Half-formed thoughts

Manuscripts don’t burn

Last week, I was the final speaker in our department’s grad student association speaker series (which also marked the last day of classes for AY 2015-2016, hooray!), called “Rough Cut” – designed to expose current grad students to research-in-progress. I had signed up much earlier in the semester, and as the date drew closer, I…

And the days are not full enough

The past month has been conference season for this Asianist – and a pretty exciting one, at that! I am feeling both rejuvenated intellectually & yet also melancholy. I relish the opportunity to reconnect with old friends & acquaintances and make new connections, but it reminds me how much I miss some things (and many people).…

青蛙的眼睛: Winter Thoughts on New Beginnings

The last time I bothered to sit down and write a post was last summer (over 6 months ago!), when Leigh Alexander wrote a beautiful piece that moved me to write (for once, it landed me on the Critical Distance year-end round up, which tickled me). There have been things since that I would have liked to have…

Remembering hearts

I have a whole whack of backlogged posts-to-write that I haven’t gotten around to: the end of spring semester (the end of my second year as a full-fledged assistant professor!) was full and busy. Two conferences, including a trip to Canada, thoughts on teaching an experimental-for-me course, other assorted bits of my life. Frankly, as summer…

“No, YOU’RE a bad Marxist” – On Debates & Things

Well, the semester is well & truly underway here. I’ve been having (anxiety-ridden) fun with my seminar – a topic I’ll come back to in a few weeks – and (completely anxiety ridden) not-so-fun with my manuscript, although I have been making forward progress. On the one hand, I’ve enjoyed getting back into my sources,…

Happy (research) birthday

Six years ago – give or take a week or two, I can’t remember when the semester started – I found one of the great intellectual loves of my life. I suppose I often think of the real birth of my research life as being tied to my actual birthday: it was at some point around the…

Coming ’round full circle

I took the first week and a half of winter break to go on one of my every-nine-months-or-so gaming binges – doing the media consumption equivalent of gorging one’s self during the holidays on delicious treats with little thought to anything or anyone else (or your waistline). I played through Tales of Xillia, having played about 3/4s…

Searching for ways to express your [fill in the blank]

The semester is (finally) winding down here: it’s been a strange one on a number of levels, one that’s sharing a startling number of parallels with the fall quarter of my second year of grad school. It certainly hasn’t approached that level of misery, but I do find myself taking odd comfort in the similar patterns.…

With thy needle and thread (and dictionary and word processor)

A few weeks ago, Maura Cunningham wrote a fun post for GradHacker called “My Dissertation Sweater.” In it, she compared her experience writing a diss to knitting her first full sweater; although I don’t knit, I read it & nodded – both for the feelings about being a grad student in those final throes, as…

Those happy golden years (?)

The semester is back in full swing here in Montana, and I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning on multiple levels (though I have had the time for some nice hikes the past two weekends, which has made me and the dog super happy!), but still trying hard to keep my head above water. It’s good…