My day started well and is getting better, since I’ve thought up a way to get rid of that awful midterm looming over my shoulder. But first, a note from our sponsor. Just kidding. If everyone I linked gave me sponsoring money… I’d be fatter, better dressed, and would never get any schoolwork done because I’d just be reading and listening to music.

I can’t decide whether this development [link broken] is superfluous or wildly exciting.

So I was sitting around in my apartment trying to get motivated enough to start on my geography midterm. I did get started, but the motivation part was definitely not happening. Really, I just don’t like that class. I’m taking it for my international studies breadth requirement, and it’s not too hard a class, but it’s not interesting and I don’t think it’s especially well taught. It’s supposed to be on the geography of China’s development but so far I feel we’ve learned a lot more about history and policy than we have about geography, and I’ve already learned much of that in Chinese history courses. But what tops it all off is this midterm: two essay questions, each worth twenty percent of our final course grade, and each needs to be four to five pages long, one point five spacing. She gave us the topics on Tuesday, it’s due tomorrow. If that does not demonstrate a lack of knowledge of how students work, I don’t know what does. A few hours ago, though, I realized that I’m not even learning anything from this class. I should just not take it, but this might be my last semester before graduation, and anyway I’ve already sat through seven weeks of lectures (and that annoying guy who always talks to himself and asks elaborate questions). So… *light bulb goes off* I’ll switch the grading option to pass/no pass! Isn’t that brilliant? Now I won’t have to waste my time and energy trying to produce fabulous essays for a class I’m really not excited about. 😀 I can’t tell you how happy it made me to decide to switch the grading option. I guess I hadn’t thought about that as a possibility because I’ve never taken a class P/NP of my own volition (some one-unit classes are only offered P/NP). I figure in my potential last semester as an undergrad, having a nice un-P/NP-y record, and because L&S says breadth courses can be taken on that basis, it can’t hurt to do that.

Partly in celebration of my decision, and also just because I needed to get out and do something interesting, I went out for ice cream with Jennifer, at Ben & Jerry’s, and that perked us both up considerably. I had Dulce Delicious in a chocolate-and-chopped-nut-covered sugar cone. Ah yes. Afterword she walked me to class and she (and Joyce, since we ran into her in Evans) got to experience ten minutes of Prof Klein’s initimable lecturing (and personal) style.

After class I went to talk to Prof Klein at his office hours. Two cool things came out of that. One, he gave me a copy of what he says may be the best history of the Chinese in California, which also happens to be on truck farming (uninteresting to you, perhaps, but very interesting to me). He had two copies, so it’s not like he just loves me so much he had to sacrifice his copy. ;b He also told me he wanted to read part of my thesis out loud as part of a lecture last week, but didn’t get the chance because he ran out of time. He says he would have made me stand up so everyone could see who wrote it. ;b Very embarrassing that would have been, but still, I wish I’d had that experience. 🙂

Anyway the problem with my present state of happiness about my yucky midterm is that even if I’m taking the class P/NP, I still have to actually write the essays. And they still have to be at least four pages each. Doh!

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]