Thursday, August 23, 2007

decompressing from an awesome day

I meant to write this on Wednesday, as the awesome day was on Tuesday. But I wasn't fully decompressed. Also, I was busy and tired. Sorry, blogosphere! You lose. :)

So, Tuesday:

* Woke up and went to the gym. Yay. Up here in the middle of nowhere, it is really dark at 4:30am. But it was also very clear and the stars were out, so that was nice. I was only momentarily scared of the dark and the neighborhood; I quickly remembered that I wasn't in East San Jose anymore and calmly walked to my car. Time at the gym was uneventful but fulfilling, if that makes any sense.

* By the time I got back from the gym, the GenEd prof for whom I am a grader had written back and said no worries and everything was fine. So, by 6am all that stress went away.

* In the afternoon, I headed off to class. My two primary seminars are back-to-back on Tuesdays. I was nervous because these are the sort of high-stakes seminars for me. One is History of the Book. The other is Cultural Theory. The latter is taught by one of the two people whose presence sealed the deal for me when I was choosing between here and Davis.

* In the first class, I knew all but one of the people already. I hadn't met the prof. Having met the prof now, I can say she rocks hard. For anyone reading this who knows of a particular nemesis of mine at our previous school, well, I can say that this particular prof is everything that other woman wishes she could be, and never will. For one thing, the prof here is inherently nice, helpful, and kind in addition to being freakishly smart and accomplished. She runs a good class. She's also fine with my "inability to fully appreciate Emily Dickinson." That's my key phrase instead of "I hate Emily Dickinson." Janet, you'll never convince me otherwise.

* In the second class, I finally realized what it meant to be in grad school. The seminar was overloaded. The prof is a rock star. The topic is hot. And everyone had something interesting to say during introductions, and the conversation throughout the seminar was intelligent and polite. Also, sometimes funny. That was my contribution, when lacking something intelligent to say at the moment. I was still trying to process how it was sort of my dream seminar as far as interactions go, even though it's not my field (and it's actually out of my comfort zone).

* So I was on some sort of seminar high as I walked home. I got home, turned on my computer, and sitting there was an email of updates/shenanigans from an insider at my former school. Turns out that the seething jackass/sociopath guy who plagued the department for the last few years, and who applied to schools way over his head, and who got into a school (a good one) on the last possible day only due to three faculty members putting their reputation on the line and calling in favors, well...he quit his program before even starting classes. I realize that making a "schadenfreude!" t-shirt is in bad form. Heck, I also quit my first PhD program--but I was 19 and at least made it to mid-term. We are all glad he flamed out, even if it means we're morally bankrupt individuals who are going to hell.

* In other news, Mary-the-frequent-commenter has her first composition classes today. Go Mary!