Some closure, a beginning, and more Chinese restaurants

Today the professor for whom I’m cat-sitting should be returning from London, so hopefully by the end of the day many of my recent stressors will be gone. I say hopefully because in the past two days I actually broke two of her kitchen things, so I’m hoping she’ll be nice (or the things won’t be) and I won’t be paying for them forever. One of them, a wooden cutting board, simply cracked into two neat halves today while I was putting it away, and the other is (was) a gorgeous dark plum frosted-glass… well it looks like a sake cup, and since it was so pretty I’m really hoping it wasn’t too expensive. But at any rate it’ll be so good to not have to drive down here every day anymore. My new apartment is looking better and better too–I get phone service today! Yay! I’m going to stop someplace and buy a phone on my way back to the apartment this afternoon. Now it’s just one more week until internet…

Yesterday I had my first and most important graduate seminar, a US historiography course that spans one academic year and is highly recommended for all entering US students. (Historiography = study of the study of history, basically. What it amounts to is learning the different schools of thought that have been influential over the years.) The professor is a recent grad himself, having only received his Ph.D. last fall, and he’s never taught a grad course before, so, he says, “It’s the blind leading the blind.” He talked a lot but was enthusiastic, smart, knowledgeable and interesting. The other members of my cohort (that’s the other students who enter the same year as you in your field) also seem intelligent, articulate and interesting, and fortunately, they talk in class; even more fortunately, so far no one seems like a know-it-all. I’d expected to meet some real arrogant nerds in grad school, so I’m grateful not to have run into any yet. So far the reading is manageable and reasonably interesting. I’m so thankful I did readings with Kerwin last semester because I think that prepared me more than anything for having to get through books quickly while still thinking about them critically. I’d be pretty lost right now if I hadn’t had that training.

A fun thing I’m doing right now: reading Berkeley artist Indigo Som’s blog. Indigo and her partner Donna Keiko Ozawa are taking a trip to the South to explore Chinese restaurants in the area. Start from the Septmber 26 entry to read about Indigo and Donna’s experiences. They’re very interesting.

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