today we got some interesting news from the physics dept. it's his project/degree/etc, so i won't go into it very much...but the details make me livid.
the physics department... every time someone i know talks about their masters/phD program here at aTm, i'm disgusted with everything. they are unorganized. they use their students for labor, with threats to cut their funding. they expect ridiculous hours. being involved in anything else? Out of the question. then they tell you that you don't have the background in your field that they are looking for....but they have no way to provide it for you. how are you supposed to learn anything or keep a job that way? your race DOES matter. so do your glasses, and your haircut, and you will be told that outright. you've been here for 10 years and you're almost done with your thesis? oh sorry, we've brought in someone new and we're not going to give you your PhD. your experiment isn't doing well? looks like another 10 years of labor. you have kids? too bad, you won't get home until 3am EVERY DAY.
it makes me not want to go back to grad school. why would anyone want to go through that? the TAMU physics department is the model of exactly what i would NEVER sign up for. too bad none of the incoming grad student have any clue of that. additionally, the foreign students have to deal with so much aggression from the white redneck undergraduates and locals that they live in fear of biking to the university and back every day.
now, all the wonderful things i've experienced here aside(the neighborhood, lucas, my friends, biking, the wheelers, art guild, aTm club soccer, the awesome political science dept, poking you tattoo and my job, the long road trip to burningman each summer...).. those mostly uniquely created experiences aside... college station texas/TAMU is probably one of the absolutely worst places i have EVER found myself in. the city culture provides close to nothing, if not causing backwards momentum against any sort of progressive or even slightly different culture. we have to create things like the art guild, the wheelers and the neighborhood for our own sanity, and just hope that someone similar to us will continue the trend for THEIR own sanity. i have to say, we started from scratch and it was tough. i wonder who will come after us? hopefully we've made enough of an impact for others to follow with a little bit of leftover direction. but college station will never change.
it's a town founded on tradition, racism/sexism, religion and bigotry. it absolutely disgusts me.
i am very thankful for those trying to make it a better place for moderates and progressive types of culture to simply survive. model individuals like the members of The Neighborhood, all those creating the art culture center in downtown Bryan, Rola and Revolution, Dr. Crompton at TAMU and in the city council, Andrew Pitts and his work with the community, Maroon Bike Project, Barbara Moore in the neighborhood department in the city... sensible and kind cops like Officer Fleeger and the bicycle cops who don't simply give foreign students tickets for not having lights, but are the first ones to the scene when there are drunken fights behind northgate. all the professors who stick it out among students, on the DAY of the election, still think Obama is "not black, but muslim."
i've learned so much here that it makes my brain hurt. it's time to learn in ways that aren't quite as painful. my friends and i deserve better.... it's been too many years here. good luck to the rest of you. get out, there are abundant opportunities for you in places in the world that WANT your input, and where your creativity can be used to its FULL potential.