Category Archives: Introduction

The Universe Disturbed

Exactly one month ago, I told my best friend and beloved partner “Absolutely I do.”

To celebrate, I thought that launching a long-promised blog would be in order. Several changes have come my way (none of them bad, and all, in fact, long awaited and desired) that have already begun to “disturb” the universe I have entrenched myself in the last 26 years. I was accepted into a doctoral program in English Literature, which will begin in August; I moved from a college city in the Midwest, to a much larger suburb of a major US city about three hours west; the aforementioned marriage occurred on the 12th of June, 2011; and I am in the process of merging worldly goods with my husband, henceforth to be known as The Chancellor (his choice pseudonym).

Of course, while in the process of re-evaluating my treasures on earth, I have also begun to reconsider the less tangible parts of my identity–those qualities that I define myself by and let myself become defined by. For example: I am a white, married heterosexual, Christian intellectual. As a result, I see the world in criss-crossing ways: how do my religious beliefs affect my scholarly work, and vice versa? How does being a married heterosexual differ from my attitudes as a single individual? When does my socioeconomic status (white, middle-class) interfere with my worldview? All of these, and many more, are questions and thoughts I’d like to wrestle with. And what better time than as I begin a lifelong partnership, with both The Chancellor, and my burgeoning career?

One last thought before I eat the tasty casserole prepared for me: you might recognize the title of this blog. At two different points in my undergraduate education, I came across this sentiment, in two different texts. The first, which pays homage to the second, is found in Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War, an excellent young adult novel. Jerry Renault is forced to decide whether he will conform to the norms set forth by his all-boys Catholic school, or whether he will “dare to disturb the universe,” a phrase on a poster he keeps in his locker. The second comes from T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” The narrator, asking a series of questions, ponders, “Do I dare / Disturb the universe? / In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse?” I have always loved the thought of daring to change, daring to be different, and daring to disturb the order of things. I can only hope to accomplish this as I embark on these new experiences. I hope that my experiences will enrich your life, too.

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