Tom emailed us an exercise for our journal. Basically, in different settings, record our internal dialogue. 

I’m not sure I fully picked up on the concept. There’s a lot of noise in my head. What do I write down? Again, in talking about context, mediated spaces, un-arting art, etc., but consciously thinking about this as an assignment, it was hard to not think about stuff for the class. But, I didn’t want to write that stuff, so I tried to filter that out and write about things happening around me. 

The cigar shop…

Men with their laptops open conducting business. This is a right winger, business man haven during the day. Sometimes they watch Fox News on the TV. Today, it’s off. Thankfully. If not Fox News, they like to watch golf. It’s annoying. At least Jason sometimes turns on jazz. A man talks about selling software for the oil and gas industry. I despise him just by that. Oil and gas, wearing department store suit, working at his Dell laptop, excited to be a salesman. I could never live like that. Why is it detestable to me? Is it so wrong to just make a living? Am I just assuming based on his politics? Am I assuming his politics? Does it make an ass out of him and me? The cigar shop is communal space. I’m friends with people here I otherwise would never know or associate with outside of here. Is that comforting or concerning?

A coffee shop in Plano…

Plano is pretentious. This coffee shop is surprising. It’s not sleek and rich like the rest of Plano. It’s in the square, and older part of the city. And while some nouveau riche has infiltrated, the square still has a cooler feel than the rest of the city. This place seems unpretentious. Is it just the setting? It feels almost like Fort Worth. I have a performance tonight. I’m making final edits. I feel good about the piece but I worry that Fred won’t like it. He’s been very critical of me this semester. And it’s over a project that he once claimed to love. He used to use a lot of hyperbolic language when discussion it. Once, when I performed a big section of it, he remarked that it could make me famous. It’s the kind of thing I could make a name and a living on. Now, he’s very critical. Is he being hard on me because he’s trying to get me to do even better? Is it because he thinks I’m good and can make it? Or have I regressed? Every grad student gets impostor syndrome sometimes. I seem to get it more now than I did in the past. Maybe I should be writing about the things around me rather than this. It’s generally quiet. They seem to be having issues with the music system. I imagine it’s someone’s iPod plugged into a sound system. Probably one of the young, cute employee’s. Everyone is good looking here. I’m an outlier. Money and beauty seem to go hand in hand. It’s almost time to go. I’m nervous, yet confident. We’ll see. 


Again, I’m not sure if I did it right. My mind is constantly on my work. If anything, it made me pay attention to the world around me more. Despite considering myself a people watcher, I do often get tunnel vision as I bury myself in work. Even at the cigar shop, which I frequent regularly, I often have my computer open or notepad out, writing, working, whatever. I’m tuned out. This did help me consider my space more carefully. Maybe that was the point?