Monday, December 03, 2007

Piercing the Veil of Pseudonymity

It seems that people are figuring out who I am, or at least my school and program.


You mean my cumbersome-but-not-really-opaque pseudonyms like "Liberal College Law" aren't fooling you?!

On the one hand, I am getting offers of great advice, much like I always have by being openly neurotic and blogging every insecurity and half-baked idea. The emails, they are appreciated. Actually, the half-baked ideas go on to become papers, so I like posting prospecti, abstracts, and the like. Eventually this blog will be archived when I go on the market and de-indexed from Google, so while eventually everything Belle could be eventually linked to The Real Life Alter Ego, the weirder stuff will be gone. Believe it or not this blog is less weird than it was in its first year, when it was all things ruminating.

On the other hand, I complain a lot about my SJD program--the lack of funding, lack of institional support, the incompetent program office, its unstructured nature, the fact that most law professors don't know how to be dissertation advisors and so aren't really vested in working with SJD students (unless you do what I do and get an advisor from a Ph.D department)....

So, it's a pickle. It's a mark of this blog and this blogger that I am honest and open about subjects that are usually hushed up and kept behind closed doors: the difficulty of being a non-traditional academic aspirant (immigrant, state-school educated, not top-ten); gender and race issues in the academy; this work doesn't come "easy" to everyone; the steep learning curve of academic professionalization, etc.

However, it looks like I have to be a little more careful, because I would not want to give the impression that I hate my school. I love my school. The wider university is one of the best in the nation--amazing scholarship and research is produced here, and the campus is vibrant and beautiful. I even love the law school, whatever the PTSD I have from last year's LL.M drama. The law school is also one of the best in the nation, and full of faculty and students who are genuinely interested in the law and what good it can help achieve. The scholarship produced here is wonderful, and the students are engaged and hard working, and committed to very lofty goals.

I just hate my own program, the people running it, and last year, half the people in it. This may be due to the fact that it's rare for Americans to get accepted to academic-track LL.M programs, much less to continue onto the S.J.D. They just dont' konw what to do with us, and so serve us poorly. Also, there is no sense of academic community when you're the lone American but not a J.D. or Ph.D student. This is one of those admissions that seems okay to make in the abstract, but not when your institution is clearly identifiable. My experience is individual and should in no way be extrapolated to others' or to the quality of the program here at Liberal College Law. I am sure it is great for others, but it just may not be the right one for me.

In any case, these are some of the reasons I am considering transferring from the S.J.D. program here at Liberal College Law to an interdisciplinary Ph.D program at the wider university.

I'll let you know how that works out, but for now I should probably be a little more restrained in talking about this.

Email me if you want to talk about this more; I have absolutely no discretion about complaining about my program when it comes to private communique.


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