Academica Dramatica x The *real* lessons I learnt at OIISDP.


There are some things in life that you just cannot learn within the confines of a classroom.

1) I was introduced to Tweetdeck. It blew my mind. This was an extreme case of public embarrassment considering the fact that I am supposed to be a social media researcher. Boo, Crystal. Thanks, hairflipgirl.

2) I was taught to create a wireless network from my Macbook to tether wifi to my iPhone. Again, public embarrassment due to the apparent academic specialty in this area. Also, I reckon that computer security at Keble must be really high because givemewifi. Thanks, notsosecretninjaphotographer.

3) I was schooled in Americanada. My Mean Girls’ knowledge was activated, affirmed, and reciprocated. It was all bliss. I can now totes speak American and appropriately use #sorrynotsorry in the right context. Thanks, Americanada&co.

4) Every thing 9gag taught me about Canadians is accurate. Except the part where they don’t actually have actual sugar in their actual Coke? And in the US too? What the what, you guys. Thanks, judy+crossdressingmarathoner.

5) Some one from Brighton (not going to name names!) has trained me to jaywalk elegantly (no running, no wavy hair in the wind, all class) with no fear of death. Having spent 20 years of my life in Singapore, I consider this one of my biggest European achievements. Thanks, mom.

6) There is no shame in taking the perfect selfie. Especially when you photobomb old huge static archaic things in public. And if you perform your exotic touristy persona enough, some cab driver might even offer to take you around London on the house. Thanks, snackaislegirl.

7) Life is bigger than your PhD. You are not your PhD. If it’s summer, it is summer, and you damned well enjoy your summer instead of refreshing your emails 156 times a day. A ‘no’ is a NO. There is a quiet confidence in gentle affirmation. Thanks, motherinlaw.

8) If you focus hard enough and block out the mental chaos, you’ll easily spot satellites among stars. And some times focusing is not about doing but about undoing, unlearning, unschooling – it’s 500% going with the tingles in your body and responding intuitively to what your heart feels. Thanks, punkbassgirl.

9) Intimacy and transparency and honesty are underrated. The analogue is forgotten until it is exoticized for its nostalgia (coughhipstercough), when really, the beauty of the analogue is in its being. Thanks, hearttroopergirl.

10) You may be tiny and have a tiny (audible) voice and feel like your presence is tiny. But when some thing that tugs on your heartstrings sounds all the alarms in your head and your sense of social justice is engaged to the maximum, your interface matters less and your principles/beliefs/conscience will shine. Thanks, beergirl.

11) Love is love because it doesn’t make sense. A lot of the things that are important in life do not make sense. We pride ourselves in being intellectual academics who can manipulate words and disrupt worldviews with our ideas. Yet, passion cannot be engineered. You cannot be an architect of every thing. And this uncertainty is beautiful. Thanks, shopaholicadramatica.

12) Magical moments are magic because they are fleeting. Scapes can be suspended in a liminality sans time and place and rationality and they can all still make sense to you inside. Home is in your head. Toxic comfort is a vernacular. We archive because we are immersed in the transience of life and things. Self-awareness is gold. Thanks, prgroupie.

PS: Because the whole OIISDP prologue has manufactured a mixbag of paradigm recalibrations and reflexive rituals and thoughtscapes, I think I am going to be churning out post-OIISDP brain food sporadically for a while.

I let separation anxiety consume me. Also, BEANS.

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