My dog died a year ago today, July 1, 2010. Not a day goes by when I don't miss him. I realized, though, that I never posted the philosophy paper that I wrote about him.
To be frank, I think it is one of my more poorly written papers. I wrote it for a beginning philosophy class at community college before I entered University. As I re-read it, I had to resist cutting out major sections of it for passive voice, rambling, and various other grammatical and stylistic snags. Further, the content drives me a bit crazy. I know more about Buddhism now and wish I presented something less elementary. Not to mention, my eventual study of Edward Said makes me want to rip into Siddartha for being a token piece of the most flagrant Orientalism. (as displayed in "I See You Are Only Interested in the Exceptionally Rare": An Inquiry into Disney's Participation in the Orientalist Discourse" -- definitely a better paper)
However, I do still appreciate the spirit with which I wrote the paper. It was written when I was beginning to really grasp my love for writing academia. The philosophy classes I took in community college inspired my thirst for writing academic papers that are accessibly written.
Let us be honest: the vast majority of such papers are torturously tedious and boring. There is good reason why academic discourse seldom makes it to the New York Times Bestseller. It is possible, though. Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus: The Story of Who Changed the Bible and Why, provides a great example. Ehrman's idea was not new; the theological community has long known that the Bible had been edited and crafted both for the sake of politics and out of sheer human error. Ehrman, however, provided something new to this discourse by expressing the ideas in a way that the general populace could understand and relate to. Most importantly: a way to be enjoyed.
I have sought this kind of writing so that my love for academia is infectious -- and illustrate that academia does not have to be boring! "The World Just Makes More Sense When I Look At My Dog" certainly lacks the pomp and circumstance that even I would normally put into an academic paper. To many academics, I am sure that this paper appears lazy, elementary, and poorly written. While I can admit to the latter two characteristics, I will defend the former. Much effort went into this paper -- it was written during one of my worst cases of writer's block. Writing it in the fashion that I did was a huge risk. I was perfectly aware that my lack of quotations and organized thesis would be unacceptable according to the standards of academic writing. However, my narrative choice seemed the most appropriate style for what I was trying to express. Apparently, that sentiment was clear because my professor gave me and 'A.'
All that is left to be said is a big thank you to my Jake. In growing up with you over 13.5 years, you taught me many lessons about love, responsibility, and even academia. Watching Disney movies with you in my room inspired my direction, after all. You were the epitome and sweetness and love. You were a true blessing to the world. There is a reason why everyone who met you loved you, and it was not just your adorable puppy face. (Of course, your adorable puppy face helped) Thanks for being the most wonderful pet, familiar, inspiration, and friend that a girl could ask for. I love you and miss you every day.