Today, I just begin to think more and more about my adviser when I was an undergraduate student. Not only he is a wonderful professor who led us to a beautiful world of philosophy, he is the few professors in university who has seen and handled so much tears and frustration from students.
We never really saw him as a professor at first place. We were his first generation of students. We saw him as a friend, but a family member. Maybe it is due to the nature of philosophy study, every topic can be discussed in class, in office, in our small reading group meetings. The topics we cared the most at that time was the topics related to the “love”, the most nature and fundamental topics for every human beings. We often called him, the love expert. As a person ( I do not really think he like people to call him scholar or professor) who truly understand the true philosophy of Marx ( not Marxism), He can really provide amazing explanation for almost issues in the world. A lot of current theories and issues I am dealing, still come from his teaching. He is an amazing professor.
We talked with him about all our personal issues, and all the personal issues can be directed to a great philosophers. This is the most amazing part of his teaching. Marx has talked about love in his final chapter of Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.
This is still my favorite piece about love. My adviser fully convinced us that philosophy seems to be something that far from the real life, but in fact is life itself, a life which an self-alienated person forgot in this harsh world. He led us to see it, feel it and fell in love with it. He made philosophy, a indispensable part of my life and my pursuit. The density and depth of philosophical explanation of social phenomena is not something social science can compare.
Maybe I should say that I regret that I did not stay and keep learning philosophy at my undergraduate school. I chose at that time to leave my undergraduate adviser and began my journey in social science field.Social Science seems to be social which actually is so far away from reality. The concrete human beings are just treated as figure in a regression model. Its tediousness sometimes is just so hard to bear. Especially, some of the called scholars have never really seen a person he studied, never even trying to think what kind a life he wants to provide to his people.
I cannot describe the hostage in my heart towards the nonsensical studies we are doing. They are so lifeless. They are just keep repeating the things that is not working, or propose something that will never be possible in real life. Because of the lifeless, the social science field is professional, which means “lacking of human feeling” for me. We draw model to describe the life people who are truly living. We use figure to abstract the hardship people are truly facing. We say we care, but we only care about the R (significance) in statistics. I really really feeling exhausted by those lifeless studies.
Away from home, away from the familiar culture, I often asked myself whether I made a right choice. Everyday, get up alone, put up makeup and make sure to simile. Go to school alone and trying to be strong all the time. As the only Chinese PhD student in the program, so many young master students are looking up on me. As the first women in the family who are studying in a PhD program in America, so many relatives putting their eye on me for better or for worth. As a student who seems always positive and active, so many professors lay high expectation on me, for better or for worth. As a 27 year old women, the world believe that we are not supposed to have issues anymore. When world argue for feminism, what they ask for is women without weakness.
I cannot believe that I can stop tears in my eye when I really want to. Even at the time when I ran out of classroom wish to cry as much as I can, the truth is that it only took me 3 minutes, I put myself together again, behave normal and active again. because, from the deep of my heart, I know, there is no place for tears here!
I am pretty sure, if I tell anybody that I feel depressed, the great answer I will get here is go to student health center to see a counselor. Like Marx said that, professors only deal with students, let the counselor deal with a person with mental health issues. Students and the persons with mental health issues are not the same subjects in this so called professional world.
I understand in my PhD , and in my future very very long journey of professional development, I might never get a chance to get a adviser like my undergraduate professor any more, who is willing to deal with us holistically, as true human beings.
Professional world is just not a place for tears, not a place for personal relationship. The only thing I can do is to bear with it. This just makes my own philosophy department back in China more and more…