my monkied brain (katekat1010) wrote,
my monkied brain

monday. monday. monday.

In the funny way that all life seems to mirror itself, my mom was at the California Democratic Convention this weekend (which happened to be in my town) discovering just how frustrating it is to be someone who is expected to show up and represent, but to not actually voice an opinion on the events (or to rubber stamp the Democratic platform as it stands in CA)...

In much the same way I went to a meeting this morning to talk with my grad advisor about the fact that there are no content-area specific classes (which means none on Asia) being offered in our department for fall, and I am supposed to somehow meekly rubber stamp this as being ok even though my funding actually requires that I take an area-specific class each semester. 

In even more painfully not-what-I-wanted-to-hear-on-a-monday-morning news, I should technically be taking lots of Japanese literature classes (even though our department only has one Japanese lit teacher and she's dual appointed to Comp Lit and is my adviser and there aren't enough students to *make* up an in Japanese language only Japanese lit class even if we wanted to have one, and I can't read Japanese well enough to take it even if there was such a course offered).  This from the graduate student adviser who is a classical Japanese professor who, while on most days is a nice guy who is just sort of repetitive, but who today I found frustrating in the extreme.

When I suggested that perhaps some of my MA courses might be considered to count for credit towards my degree (since I don't think we're going to be doubling the number of classes people are teaching anytime soon and so I kind of could use some creative ways to satisfy the requirements of my degree) he couldn't seem to understand that I was trying to think outside of the box -- the box being that my department doesn't offer the classes I need to finish my PhD.

I've already gone through the process of seeing a light at the end of the tunnel (just in case you're reading this and want to be reassuring - know that I'm past the "oh my god it's the end of the world what kind of a huge mistake did I make choosing this school i'm an idiot help" stage), and it could be worse.

These are my blessings:
  • My adviser actually knows the field Japanese science fiction and is excited for me to be writing on it and she's not an idiot and while she may have been consumed with her own crap this semester she IS a resource and I am not totally abandoned here
  • There are other faculty at my school that are not in our department who work on science fiction literature - it may not be Japanese but it's still sci fi.  And I am starting to know who they are.  (Now, if they were just offering classes this fall -- but hey, at least they're there)
  • I am funded.
  • There is another PhD student coming into the school in fall who is also interested in sci-fi / anime  and Japan, which will make two of us and I already like her and together we can start to constitute a class
  • I am not dumb, I am not without resources, and it will only be my second year at the school so it's not as if I have to be done with everything and perfect today (or even tomorrow)
These are the non-school-freakout related things that have made me happy today:
  • i aced my Kanji quiz, i got an A- on my Japanese speech from last week which is 3% of my grade, and i had already done my homework for today last week Thurs so I was totally prepared for class with no stress
  • i met a girlfriend for a quick lunch and she (since she's almost done with her Phd) basically told me that my fears are not abnormal but that it's not the end of the world
  • i have a boyfriend who is willing to tell me everything is going to be all right when i'm in the middle of a freakout
  • i found two articles that were AWESOME for my paper presentation tomorrow
  • i got to actually hang out with my mom this weekend because she was in town and we consumed a variety of food and had a great bunch of conversation and it was very very pleasing.
So, the sky has not fallen, the world has not ended, and I can do this.  Sometimes it just takes a little freaking out to feel more secure.
Tags: japanese, phd program, rants

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