Break It Down, Butch.

May 24, 2010

[25] Dissertations and blogging. Sing it proud, boy.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 16:56
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I smell of Old Spice and cigarette smoke today, like an authentic butch stereotype.

I’m not sure about the Old Spice, actually. It was an impulse buy from a chemists while I was getting bandages (I sprained my ankle this week by jogging on the spot, because I’m just that cool). I had no idea chemists carried Old Spice, but hey, why not? It’s an odd sort of scent, the original; a little bit sweet, kind of woodsy. I can’t decide if I like it. Though this advert makes me want to wear it anyway, just because.

This week has been so weird. Remember the dissertation I was talking about? The one about butch gender? (The official title was “(L)Earned Masculinity: A Literature Review on Butch Gender”.) Well I got the mark back. In the UK, a first is the grade you want; that’s like graduating summa cum laude. Basically it’s an ‘A’. And they start at 70%, which is bloody hard to get. I’ve been managing As so far this year, by dint of last-minute procrastination and a lot of bullshit, but I was nervous about the dissertation. It was rushed, non-conventional, and there’s not a whole lot of literature out there (I pulled a fair amount from blogs, actually, which was a lot of fun). Anyway, I was nervous. 40% of my grade is riding on it. Three years of university, £27,000 in student loans, all that time I could have spent slacking off from other things…

I got 92%.

Ninety-two per cent.

Ninety! Two! Per! Cent!

Honestly, I thought there’d been a glitch. You can’t get 92%. The highest mark I’ve ever gotten ever at uni was 85%, and I thought that was a glitch. 92% is ballistic. Unbelievable! Brilliant! My lecturers want me to do a Master’s degree in research. They suggested I get my dissertation published, in journals. My second favourite lecturer called it “superlative”.

My favourite lecturer mocked me at length, but that’s because he’s an arse and I love him.

Two days after this, I sprained the aforementioned ankle and had an argument with my brother, because the universe likes to keep my ego in check. Probably a good thing, but still. Ninety! Two! Per! Cent! The ankle’s still sore and the brother’s not speaking to me, but life goes on. I’d forgotten how impressive my brother is when he sulks, actually — we’re over a week already and nada, not a whisker of communication. (I’m maintaining the moral high ground because our argument was over the treatment of his last girlfriend/fuckbuddy. He was an arse, I told him so, he disagreed. If I’ve learned anything from three waves of feminism, I win this argument on account of possessing ovaries*.)

NINETY! TWO! PER! CENT!

On butch gender.

That’s my favourite part. That I got the highest grade on my most important paper, and that paper was about butch. I got to splash around in my own identity for 8000 words, read my most favourite authors, cite my favourite arguments, pick holes in the definitions of academia — it was beautiful. I got to defend blogging as an academic source. Blogging! Because we are the experts, by definition of experience and knowledge, and we peer-review each other. Because you can graft a whole lot of truth out of eighteen different people all saying different-yet-related weirdness. We’re the primary sources. The front-runners, and the poor bastards in the trenches. We matter. And I said that, and it was glorious, and it won me a first.

Old Spice and cigarette smoke and oh, this week is brilliant.

*Kidding, kidding!

Okay, mostly kidding.

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