In case you wanted to know...

Pronunciation: \ɛmkæt\ 

Dammit, Jim. I'm a Geographer, not a Doctor. 

I am not in med-school. I have never suffered any illusions about going to med-school nor have I actively pursued a pre-med degree. I was (some time ago) greatly enamoured with the field of finance and had dreams of being an accountant. Then one day I took an urban sociology course and became fascinated with (albeit depressed by) the concept of gentrification and the deliberate displacement of less fortunate classes. From there I found my way into geography, environmental studies and the field of post-development that marries well with political ecology. 

mKat is the abbreviated form of my common screenname, malaviKat (mæ-læ-vi:-kæt) and is derived from my name. In no way is it a reference to med-school.

About the author
I recently completed a Masters degree in Geography and, having been in school for most of my life, decided to prolong the torture by signing on for a PhD (somewhere in the fields of Geography, Environmental Studies and Political Ecology). In truth, I like school most of the time, but there are days when I shake my head and wonder what possesses me to willingly stall my life in pursuit of knowledge. Just what does that piece of paper prove, anyway?  Being as honest as I dare, I must admit the following: I don't think having the privilege of going to school makes one any better than anybody else. I think education should be a right, not a privilege and I'm not convinced that formal education is the way to enlightenment for everyone. (Certainly, there are unenlightened academics and there are many other ways of educating oneself.) Having said all that, it's the path that I'm on and I'm determined to enjoy it while simultaneously contributing effectively to my society. Whatever that means.

Like most academics who make their careers writing I am prone to severe writer's block at the worst moments. However, I've found recently that the best way to get back into writing is simply to start - usually about a completely unrelated topic.  So, here I am.  Since my plan after grad school is actually to write romance novels full time, I think this is as good a place as any to give writing a go.  Look, it's the only way to vent my academic frustration without killing my boyfriend, okay? :P

 About this blog
I should probably begin by saying that even *I* am not entirely sure what I want to blog about.  Have you ever hit the "Next Blog" button on the Blogger navbar and found yourself reading someone else's inane blather about something?  This is probably one of those times.  Sometimes, just for fun, I too hit the "Next" button. Every so often some really interesting life experiences come back... like new parents proudly blogging about their adopted child or an excited teen talking about her plans to sail around the world. I'm not sure whether this blog will ever be quite so interesting but we'll see.   More than likely this will be a collection of randomness (on writing, on literature, on music, on movies, on fashion (I'm not fashionable)...on whatever...) on all the non-academic pursuits that keep me enthusiastic and in touch with the "real world" outside the ivory tower. Life happens while you're making other plans, right?

Oh, and because you're probably wondering, yes, I do play videogames and I'm a big fan of Little Big Planet (hence my use of all the LBP avatars). I'm currently (as of Feb 2010) working my way through Dragon Age: Origins. Admittedly I'm a lot slower than most since I'm tied up with school but you'll probably see me ramble about my love for that, too. ;)

Special thanks to Chris Spooner of blog.spoongraphics for creating awesome Photoshop brushes (and other great design tools.) I don't know him, I've never spoken to him...but he makes great stuff!

Follow Me!