(What was, Ardith?)
My conversion into a full-blown Doctor Who nerd. That’s what was bound to happen. I had watched one or two episodes here and there, but out of sequence, the British sci-fi did not quite grab my attention fully.
Then there was New Year’s, and with a home-cooked Southern-style meal came several hours of Whovian goodness. After that came the reactivation of my Netflix account and lots of personal balance in the form of watching episodes of the revived Doctor Who series.
(Okay, but what does this have to do with anything about anything?)
I’m getting to that.
Here are a few thing I’ve come to realize after watching three full seasons (I had to set a fitness goal before embarking on Season 4 and beyond because… well, watching sci-fi is not very conducive to getting back in shape):
- The Doctor > Prince Charming
- I am more cut out to be a time traveler than a simple housewife
- Imagining all that could be is wonderful, and taking care to pay attention to details in the present will affect how things progress
One of my friends and classmates observed awhile back that all his female friends seem to be infatuated with The Doctor. Now, of course, part of that can be attributed to the way the actors portray him, but a good portion of it comes from his complexity as a character. Mystery surrounds him; he is alien, of another world. Not only is he well-traveled, he has learned from his travels–a journey that has taken him hundreds of years and to the beginning and the end of the universe. He is adept at rescuing people in need, but not in the Prince Charming way. He is known to some as a bringer of destruction and death. And often, his “damsels in distress” have their own strength. Let’s just say that Bella Swan would not be cut out to make it in The Doctor’s world(s).
That brings me to my second point. The Doctor believes in his companions. He believes in the strength and talents they have. They trust him, too. He sends them off on impossible missions, and even when he tries to protect them, sometimes they find their own way back into action. I’m not saying that I need to have alien races attacking me from all angles to figure out that I am capable of so much. What I am saying, however, is that any partner I have will have to understand that I am stronger and smarter than I may actually think I am. I want to be with someone I trust, someone who I know will not just move mountains but bend galaxies and the very fabric of time to find me. And just maybe, we’ll be completely unconventional, jetting off from here to there on important business. Maybe no one else will ever understand us, and maybe that is just fine.
One of the premises of the Whoniverse is that time is not linear, and that it is more of a “big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey… stuff.” (Here’s where I tie it back to my professional life!) I have touched on this notion a few times, indicating that events that happened in junior year of high school directly influenced my choice of pathways in graduate school. Additionally, I realized after meeting Dr. West from the University of Sheffield that our Hall Council president from last year is now studying at the same university. I do not want to say that it’s a small world, but it definitely is a small world. These “inconsequential” meetings may very well influence how I tailor my career. Another example: I now have a contact in Australia, and currently, there is nothing stopping me from building my career in such a way that I could eventually partner with folks in another country or even work abroad in the future. All these intersecting timelines will take me on a fantastic journey that is unfolding before my eyes, even though the big picture remains hidden for now.
The way The Doctor challenges his companions to take charge and initiative is especially important in the work that I do. I will have to find a way to be a trustworthy professional to my students. The way I set up my office space, the way I greet people, and the way in which I provide them assistance will be one way to do this. I will also have to empower my students to believe in themselves, especially in difficult situations. I know one way to do this is to acknowledge our very human existence, understanding that we are imperfect but that we are perfectly capable. Yes, it may be a hurdle that a student’s necessary core classes are all full, but I will be the person that can help them find options they may not have seen before. I will be the person that connects them with others than can help, too.
Challenging? Sure. Impossible? Never.
(Just… just imagine the TARDIS noise here, okay?)