admission letter I talked about my thirst for knowledge. My endless curiosity.  I wanted to think deeply, to hold contradictory ideas in my head.

I wanted to cross that stage in those robes and I wanted to feel like I earned it. I wanted to know that I worked for it. I wanted to have overcome, been changed and transformed.

I wanted it to mean something.

I wanted alchemy not academics.

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One Response to Alchemy

  1. Barb says:

    I could have written this about my master’s program. I love much of it but have similar thoughts. Biology does change me more like that. But it’s too hard with not enough reward in the job market. I guess I can’t be pleased.

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