(1) Sat Apr 01 2006 20:42 PST This is why I fail at math:
Susie and I ordered desserts to go from Applebees. We argued about the music on the way over and ended up listening to Disney music so we could sing along. The girl who came out to give us our blondies was super-nice and said "Are you guys listening to Disney music? My best friend and I have all of those downloaded on my computer, I thought we were the only ones who did that."
I had signed the receipt and handed it back to her when I realised--the bill was for 9.86 and I'd rounded up, but I hadn't rounded up very much. By then it was too late to do anything. "You're not supposed to leave them a very big tip, just like a dollar," Susie said reassuringly. "It wasn't a dollar," I muttered. Susie suggested we call and compliment her to the manager to make up for it. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed right away. It was the same girl who aswered the phone. "She's going to tell them we gave her a fourteen cent tip!" I wailed after Susie asked to speak to the manger, "to compliment one of her employees." "I'm a horrible person!"
Sun Apr 02 2006 17:01 PST Vera Brittain and other thoughts:
Susie and John have come and gone. There is a kitty on my bed, and I'm completely absorbed in Vera Brittain. I wish I had more energy to focus on all the other things I need to do but more than that I wish I only had to focus on one thing at a time; which is what I need to do, anyway. And about Vera: is it "Vira" or "Veh-ra?" PH says "Veh-ra" but he also says "Bulgah-ria" and all kinds of other things differently because he is from that place north of here. Why do I like Brittain? Why don't I like her? I do think she's unfairly pedastal-ised at the expense of other women whose war-time and literary contributions, in my opinon, far eclipse hers. Which is not to say Brittain's were not substantial, I like reading her narrative and seeing how it fits in--or doesn't--with other retropective accounts, and I can't wait to read her published diary and see where she contradicts herself. I've come up with the elaborate metaphor where Brittain represents, psycholocially, many things in my life I have hoped for that have not come to pass. She is jealousy itself, the girls I have known or seen and wished I myself were more like, in certain aspects. (Or perhaps whose success I felt unmerited?) Details are too complicated, probably too personal, and almost certainly won't make sense. But there is a cat on my bed, and at least my hair is a pretty shade of red, and what does this have to do with the war anyway?
Mon Apr 03 2006 20:15 PST These are times I rather wish I had a teevee:
My espn is on auto refresh and we are not doing so well. The woe! But on a happier note, Rob forwarded an email saying VH1 is going to air all 8 episodes of "Love Monkey." Ah well, eight is better than 3.
(3) Mon Apr 03 2006 20:39 PST:
I have always hated Florida
(2) Mon Apr 03 2006 22:06 PST I become more like Hermione everyday:
(but at least my hair is a pretty shade of red).
PH thinks VB is full of herself, as well, and manipulating her war-time experience in her account to suit her own purposes. So my aversion to her is not all psychological. We had a long conversation about it after class. I still want to do my paper on her, though, and compare her with others (betters).
This class is really weird. It's part distance learning, there are some students in Bakersfield, some in antelope valley, and some in visilia. We have one lecture a week and online discussions. I hate this for several reasons. The online discussions are annoying. Nothing will convince me it is a suitable substitute for classroom discussion. It's a lot easy to just say things, rather than having to type them out; although you have a chance to hone your ideas, a lot of things that get said in the spirit of conversation that won't come up in this type of media. But perhaps I am bringing unfair expectations from my grad seminar, where we always had really good discussions; based on their writing the people who are in this class (many of them are at a lower level or aren't history majors... or both...) wouldn't be able to have that kind of conversation. It's all very high schoolesque and rather unsophisticated. Which presents a dilemma to mee... as part of my extra work I came up with half the questions for discussion and since I know better, I am to go in and add where I see fit and correct any problems. I think it would be a lot easier to say "you're wrong" diplomatically in a classroom where you have the benefit of tone inflection etc to emphasize that you are not being mean and the other person is not really an idiot, even if they are. I feel I have to be super-duper extra careful to pull that off in a post. I don't want to come off as a snotty know-it-all. Even if I am.
Another problem is the only one lecture... I really enjoy lecture. I think I always have, if its a subject I enjoy, so I'm feeling a bit gypped with just one per week. I could just sit and listen for hours--well almost. I spent today's whole lecture on WWI wanting to interject. It's such a pain to do that the way the class is set up, it's like a theatre. We (the students) can't really see one another and PH is way up on a platform. If you say anything you are supposed to press the microphone in front of you so the other locations can here you, and the camera zooms in on you. It turns interjecting into interrupting. Plus there is only the one jam-packed lecture, so I didn't want to bring up something PH had deliberately left out in the interest of time. In the end I only said one little piece on the white feather campaign, biting my lip many times and writing little scribbles resolving to ask about them at the end if there was time. But by the time the lecture was over and he asked for questions, everyone got busy packing up and suddenly bringing up Belgium and propaganda or the role of class conflict in women's volunteerism didn't seem such a good idea. I'm a bit sore about it since we ended twenty minutes early, despite half an hour of technical complications at the beginning of class. Of course PH said after class I should interject wherever I see fit, but WWI is really the subject I know most about so I doubt I'll be so much in this position again. Which is maybe a good thing and next time I'll have more actual questions instead of things I just want to bring up. I thought this class would be a good opportunity to learn about teaching, since I am in a lot of ways serving as a TA. And I still think so... But it would be so much better with actual discussion, and it's making me really wish I were going to a school where I could take my actual classes with other grad students or at least upper-division history students in order to engage in actual discussion. The next grad class is on early America; I don't think so. As the grad coordinator said, "that's on the wrong side of the pond" for me.
This entry is bordering on what could potentially get me in trouble, maybe I should make my blog anonymous. If you've read this far I can't believe you haven't died of boredom. All I seem to have to talk about these days is school. This doesn't bother me, though... There are other things, but I don't like writing about them before they happen as they inevitably don't come off how I planned. Of course the flip side is by the time they do happen I have been thinking about them for so long I forget to right about them. Here is one: I found an intensive Serbian language and culture program I really want to go on in summer... in Serbia. It's only 500 euro for three weeks instruction, room & board including food! Of course it costs and arm and a leg to get to Serbia... all the same, we'll see. Some other things: I went to Pilates tonight and am sure to be sore tomorrow. I've been doing some DVDs Becs got, but no one kicks my but like the 24 hour instructor. And... hm, no, I think I'll write about that later.
Tue Apr 04 2006 21:34 PST Less Hermione-like:
Sometimes I think that is MUST be easier to give it all up and get a job that doesn't require so much thinking.
Thu Apr 06 2006 17:19 PST What are you doing here?:
What am I doing here? I got asked this today, but she meant why aren't I at some better school, rather than what is the purpose of life and I am fulfilling it?--the answer to which I'm afraid is no. One of those weeks.
(2) Thu Apr 06 2006 23:41 PST Nice!:
You're The Guns of August!
by Barbara Tuchman
Though you're interested in war, what you really want to know is what
causes war. You're out to expose imperialism, militarism, and nationalism for what they
really are. Nevertheless, you're always living in the past and have a hard time dealing
with what's going on today. You're also far more focused on Europe than anywhere else in
the world. A fitting motto for you might be "Guns do kill, but so can
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Fri Apr 07 2006 22:46 PST For a sea view I have no need:
Some recent thoughts: If you want something done properly (or at all), do it yourself. But I can't depend on myself to do things properly, or at all, either. Quite the catch-22, isn't it?
(5) Mon Apr 10 2006 22:40 PST The Great Escape:
Lately there's been a gray cat hanging around who thinks he has the right to come inside and eat food. He was inside tonight when I got home from pilates, but i was quicker than him and trapped him in the kitchen. I came up with an elborate plan to get him into a kitty carrier but this involved the help of another person, so I called Becca and she came over. She went inside the kitchen to scare the cat out the now-open door, while I waited outside holding the carrier to the opening. But no cat was forthcoming. We switched places and I searched the whole house; no cat. "Rachel, if you wanted me to come over, you could have just invited me. You didn't have to come up with such an elaborate excuse!" But I swear there was a cat! Finally I moved the washer to see if he was hiding behind it and saw the whole that leades to the underneath the house. "Aha," I said. "If I were a cat, that's where I'd have gone, too." One can only hope that this cat has been scared out of coming into our house ever again.
(6) Wed Apr 12 2006 07:38 PST Cat-22:
I've been shutting the door pretty often these days to keep Mr Gray out, which is driving our cats slightly nuts... though I always let them out & back in when they ask. Last night I noticed Mr Gray peering longingly into the window of the door as if he would like very much to come inside (and eat). He is acting as though he wants to be our kitty but doesn't quite know how. He is pretty tame and will let me near him but not too close. Anyway I felt sorry for him and was taking a small dish of food outside when I saw Tuxedo Tom go running from the vicinity of the (closed) kitty door. So now I'm afraid if I start feeding Mr Gray it will encourage TT to hang around more. Oh how I wish I wish we were ride of him!
(4) Wed Apr 12 2006 23:35 PST Past and present, they converge on either side:
Should I take European Colonialism with Murphy or Gender in East Asia with Orliski this Fall? I am too tired to weigh the benefits of each but they exist.
(2) Thu Apr 13 2006 14:48 PST I must not tell lies:
I am reading Journey into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg which is about Stalin's reign of terror and really quite absorbing. I almost wonder if JKR didn't read it before writing Order of the Phoenix.
we were all supposed to pretend that syllogisms invented by sadists reflected the normal processes of the human mind.
Really, everything does revolve around Harry Potter.
(1) Sat Apr 15 2006 18:41 PST Sleeptalking:
A rough night & a bad case of the why mes.... Why did I put my sheets in the washer? I don't have the energy to clean anymore and I want to take a nap.
(1) Sat Apr 15 2006 23:21 PST There'll be blue birds over...:
A nap and a meal, and Amanda came over to visit, and I feel better. Dead ferret impressions are always enough to cheer one up.
I have a new friend. I have to say I never understood the beanie baby thing, but I am always falling in love with the soft cuddley oh so cute TY stuffed animals that we get at the store. I especially fell in love with this one & have been wanting to take one home for ages, but always resisted because technically, I don't need a stuffed animal. But I swooned over him so much my friend Bri bought him for me today. He is the cutest little crocigator, and his name is "Chomps." I worn him on my head for the last hour of work and people swooned/looked at me strangely as appropriate (though Bri did say threateningly, "He'd make a cute purse!"). Red doggie is relieved to have someone to share cuddle duty with and I am already thinking what a great travel compainion Chomps will be because he can double as an airplane pillow!
Tue Apr 18 2006 20:37 PST Always look on the bright side:
I'm so exhausted right now that I even considered withdrawing for the quarter... but I quickly came to my sense. [That was a typo but I decided to leave it. Yes, I only have one sense.] I had a meeting with the grad advisor... We have an ongoing joke because his office is right next to Murphy's and I am always there to see her, not him. We discussed my thesis committee and he thinks who I have in mind will work fine. I am also thinking of taking French in the fall, though I won't get credit for it; I'll just be "taking advatage of the resources the university has to offer," which, few as they are, I may as well do when I can.
I don't know what else. PH said I have promise--in the context of further graduate studies, he also mentioned Yale, which presumabley means he thinks I could get in there. I ought to gather these nuggets and horde them together when I need them; sometimes I get so pathetically discouraged. And academic praise is surely a better source of comfort than drugstore cosmetics or chocolate... okay maybe not the latter.
I think if there is one thing I am really good at, besides being a nerd, it's working at the bookstore. I am really good at that. Of course I had to come running home in the middle of work today to make mom a cup of tea because she was freezing and insisted she wouldn't live an hour till Cheryl got back from Fresno. Lucky for us Len is coming back from NY and hopefully things will be a lot easier then. Big changes all around. No wonder I'm so tired. Can I go to bed yet? Still so much work... how will it ever all get done...
(4) Wed Apr 19 2006 12:43 PST 1917:
I am so relieved that L. is coming out. I feel like I am France & Britain (ok let's not forget Serbia, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Russia depending on what month it is, the colonies, the Arabs... and those other places), exhausted with my efforts, and he is America coming in on my side. Maybe now we can win the war.
(2) Wed Apr 19 2006 23:36 PST Woes of a grad student:
Why can't we have debates on the drawbacks & plus & nature of different kinds of sources, and how this related to everyone's papers... for four hours? Instead of having to sit for over 2 listening to some women jabber on about newspapers and city directories in turn-of-the-century Dallas... which no one, surprise, is doing a paper on? Why do I have to waste my time doing hours of reading that is not only not related to my topic of interest, is not related to paper I am doing and is not related to anything really, except what we are being yacked at about, and some stories we are supposed to discuss but never have time for...? Ok, so I don't but I'm supposed to. I don't think so. I know I am just being selfish. My interests are so different from everyone else's... there will never be a class that will suit one person entirely... I'm sure some felt this frustrated in the seminar last quarter when I was having a ball, so this is only payback time... it is not so unusual for there to be a requirement that it too basic for me to actually need it, but some do... and I know I like the book that everyone else hates, and hate the book that everyone else like. So yeah, I'm being selfish, but I don't care. MEMEMEMEMMEMEEEE. Blah. Luckily this post doesn't make much sense. out it goes anyway. I'm not here to impress anyone.
(1) Fri Apr 21 2006 16:27 PST Canabalism:
Susie: I don't think we shoudl feed a jellybean to Tonks.
(3) Fri Apr 21 2006 20:04 PST Isabel Hutton wrote this about her marriage:
I had at length accepted the proposal first made to me in the Mosque of Suleimani and repeated in more orthodox surrondings. The main problem was how to carry on my profession so as to fit in with a military career, and the obstacles seemed insurmountable. Clearly, it would be a case of 'never the time and the place and the loved one all together'. Still, if it were undertaken on a day-to-day basis might it not work out in the long run? So we were married in the old, grey city of Edinburgh and set out together upon an uncharted voyage which has not yet come to an end.
Leonard and Sumana are now married. Congratulations. May your obstacles not be insurmountable, and your voyage together joyful.
(1) Sun Apr 23 2006 15:42 PST Sorry!:
...for ignoring everybody. Hopefully I will be able to hang out... sometime. Unfortunately, most of the people I am "ignoring" don't read this.
(4) Mon Apr 24 2006 18:02 PST Selfish:
The History Department changed its schedule for Winter Quarter. Just for me! So I can take Women's History and Historiography, which previously were at the same time. Yayayay! I am that special.
(2) Tue Apr 25 2006 15:02 PST Gulag observations:
Don't try & keep your preciouss kitty on a diet when you are reading such books as Journey into the Whirlwind and Survival in Auschwitz unless you want to feel like the big bad prison guard who isn't giving the poor prisoners enough to eat, simply because they were falsely accused of being a Trotskyist or happened to be born Jewish.
(1) Thu Apr 27 2006 22:36 PST So much:
Leonard is here and as a result I have come home to delicious meals waiting for me! It feels very domestic, but I wish it weren't so late by the time I eat them & everyone else is in bed. I worked a full shift today and am tired tired tired. But it was very very fun, one of my coworkers came in and showed me her wedding invitations and her bridesmaid dress. And other fun things. I am so vair vair tired... Tomorrow I have the day off which is good as I will hopefully be able to catch up on things I need to do... yikes.
(1) Fri Apr 28 2006 20:43 PST Personality disorder? or polyjuice potion?:
So I didn't have today off after all. Opps. The insanity must be catching.
So far today I have been "Anne," "Mom," and "Susie."
© 2002-2010 Rachel Richardson.