New year, new start to my convention-hopping. First is MAGFest, the Music and Gaming Festival, for my second year in a row. Last year, I had the honor of being on a couple of panel for the Gaming Intellectuals section, and they were silly enough to invite me back!
Here’s my panel schedule this weekend. I’d love to see you there!
Thursday, Jan 3, 5:30 PM: Video Games in Academia, Panels Room 3
Saturday, Jan 5, 3 PM: Women in Gaming: The Growing Silent Majority, Panels Room 6
Saturday, Jan 5, 6 PM: Games and Representation, Panels Room 5
If you can’t make it over, don’t fret! I’m going to kickstart my youtube.com/elisarockdoc channel with videos each day of the con! Give that little ‘Subscribe’ button a workout, eh?
I already know 2013 is going to be a doozy. Full of new beginnings. Some painful. Some joyous. Some downright frightening.
Doors will open, and they’ll either make that satisfying TNG “woosh” sound as I sashay on through, or I’ll kick them down myself.
Here’s just one of them.
Here’s to many more!
Because I totally love submitting grade change forms after the fact.
If only I could send this out in a blast e-mail.
So, in case you haven’t been watching me slowly unravel on two social media channels, I’m in the process of taking my doctoral exams. The process varies from institution to institution, and even department to department, but I’m sure the stress is about the same.
In my case, I have two areas of literature: gender & gaming, and gender & popular music. From each area’s literature, the committee gives me a set of three questions, from which I pick two to answer. At 10-15 pages a piece. Over the course of a week.
I submitted my first set with some fanfare, as it had been my first academic writing outing in about a year. I was happy just to complete the work and sound kind of smart (I hope) while doing it.
I expect using this entire Tumblr’s worth of gifs on my doc exams this week, but this one hit home!
Evan Lamb, guitar player extraordinaire and Miami’s favorite sound guy, got his van stolen last night with his entire guitar rig inside. Please be on the lookout and SHARE!
"STOLEN: My entire guitar rig…
Mesa Mark V 1-12” combo in an EWI pullover case,
36” white TrailerTrash pedalboard (Crybaby 95Q wah, Boss 500 Volume pedal, DoD Octoplus, Mini QTron, ZenDrive, Fulltone Plimsoul, Fulltone OCD, MXR EVH Flanger, Fulltone Supatrem, Boss TR2, MXR Carbon Copy, Boss DD5, Midi Switch, TC Polytu ne, Sennheiser G3 wireless),
‘97 Fender Roadhouse Strat (Shoreline Gold, Seymour Duncan Hotrails humbucker in the bridge),
‘08 American Standard Telecaster (Sunburst),
Ibanez RGA Prestige (green/grey flame top, stickers on it reading ‘BiG Tasty’ on the front and ‘2007’ on the back).
In addition to my guitar rig, a large chunk of my PA. Items of note:
2 Yorkville LS800P powered 18” subs,
16 channel EWI 150’ snake on a reel,
Sennheiser G2 wireless handheld with receiver
New, 13” MacBook Pro
Oh, and my fucking van… 2004 white Chevy Express 2500, license plate: 771 THS
Seriously, someone stole most of my possessions tonight, over $70,000 worth of equipment. Please share this.”
I just sent an e-mail with two attachments. It was a pretty big deal.
My advisor wanted me to send him an e-mail with my updated research questions and bibliography. He wanted me to address the committee’s concerns in the body of the e-mail and assure them that their feedback was reflected in my current reading list. He’d then forward the e-mail to them and have them deliver final recommendations before moving forward and scheduling my qualifying exams.
I’ve been dragging my feet with that e-mail for two months. It’s one thing to impress my advisor—it’s another thing to convince four separate other people that I’m ready for the opportunity to prove myself to them. More than anything, the fear of failure has prevented me from trying in the first place.
It’s kind of funny how that works. Whenever I’m at academic conferences or at panels where my Ph.D. work is somehow on display, people are surprised to find out how nervous it makes me. “I sing in front of more people, wearing way less, and this is infinitely more terrifying,” I quip. I explain that there is a beautiful curtain of subjectivity I can hide behind when singing—if you don’t like my voice, my lyrics, or my music, then tough cookies. That’s just, like, your opinion, man. It’s art and shit. However, there is a definite difference between talking about things I allegedly know and singing about things I most definitely feel. Of course, rationally, I know that there’s really no pure objectivity, we’re all working within our situated knowledges (thanks, Donna Haraway), and that my partial perspective is just as valid as the serious games guy over there—-not to mention all the other many-degreed side-parted, polo-wearing white guys I’m sitting up there with.
But it’s hard to remember that when my “soft science” boob-encumbered tattooed redheaded ass is trying to make sense and be a feminist researcher and activist next to many-degreed white guys talking about serious games and Nietzsche and shit. (This is another specific issue I’m actually grappling with at this very moment, but that’s another show).
There’s something about a deadline, though. And there’s something about a loving audience and community and getting genuinely awesome feedback that just does something. My advisor told me I could be ready to rock n’ roll for my exams in late October, and defend my proposal right after Thanksgiving. I’ll be ABD before the semester’s out.
I’ll be ABD before the semester’s out.
The time I had working at PAX as a Frag Doll Finalist and experiences post-con have actually imbued me with more confidence, whereas a year ago I bit my nails to the quick in anticipation. There was literal hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth. So much gnashing. I’m a year older, a year wiser, and a year more experienced and blessed. Inspiration now comes in waves—I just need to remember to be alert enough to notice them, and confident enough in my ability to ride them with skill when they appear. I caught a wave at PAX and points beyond, leaving it all on the figurative and literal stage.
I caught a wave tonight and sent an e-mail with two attachments. It was a pretty big deal.
You: Hey, Elisa! Like the hair. And your writing. Do you write anything else other than academic papers and the occasional angry rant?
Me: Why, yes! Here’s a list of things I’ve written so far for the Miami New Times’s Cultist blog:
I hope I can add another outlet to this list soon!