Thursday, March 29, 2007

On highly educated people

I had this presentation on Monday. I was aware that I might need to go in general matters because the subject, iconography of st. Bridget of Sweden on the Swedish soil is a bit out of the usual ways. However, all my system, not that there would be much of it, was totally shattered. They were arguing among themselves about the single pieces of art work - but no problem, it is a seminar after all, advising me that maybe I should dedicate my thesis to the Portrait Birgitta of Vadstena or the Tensta cycle (I'll maybe add some pics later. I don't have them at hand) and that I shoud concentrate more on style than on the contents of the art works. Still okay, although for this way of scientific haggling the buildings administration might install a coffee machine in every room. It would improve matters a lot, coffee is ideas' fertilizer. At leas mine ideas'.
At a certain point my presentation fell apart completely. People were asking where the hell Vadstena is and what is meant by central Sweden. I have maps in my diary so it saved me from sketching them on the board, I suck in both sketching and geography. Luckily no-one asked where Sweden is. I got totally lost in explaining like.... "the essay in the catalog to the exhibition of Kalmar Union...." ....puzzled glances from the auditorium..... "... Kalmar Union was".... and then I forgot where I ended.
Damn, it's university people. I know that the education system here is a bit here-centered, much more than I would consider practical... although I'm not sure, on the other hand, that knowing about, say, Kalmar Union or Dante or whatever is really necessary for surviving. I guess it's not but seems to me that knowledge is the candies of life... so why not to have some.
I got lots of useless advices, too, like "Hey, there's this partial translation from the 1930's, maybe it would be useful so that you don't have to read it in Latin." My Latin is pretty lousy but still, I'm not really getting why everybody is totally freaking out of it. It's art history department, people doing medieval stuff... and they have problems with Latin (which is okay, I have problems with Latin as well as mentioned) and they have some sort of problems that they have problems with Latin....... Or is it only me who starts doing things and learns how to do them during the process?
Anyhow, I realized that although people didn't notice it - after all I didn't let them notice - my wide gaps in knowledge, I have them. Damn many.
Now I'm off ordering strange books.