Sunday, October 02, 2005

Eek before I forget my first week as a graduate student…!

Last Sat.: Jess came over and we hung out, watched some SNL w/ Will Ferrell, & had a regular sleepover! It was cool to just kick back before the craziness started. Sunday the Studio was having a BBQ, so Jessika came over for lunch, and we actually met up with a number of people she knows. I met M.— from the housing office, her friend I think Pete, who seems like a total younger brother (I don’t even have a brother, and I know that’s what he seems like!), and Payula (not sure how to spell her name).

After, I had to completely change, because I smelled like the smoke off the grill… Around dinner time I headed over to the grove by the English dept. for our “Garden Party.” Not to be confused with the Mansfield story of the same name… Ahh I wish I had pictures from everything. I was able to re-meet everyone I met while I was visiting last spring, and get to know some older students as well. I was standing over by a table of food, when Jill & Sarah found me… which was exciting because Sarah was my host last spring, and I think she’s wonderful and brilliant – and I just enjoy listening to whatever she’s talking about. After the party broke up, I retreated to my room for Desperate Housewives, and (possibly) the last good night of sleep for the year…

Monday started off slowly, as the first class I wanted to check out wasn’t till 3:15: Bender’s Enlightenment & Public Sphere course. Everyone went, but I think a number of us decided against taking it because, frankly, the reading load looked out of control. And I’m simply NOT an 18th century person. In the evening, I ended up going to Justin’s w/ James & Jill (all the J’s!)… we had aspirations of watching a really… unique movie, but ended up just talking (along with the roommates). The time kind of flew by, because suddenly we realized that it was nearly 1 am… oops.

Luckily, I also didn’t have class till 3:15 on Tues. I met up with my advisor in the afternoon, which was pretty uneventful because I didn’t have much to ask about, just a general sense of uncertainty. The Memoria class was awesome, and I knew right away that I would stay in it.

Weds: We all had Pedagogy w/ Leher…and then I ended up sitting on a bench in the grove, reading. I walked home with Elda and Lupe, showed them my room, made dinner, and then headed off for the library. It was funny, because I actually was walking right behind Elda & Lupe, but didn’t realize it for a while due to the iPod… Anyway, I was relatively productive at the lib., and then headed home for sleep.

Thurs: First Intro to Grad Studies course… which is awesome, because Jones is a wonderful prof, and it’s just us 9 first year English students. We ended up making coffee, but I was really… up and running. We kind of did the icebreaker of introducing ourselves and saying something “surprising about Stanford” (mine: fall is just not happening). After a very successful class, we all headed over to the Thai place for lunch. I had some lunch stuff w/ me, so I just grabbed a Thai iced tea… odd moment: a bird peed on us, twice! Elda & Jill were hardest hit, but I definitely felt spray… ick. We thought after the first dumping, that we’d be safe, since the bird was probably done. But, we were wrong.

After, I hung out in the Bender room for a while, reading… beautiful view up there, of the foothills and the palm tree tops. Then a brief stay in the TA lounge… It was still incredibly hot out… And, of course, The OC!! The ending song (Alphaville’s Forever Young, as heard in Napoleon Dynamite) was incredibly sad… so I decided to buy it on iTunes (so easy).

Friday: I had one class, the Visual Culture in 19th Century Britain. It sounded really cool, and then we went to Special Collections… I LOVE special collections. Not only did I get to handle a 1st ed. of Rossetti’s Goblin Market (w/ drawings by Dante Rossetti), I also was able to hold and read Katherine Mansfield’s edition of Oscar Wilde’s maxims (including “Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attraction of others”), which was interesting because I remember reading that she attempted to formulate her own Wildean maxims in her journal. So crazy to hold something she read and carried with her… I felt like I had something of a fetish for the material book… rather like the idea of relics, I suppose…

In the evening, most of us met up at Lupe & Elda’s for a pre-party to the grad school community party. Elda poured me a massive screwdriver, so I was pretty done for the night… it was fun socializing though, and talking about things unrelated to the classroom… we waited in line for like half an hour, finally got in, got smooshed in the crowd, I had some water, and then we were herded out, where we talked for at least 40 minutes on the sidewalk. Cindy of the Comp Lit program gave me some plastic cups, since they repossessed mine (even though it was empty and had never contained alcohol). Finally got home… eek 2 am… and slept.

Sat. I headed to the lib. fairly early and met up with Jess for a study session. I visited the TA lounge again… and after seeing where Jess lived, we concluded that neither of us had food… so we went out! To this amazing Indian restaurant, where I ordered my usual chicken tikka masala (the most perfect food of this world), and tried to identify chutneys. We realized that we really don’t know what sauce is what – just that we’ll eat whatever is set before us! As we were putting leftovers into those Styrofoam containers, Jess was holding hers over the candle, and something smelled funny, and the guy at the table over said “what your box!”, and we realized that the whole top had basically melted. Horrible smell, but sooo funny. As Jess says, never a dull moment =)

Back home, I did some more reading, watched SNL, and finally got my laundry done! And Andrew & I have got our webcams working, which make being apart slightly less sad… because at least we can see each other.

This morning I woke up at a decent hour… went to the free Studio 1 brunch (and met up w/ Marissa at her door, strangely, as she was going out for laundry as I was walking by for brunch, so we went together)… walked to the Union for money…talked to Mom while waiting to hear about shopping plans… and luckily got a ride w/ Justin and Jill to Mollie Stone’s (a cute natural foods store). It took me for what seemed like forever to pick up some stuff, mainly produce, as that was what I was missing… Next week I’m going to get up early and walk to the Menlo Park farmer’s market, one way or another!! I need a bike though, at some point, I’m realizing…

Anyway, I got a bit of work done, and then made my usual skillet cornbread for our potluck. Which was soooo fun! We had a huge amount of food, and just gorged ourselves, and talked… and James timed our “silences” – every 7 minutes, till he told us, and we started altering our patterns a bit. Talked about the food dyed cupcakes, TV’s more complicated plots, chickens, cricket, etc.

Ahh... and I came home, and realized, I'm quite happy so far =) Our "cohort love 1" was great, classes are interesting (and challenging), and, well, the climate is a welcome change from MA... (although I miss the beautiful fall, and I'm sure I'll miss the nice pre-April snow).

Now… D.H.’s and more reading…

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