Thursday, August 12, 2004

Just because you’re accepted…

…doesn’t mean you belong.

Okay, here’s the skinny: I’m not moving to London this fall. Yes, I concede that I may be passing up the opportunity of a lifetime, but I also concede that I’m passing up a level of debt that would take the remainder of my lifetime to pay. Let’s see: debt-free at 40 or approximately $100,000 in debt with a graduate degree from LSE? You do the math.

As many of you know, I was accepted into the London School of Economics’ European Institute to study the political economy of post-Soviet transitions. I will continue studying such things—‘cuz I’s just no good at nuttin’ else—except at the University of Texas at Dallas, where I’ve been accepted into their political science Ph.D. program. (And at least there I won’t always have to spell program with 2 m’s and an e! Programme, indeed!)

LSE did not offer me any assistance. Neither have any of the several grant-making institutions I’ve applied to over the past two years. (Rotary Club of Dallas: kiss my ass!) Moreover, I haven’t even been guaranteed housing in London: “There were over 6,800 applications this year for approximately 2,700 places and this means I have had to disappoint many students.” Let the disappointment begin!

I am disappointed. Sad. Depressed even. But I’m sure that I’m making the best decision possible for me … and for the we of which I so enjoy being a part of. But I won’t have too much time to dwell on what-might-have-beens since I’ll be teaching two government courses as well as two new introductory humanities courses throughout the fall term while beginning this Ph.D. program.

So, apologies to Chris, to Sarah, to Olja even: I won’t be in London this fall. But you’ll all have a place and a friend in Dallas to visit. Send postcards.

And there’ll always be the chance of a post-doc.

“It’s an honor just to be nominated….” (Sound of puking in the distance.)



Throughout the Democratic National Convention and ever since the publication of the 9/11 Commission’s report, I’ve grown annoyed with the issue of America’s enemies. Instead of asking who they are, why hasn’t anyone asked why? Why does the US have enemies? I’m neither racist nor naïve enough to believe that they hate us because we love democracy and freedom.

Finally, on a recent edition of Now with Bill Moyers, political philosopher Benjamin Barber addressed the issue. Unfortunately, the transcript hasn’t been made available online yet, but Barber’s own site is worth reading if you’re interested in something like democracy.

3 comments:

  1. LSE can never comprehend what they're missing!

    -Max

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  2. Stephen just e-mailed me the link to your blog, and reading has allowed me some mental respite from the numbing of my soul that I often feel about 10:45 while at work.

    I'm pissed and depressed that you had to choose between an opportunity such as LSE and not going into horrendous debt. However,I'm glad you are teaching. Ripples in the pond. Hopefully.

    I hear people ask all the time why America has enemies. The kicker is, when you offer an explanation, you are viewed (by Ashcroft et al) as SATAN. Activists here in Denver who suggest possible explanations are being visited by the FBI.

    Re your Teresa Heinz Kerry post--one reason I'm voting for her husband is that it appears he isn't trying to reel her in--as I'm sure some strategists have advised. I'm ready for American girls to have a role-model other than Sunday School teacher Laura Bush. Have you heard about Tony Kushner's new play in which Mrs. B. reads stories to dead Iraqi children?

    I miss you...

    --Kennan

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  3. Frankie, I'm sorry that the LSE opportunity didn't work out, but I'm proud of you for making a tough decision and then gettin' on with your life. Trust your intuition. You'll be fine.

    And, I shamefully must admit that I'm glad you'll be around for awhile. So, let's spend some time together soon. You too Steviekins!!

    I'm here if you need to vent, scream, be sad, or be reminded that you made a good solid decision.

    BTW, the house across the street from me is for sale...now that you guys are gonna be rollin' in da dough. We could be like Lucy and Ethel...or Ethel and Fred...or Lucy and Fred...or....oh just buy the damn house!

    Lori

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