my monkied brain (katekat1010) wrote,
my monkied brain

is it over yet?

elizabuffy suggested last night that what I should do is wait to update until the end of the semester, and then have the book length entry titled 'what happened to kate' (although I personally tacked on the title 'and why she went insane') where I did a massive info dump at some point in the future.

Sadly, I can't wait.  Even though I'm in the middle of class, even though my eyes are already fuzzy like it's been a long day even though it's just after 10 in the morning, I've got that feeling of dread and want to run away from it by writing it out.

So, what's been happening to draw me away from the online playground?  An Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference, an Asian Studies spring party at the Dean's house, research on a paper topic I hope I can do (about a book called/translated Yapoo The Human Cattle).  Lets see, what else?  Oh, yeah, classes, reading for my other paper, and I think there was a phone call to my dad and several to my stepmom to find out what was going on with him, but I'm almost sure it was a dream.

And then there's my freak out about my Japanese test because of my conference with the Japanese prof where she basically told me that I wasn't doing well enough in class at all to consider myself a graduate student who's studying Japanese.  Yep. That was awesome.

Oh, and I've got a friend tutoring me now in Japanese (based on the lovely words of the Prof before).  She rocks.  However, her interests are very much translation based, and I need the basics - vocab, conjugation, and words like "the".  Gah.  I'm so lame it drives me nuts. 

Wait, I can't have forgotten that we're redoing the bosses' website, can I?  Yeah, that's somehwere in that mix too.

Finally, since I'm airing all my little fears out here at once, the nice guy who is really smart that I enjoyed having intellectual conversations with seems to be done with me - he'd looked over my shoulder one day and saw me doing buffy stuff, and we both admitted to a love of the show, but I wasn't quite ready to admit to someone who's an academic collegue that I didn't know that well that I wrote fanfic and manipped some fairly explicit stuff.  And I told him as much.  And since then he's been uninterested in engaging in conversation with me.  Hopefully its all in my head, because i really liked arguing with him about academic stuff.  But if it's not, it makes me quite sad, because i didn't handle it all that well.  Sigh.

About that Asian Studies Conference
That was a day where I felt like I was going to explode.  Why?  Because I was going to the conference at 1 on Saturday, so it's 12:15 and I'm slowly almost ready to think about being ready, and C calls and reminds me... it's game day.  What does game day mean?  That parking is nigh impossible, that the parking attendants laugh in your face, because Texas has fans that have been camping out  in the parking lot for a week.  So awesome.

However, I do manage to park at a friend's apt that's only a mile away, book it to the conference room, make it on time, listen to the two talks about Japan (one of which was sorta... ok, she's an anthropologist so it was intersting but so not in my field). 

The guy who talked about suicide in Kabuki though, he was sterling, and yet also a scary product of the American scholastic system in the snese that he actually made the claim more Japanese suicide than Americans.  LET ME TELL YOU NOW, PEOPLE, IT'S NOT TRUE.  The stastics DO NOT bear it out.  I'm not saying there isn't a preponderance of suicide in the literature (there is), or that there isn't an entirely different attitude about it (there is!), but they don't just wander around killing themselves, nor did they really at any point.  In other words, its a cultural myth that their own culture has made about themselves. 

Can you tell I feel strongly about this?  I went up to him at the conference and told him he'd better change his wording there (although I tried to be more polite), and he mentioned that other people had pointed that out to hm too.  Oh, and he mentioned that his area of specialization is actually African and Latin American Performance Art, so he really had done this long research paper and that was what he knew.  Such an exciting window into my scholastic future.

But, at least at the conference I got my name tag! Because I'd helped design them.

About that Asian Studies Party
Um, yeah, so, ran home from tutoring to put on makeup and tell the man that yes, he really had to go with me.  Yeah, cuz that's always fun to do, drag your boyfriend unwillingly to a party he has no interest in going to.  I'd had this fantasy earlier in the day that he was going to be excited to get out of the house and talk to intelligent people, and wouldn't feel shy but instead would be the charming guy I know he is and ask people about their areas of study, and then be proud of his own interests - he certainly has enough and they're damn iimpressive, whether it's cryptology, or interent security, or culinary, or forensics.  However, that bubble popped when I got him and he looked at me and asked "Do we really have to go?"

Yes, we did.  Our department's really split into south asia and east asia, and there are a whole ton of people in the South Asia side (they're better funded too), and about 10 people in the East Asian Japan program.  Which means we need to be present in any way that we can, because we're small enough that we're easy to forget.  And I was hoping that I could actually introduce myself to the Dean and get him to hear my name, at least once since apparantly he doesn't know it yet...  However, that did not happen.  He did introduce himself to the S.Asia people who came in with us, and made sure to get their names, but not mine or my boyfriend's.  But I did get say hi to some people I only see in between classes, we had a drink, we talked to the only other East Asian person who wasn't a language teacher, and then we headed out.  I don't think it was too much of a strain on the boy to be there for an hour, and I was jonesing for a smoke.

However, instead of doing the homework I probably will have, I'll show up at the next one, and the next one after that.  Why?  Because I know very well that, no matter if I feel like the bastard daughter or not, if our larger department doesn't know we're there they can ingnore us, and I've never been good at hanging out in the shadows being unnoticed.

About that groovy paper
So I've been reading this book, Full Metal Apache (it's about cyberpunk and Japan, all social/critical theory & a little postmodernism mixed in).  He does one chapter where he totally has fangirlie squee over a Japanese cult classic called "Yapoo the Human Cattle" (or, also translated as "The Domestic Yapoo") that's a sadomasochistic fantasy of a future world where white women are in power and japanese men have been body modified into furniture.  I'm trying to track down a copy of it right now, to see if I can do my paper on it, because it sounds absolutely AWESOME!  He started writing it after WWII, and it's supposed to be this fabulous social satire... there are like 4 academic papers abut it (which is pretty cool, becuase i could totally be groundbreaking here), and it even has a manga.  I want it, I want it bad.  The only drawback is that it's like 3 volumes of Japanese, and there's no way my reading comphrension is up to that.

I think that's all the whiining I can possibly do for now!  On the other hand, besides the complaining, I am actually getting things done - I've finished most of my reading for all of my classes, asked my discussion questions, and am translating for my Japanese Reading class at least an hour every night.  I'm staying more than caught up (not ahead yet, but almost floating on that curve).  Now if I could just get an A in the Japanese test tomorrow, I'd fall over from happiness.

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