Non-academic life

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).…

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…

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…

‘So let’s write letters’

I bought a wondrous anthology while living in Taiwan, back in 2006; it’s called Women Writers of Traditional China (I’ve written about it before), and at the time, it seemed like it cost a bloody fortune (little did I know how quickly my spending on books would accelerate in the years after that!). I teach with…

Knowing that when light is gone,/Love remains for shining.

I’ve always loved reading the acknowledgement sections of academic books – it’s interesting to see academic connections, of course, but the personal acknowledgements can be so touching. One of my favorites is from Joshua Goldstein’s Drama Kings – he says simply: “This book is dedicated to those who struggle with love to stay awake.” Research…

Iron girls

I’ve been trotting through the history of Chinese women in the 20th century in preparation for a course I’m teaching this coming winter. Unraveling these narratives that have been put in service to nation building has been both a trip down memory lane (recalling the early days of my fascination with Chinese history) and diving…

Back in the fold

Immediately following on the heels of a family visit (and lots of Kindle reading!), I headed up to Beijing for a work-personal visit, which has actually been really great for work overall (and recharging my batteries in a different sort of way).  Shanghai has been oddly isolating, particularly after coming off of three years of…

Recharging the batteries

So I’ve had the occasion – thanks to a visit from family – to completely set aside work for about two and a half weeks & just relax.  One thing I’ve found since starting grad school, lo those many years ago, is that “relaxation” is sort of a misnomer for what’s going on when you’re…