Wednesday, July 08, 2009

On the Eve of the Ashes

I successfully defended my dissertation last month and even walked in my graduation ceremony a few weeks ago. But despite both of these dongkalu na gestures of closure to my life as a student, I still have at least one hurdle left before I can say that I've truly moved on and that hokkok umestudiante-ku.

I've got some revisions to work on for my dissertation, they aren't alot, but I do have a few mental blocks that are keeping me from completing them. To sum up a much longer and more interesting story, my dissertation is, to put it kindly, unconventional, and so I have to go through a number of different steps in order to explain why this unconventional approach is both useful and necessary. So for instance, the usual way that you would talk about sovereignty, is to provide a history of the topic, and name a few famous theorists or scholars whose theories or versions of sovereignty you'll be using over the course of your dissertation. I don't do this, and I have my reasons for it, and they are good reasons. Instead of treating sovereignty like a delicate intellectual object, which has to be carefully positioned in my dissertation or else risk it being cracked or scuffed, I often intentionally ignore its glorious past and illustrious present as a concept, in the hopes of depriving it of the authority and legitimacy that those sorts of grounding of a concept implicitly provide. Dissertation's are all about blandly acceding your ideas to the dominance of existing disciplinary norms and conventions, making appear to be big and important, what by the structure of the process has to in truth be a very small and minute intervention. The work that has to go into grounding yourself properly helps to create this limitation, this intrinsically conservative aspect. Its not necessary bad, it makes your work easier to understand and most likely makes it easier for people to hire you into departments.

It is much easier to just go along with this, but for those who don't you have to jump through alot of hoops, address and answers alot of questions you wouldn't have to otherwise.

Desganao yu’ put este, na guaguaha na debi di bai hu tuge’. Eståba dumiseha yu’ mohon na siña hu na’kabåles este antes di bai hu bira tåtte para Guahan. Lao mafak ayu na guinife, ti mumagåhet.

Tåya’ tiempo para bai hu gosa i hekkok na sumotteru-ku. Gigon munhåyan i “reivisons” para iyo-ku dissertation, para bai hu tutuhon fuma’na’na’gue giya i Unibetsedåt Guahan. Lastima este na
summer.
I wish things were otherwise, and not just because I would like to relax while I'm Guam for a bit, and take some time off before I jump into job searching and my life as an activist/artist/grandson on Guam. This has been an exciting summer for cricket thus far, with the ICC 20/20 Championship just finished up a few weeks ago with Pakistan as the winners, and the Indian Primere League, taking place a few weeks before that. I haven't been able to enjoy the summer of cricket as much as I would like to because I've been so stuck in my dissertation, writing it, defending it and now revising it.

Tomorrow the last big cricket event of the summer will start, the infamous Ashes series between England and Australia. Over the next four months, these two teams will play 5 Tests, 2 Twenty20 Internationals and 7 One-Day Internationals. The Ashes is the most anticipated rivalry in international cricket, which dates back more than 120 years. For those of you who don't know what The Ashes is (yan siempre bula' sa' ti meggai na Chamorro tumungo' put este na huego), I'll leave it to i gef fayi na Wikipedia in order to inform you:

The Ashes is a Test cricket series, played between England and Australia. It is one of international cricket's most celebrated rivalries and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in England and Australia. However, since cricket is a summer game, the venues being in opposite hemispheres means the break between series alternates between 18 and 30 months. A series of "The Ashes" now comprises five Test matches, two innings per match, under the regular rules for international Test-match cricket. If a series is drawn then the country already holding the Ashes retains them.

The series is named after a satirical obituary published in an English newspaper, The Sporting Times, in 1882 after the match at The Oval in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The English media then dubbed the next English tour to Australia (1882–83) as the quest to regain The Ashes.

I don't care much for either of these teams, the Australian team is one of the whitest in the world, and the English team has a few interesting players but isn't a very exciting team (at least to me). I find other matchups far more compelling, although they don't have the same claim to having a long illustrious history. The Gavaskar-Border trophy competition between India and Australia has been awesome over the past few years. I got to "watch" the commentary from last year's Test tournament in which India was able to beat Australia, in India 2-0 (out of 4). I'm really looking forward to the next one, although its unsure whether one of my favorite players Sachin Tendulkar will still be playing. I'm hoping that someday soon, when I have a job, I'll be able to find a way to watch international cricket matches while I'm on Guam, but until then, reading long with the match commentary and ball by ball highlights is all I've got.

I hope that a regular tourney between two of the less traditional teams starts up, and becomes epic in a similar fashion. Buente sina ma tutuhun i "Wasim Akram yan Anil Kumble Trophy" gi entre i intenon Pakistan yan i inetnon India. Siempre maolekna yanggen mumumu este dos na nasion gi i plasan Cricket, en lugat di i gi i aire pat i tano' Asia ni' pakin Nuclear.

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