life as understood

by jeff carr, master of the arts, -------------------------------------------------------------------------- presumably from a couch


a new title

courtesy of Jeff |

Notice: I've altered the subtitle/byline of this blog to reflect a recent development. I am now a Master of the Arts. Going about changing the subtitle has not come without hesitation, however. Ever since the previous subtitle was penned, it's been unclear what would transpire when I inevitably reached this point, since proclaiming Mastery right in the subtitle seems a bit much. In addition to reminding me of Don Quixote, calling myself "Bachelor" had a suave unassumption to it. A Bachelor connotes someone who has, at best, a casual, open relationship with the Arts. Such a man enjoys the benefits of his association with the Arts without a great deal of commitment or expectation.

By that logic, advancing from Bachelor to Master in less than a year seems awfully reckless. Perhaps I would have benefitted from some sort of intermediary step, like Partner or Roommate of the Arts. In fact, glancing back on my brief moment as a graduate student, I'm still not entirely certain what qualifies me to be a Master. Ergo, labelling myself as such still seems overly audacious.

What's more, I may be a Master at some Arts, but surely not all of the Arts. I can no more lead authoritative tours through the theatre district now than I could before. My opinions on Jackson Pollock carry no more weight. Even the Arts that I have ostensibly Mastered -- Russian history, literature, and language -- I have Mastered only in comparison with other non-Russians. Millions of high schoolers east of Kaliningrad could potentially out-Master me at a number of said subjects, and with their hands tied behind their backs.

No, being a Master of such Arts is not likely to win me any new friends, respect, or anything really worth having. It may not even win me a career. But alas, I am a Master all the same, and I've the paperwork to prove it. My Bachelor days are past. So let it be written, up there in the subtitle: I am a Master of the Arts. I cannot paint you a picture, direct you a play, or play you a tune. I cannot find me a job. But if you bring me some Russian, East European, or Eurasian Arts, I will Master them. And I will Master them good.