Thursday, February 02, 2006

Little Mind Mind Too Much

I've been obsessed with this whole law school thing anew since I've started receiving replies. I just got another the other day from NY Law School with a scholarship offer. I find myself getting nervous as I check the mail. Awaiting a phone call from some dean of admissions or another. Awaiting a laudatory email telling me I made the cut.

And that's the problem: the trap of this whole process. It becomes so wrapped in ego that it loses its original meaning. There's a sort of message board where people post their numbers. Acceptances, LSAT, GPA, etc., so you can see who is getting rebuffed and who welcomed. I find myself feeling competitive with these people for no good reason. Only little mind drives this. I want to be smarter than them. It chafes me when I see higher scores, when I see an acceptance to a school that wouldn't have me.

But I did not begin this law school quest with the intention of proving myself smarter than others. (Or perhaps there is some part of me that, childishly, did.) I did it because I wanted to pursue meaning. I can't think of anything that projects the illusion of meaning like a judgement of worth like a law school acceptance. It's not about the numbers. The numbers are immaterial at this point. I know I will be able to go to school and that should be enough for me.

I've not blogged for a time now because I've been thinking about nothing but L.S., and I do not want to be a bore, prattling on about whether I got in here or there, and how hysterical I am about nonsense. On te one hand it's not nonsense: where I go to school matters. On the other hand, the worry that is driven by ego does lack sense. And the reason I did not want to write about this senseless anxiety is that, if it is tiring for me, how tiresome might it be for a reader.

Anyhow, I am endeavoring to allow my big mind some space. Reading, relaxing. The last chapter of Noam Chomsky's "On Nature and Language," (most of which dealt with linguistics and was over my head), titled The Secular Priesthood and the Perils of Democracy highlighted for me how extreme our cultural indoctrination is. He speaks of the intentional fetishizing of superficialities. By the media, by the corporations, by the universities. He speaks of the secular priesthood. The intelligentsia: academics who believe it is their duty to direct society because they are in fact superior to the masses. Someone recently remarked to me that part of the function law schools serve is as finishing schools for corporations. I will not go down this path. I will not become one of these men, either directly or complicitly commanding the people who supposedly are not fit to do it themselves.

One final note: speaking of ego and petty b.s., I am ashamed to say that in my personal essay attached to my law school applications, I boast of my learnedness, name-dropping authors who I have read, such as Chomsky. I've read Chomsky. I must be some kind of super-intellectual. Blech.

Glad I got that off my chest.

The below pic is the first to appear when one searches Noam Chomsky with Google Images.


vacuous said...

Congratulations on your acceptances. I hope my comment doesn't contribute to your ego too much. I like Chomsky. He brings a light to shine on glaring discrepancies between the nation's self-image and its actual actions.

beckett said...

I am the greatest!!!!!!!

At overuse of exclamation marks!!!!!!!

Or not.

La Misma said...

I went through something similar recently when I applied to an artist's colony in upstate New York. I sent an excerpt of the novel I've been struggling with for 8 months to two other writers (for letters of rec), and when they said they liked it, my whole view of it changed. I felt superbly gifted, instead of lost and inept. I was excited and over-full of ego. My fantasies of literary greatness are too embarrassing to relate.

Fortunately, the flood of ego actually helped me progress with the writing. Maybe sometimes it provides some evolutionarily helpful adreneline.

And everyone boasts and name-drops in their personal essays to get into grad school. It's probably a genre unto itself: Pure Little Mind Writing. Unfortunately, the experience of grad school itself can be quite competitive and ego-driven. But you sound prepared to battle it into submission or at least, some balance.

beckett said...

Is this a recent submission? When will you find if you are accepted?

La Misma said...

They didn't say. Soon I hope, and hope too I can be delivered from the same drudgery that drove you to law school.