I’m back at university, but something’s gone wrong. I don’t hate it. I don’t loathe it. I don’t want to not go. Now I feel apathetic. I feel indifference. I suppose that’s a step-up from hating it, and on the right course. I believe it is because of the results that I attained last semester (the best in two and a half years I’ve had) as well as the subjects I’m doing (both in terms of subject and number (3)) and the peoples I met during last semester.
Anything that makes this experience better, this experience which is supposed to be the best of my life, I’ll readily accept, though with caution. It may very well be that I’ve only been to the hallowed grounds of Sydney University for a whole forty-five minutes that I haven’t breathed enough depressing and academic air to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. Who knows. But I’m somewhat optimistic that I might have turned a corner in which I now appreciate, or enjoy, university.
I’m slightly excited (you’d need some sort of micrometer to measure this level) about one of the subjects I’m doing: Politics and Cultures of US Imperialism. I spoke about it a few days ago here (though the title of that post may be deceiving) It gives me a reason and chance to re-read some of the books I picked up during my study of Imperialism, 1815-2000, of note: The Lion’s Share: A short history of British imperialism, 1850-2004; Empire and Superempire: Britain, America and the World. Both of these are penned by Bernard Porter who I have very high regards for as an academic and a writer in that he tows a line so far from what is general (uninformed) belief in his books with such convincing arguments and examples. Also, a book I brought during my course of Politics and Culture of the 21st Century a.k.a. Modern Europe, 1914-1945. The book, Eric Hobsbawm’s The Age of Extremes, isn’t primarily concerned with Europe, or just 1914-1945, rather a clear, well researched, no bias and explained history from 1914-1991. It’s a chunky book (614 pages) as compared to Porter’s, however, the clarity it provides to the time period, as well as providing more than just the bare bones that other as-wide ranging history books give their readers, makes it a worthwhile text. It’s part of a series of four, and is the last. Its predecessors are The Age of Revolution, The Age of Capital and The Age of Empire, books that I almost bought, though saw no real reason for them at the time. The Age of Empire certainly would have come in handy for a subject I undertook last semester, European Conquests, 1500-1750.
A final note on the subject: I think I am most interested in it because it includes the words ‘politics’ and ‘US’ – quite possibly my number one interest for the past year, and will be for some time (at the least: the end of the ’08 presidential campaigns). Hopefully I’m able to draw on some of my knowledge (not just current, as, through research, I’ve been able to gather some historical knowledge) and not have to regurgitate what I’m fed.