Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Facing the Possibility of Impeded Progress

Both my friend, K, and darkdaughta alluded to whether or not the institution would be receptive, or down right inhibitive, of my project because of the possibility of some ugly truth being brought to light about this business of educating black other words, will their being angry (if that's what happens) stop me from progressing safely through the program?

Great question, especially from folks who care about my sanity.

The answer:

I have a one woman army right now. A black(?) dreadheaded PhD holding midwife who wrote her dissertation using phenomenological qualitative methods with a vulnerable population. There was a very long conversation, a lot of soul searching in her office...a lot of

"why I'm here, right now, while you're here....there is a reason, I think we've found it, or one of many...I am more than cable of walking you through and being extremely supportive of this process. I've done this, I know how to do it, and I will get you through it."

After that *** stopped by because she said she had to see what was so funny cause we were "so loud" and my army, she said,
"well since you stopped by I think it's the perfect time to let you know what we're going to do."
She was so sure, so confident. Take no prisoners. She explained it, I just sat there.

The point is, I think it will be ok. You can never know these things until you're in the middle of them. But what I do know is that I can not settle for anything less than a thesis...I tried, I couldn't do it. My personal standards did not allow it. What I also know is I am done...absolutely f.i.n.i.s.h.e.d. with researching things that other people find worthy but mean very little to me. $100,000 buys me the right to write about whatever I choose. This is easier to say because I have a supportive advisor, and a conscious black feminist dean who has the power to make sure I am not denied my degree/progress based on beaurocratic BS or privileged ego tripping. They're all crazy. Academics. But so am I. There's no seperating myself from them. But I think that if it should go down elsewhere in the cog...they will very quickly realize that it would leave me the hell alone, than it is to have me still enrolled a year later.

(Guffawing, I am. LOL)

But in all seriousness, I asked about this. She (my advisor) was confident in her ability to lead the way through the institution and this process, and I, as a result, feel more at ease...or at least supported. And, it helps that the only person who has to sign off on my thesis as a completed work - meeting all requirements for graduation- is my advisor...yeah, that makes a big difference.

There's no turning back.


atl fnp2be said...

I KNOW you can do this-you and only you need to tell the stories. I'm proud of your courage and convictions.

Dark Daughta said...

I read this a few days ago but I didn't comment immediately.

It's good that you've got the support you've been after to do the work you want to do.

My mind is fairly exploding with all the wimmin I've encountered and heard about and had conversations with Ophelia about who were/are Black academics who pushed up against the structure of things and did not get the support they deserved.

These are older wimmin, seasoned, clear, accomplished, highly intelligent, extremely adept at navigating the halls of the ivory tower who did not come seeking validation, just clear space to continue with their work.

These were also wimmin who questioned and adgitated.

I realized the last time I really spoke about the academy in one of my comments here on this blog was when Navelgazer came and wrote in a very oblique way that I was being negative. :)

Loving Pecola...
I support your work. How could I not support a Black midwife. Elemental, basic, crucial, pivotal, strategic...

I don't support the academy or the sorts of power, hoarding, resistance gentrifying games academics are taught, encouraged, payed to play.

You know what I think about the biggies deciding to support your studies...
You are understood as strategic, as necessary, as mouthy yet intelligent, probably respectful enough of the power structure that those who support you understand that with a little support you will find your place among them with ease. Perhaps if they give validation, support and safe passage, eventually you will decided to stop questioning the structure and the way of things too stringently...perhaps you will decide to reinvest and support the structure that decided to support you.

Otherwise they wouldn't be supporting you to explore and to pose questions...within a particular framework...questions they haven't wanted to have asked or answered in the very same classes you are taking where you rail against the absence of so much you intuitively understand should be there, should be offered.

You are useful to them. You will be more useful as time goes on if they can ensure that you identify with them and through them with the structure they support.

I was thinking about you clearly locating yourself among them as "an academic". I wondered about all what lay behind and beyond those words, that identification.

Instead of taking up more space here, I decided to write something over at my place. Hope you'll come visit and read when you can.