katekat: (Default)
it's like planes, trains, and automobiles but not the same at all..

i went to Chicago for the first time at the end of last month to present at the Association for Asian Studies 2015 conference, which was four days of intense networking. I learned that sure, it's important to not have an entirely terrible presentation, but more importantly it's best to ask interesting questions at every panel you go to. (i didn't, but i did try and raise my hand at least once a panel) Because not many people were going to show up to my 8am on Sunday panel to see me speak if they didn't already know me. But they might want to know me if I actually asked something interesting. And also I learned that there's no good reason to eat the frankly frightening canapes in the main ballroom when going to a sponsored organization gets you the pick of the nice cheeses. these are essential survival skills.

And I got to see my favorite people from my year in Japan! Which made everything better. We're sort of evil together, and yet also ridiculously awesome.

then this last weekend my own department, actually, my own graduate group, put on our first grad conference. and yes, I did kind of run the whole thing in one way or another as the conference chair, and yes i know how conceited that sounds. But I proposed the conference format, I suggested a keynote panel, I designed the programs and flyers and posters, I picked up the damn name tags, I wrangled the keynotes and wrote the funding letters and organized the catering. I created and updated the website. And I did have a lot of help from the other grads in our department to do all these things but I pulled all the threads together in every way. And felt a kind of vicious pleasure on Saturday night when everyone continued to come up to ME and say what an amazing job we did, and how much of a success it was (even though we still had another day to go).

now i just want to rest and recover and i'm having trouble going to sleep. but that's ok, i'm sure i'll get tired enough soon.

next up - I'm going to Kansas next weekend for my Grandfather's birthday. I keep forgetting to ask my mom if he's turning 98 or 99, but it's up there. Very far. After that I should be able to breathe for a bit.
katekat: (TeenW - derek strung up)
ok, so, um. i got buried under an avalanche of preparation. and disappeared. from the internet. i also technically did three talks in the space of four days. And one of those was literally across the country, so i flew there and back and presented.

but i'm back!

Tuesday I presented for half an hour. My presentation was one in this series our Visual Studies Program does called "Objects of Knowledge" - it's where a grad student presents their dissertation work to an audience, kind of a mock-job talk but with a formal discussant (who is a professor who responds to your presentation with comments and questions), and I was totally and utterly nervous about it.
A) because it was the longest presentation of my work I would have done to date
B) I haven't actually *done* the work I thought I was going to have done to, you know, present about it
C) the Vis Studies department has all the hard ass professors in it who call you on your shit, so I was terrified about what questions they might come up with

What actually happened? I think I did just fine! I certainly had plenty to talk about, my preparation of materials was thorough, I lined up a discussant who works on visual media but doesn't really work on Japan, and I'd presented at *another* conference the weekend before AND done a mock-talk practice session on Monday. Another professor at the university, who works on Slavic SF, emailed me about the talk and actually brought some of his undergrads (and even though the talk probably went over their heads, he was very complementary about it and we're supposed to get coffee soon to discuss our respective projects). My advisor came to the talk (which is good since this is the second time I think he's engaged with my work, lolz). And although his comment was his own particularly fantabulous kind of response, with interconnected linkages and stylistic flourishes, i think on the whole it was positive and encouraging. And my girlfriend who made it to the talk did say that she thought I nailed the Q&A, not because I had answers to every question but because I didn't get derailed by any of the questions, acknowledged these were areas that I needed to look into, and admitted when I hadn't considered something with grace. I did speak too quickly (but my mom points out probably part of the reason for that is I'm a fast talker in real life too - so my 'natural' pace isn't natural to hear except for me).

so that was that! And the whole earlier talk? was at Harvard :) which sounds cooler than it is, since it was a grad conference (and not the best planned one). But it was my first trip to Harvard! So yay! And my first time taking a red-eye flight (which I probably will not do again? i dunno, i don't think i got good sleep, I started hazing out around 3 pm, but it was nice to get there in the morning and have the whole day). I did get great feedback from the discussant on that panel as well, which was cool, since the content of the talk was a little different, and I've already had three or four people from the conference email me about staying in touch (so yay! networking!)

But ugh. All the prep work? basically I've been working on keeping my head afloat while I wrote the papers then also configured the presentations for both pieces, and dear gods that takes time. More time on the presentations (which I do in Prez, OMG do you knwo about Prezi? if you don't, please ask me!!!) than on the written talks (well, on the draft text, since I go over and over the talks more than once.

The upshot? I'm tired. I'm pleased though. And I have some draft materials that hopefully, once I clean up the language a bit, will lead to rough draft of my first chapter. OH, and this week I got mid terms to grade, so that will be my entire weekend.

despite that, I'm IN LOVE WITH the current story line on Teen Wolf and keeping up with it! It was definitely one that fandom COMPLETELY CALLED like a year or so ago? And is super awesome that the show people decided to go with. But it's hard watching it in pieces waiting to see what's going to happen. ARG. Episodic TV = ARG.

speaking of non-episodic TV, I also on my day of post-talk rest yesterday watched all of the second season of House of Cards. Is anyone else on my flist into it? I love it and am totally repulsed by it at the same time. I have *thoughts* but will hold those for a different post.
katekat: (angel - smile)
I made it alive!!  Got into Hartford last night at 11 pm and had to drive from there to New Haven because I bolluxed up my plane ticket (i knew i'd screwed it up, and that's what rental cars are for).  Not only was it in the dead of the night, it was raining!  Perfect way to introduce myself to east coast driving, right?  And the car rental lady thought she was doing me a favor by giving me an SUV type thing too.  I'm laughing about it this morning, and even last night I think I must've had a bit of a maniac grin clutching the steering wheel hoping no more big trucks would pass me.  Hey, the slow lane and me?  Got very well acquainted.

Did you know they don't put helpful little reflectors in the road for you out here?  They don't.  It was disconcerting.

Luckily I pulled up safe and sound to my girlfriend's girlfriend's apartment, on a tree filled street, got walked in and bedded down and other than being slightly cold slept straight on through this morning.  I assume tomorrow, when I have to actually be awake for my own presentation first thing, is going to be when I'm most tired. 

It's absolutely beautiful here - crisp and cool, and I'm wearing my winter jacket (that most people here would probably consider a fall jacket since they're used to snow - thank all the gods it's not snowing).  Not that I'm wearing it right now since I'm sitting in a free-trade coffee shop drinking a mocha worthy of the name (not too sweet, actual foam) waiting for registration to open for my conference.

I'm on pins and needles about presenting tomorrow - I have the paper done, but it could use some more editing.  I have so clearly in my head what I want to say about each piece, but definitely my power point will be getting some major revisions today so that it adequately reflects that. 

I want to take pictures, too, so I'll have to do that at some point and really be touristy - perhaps Sunday when I can take a deep breath?

I felt last night, as the road stretched in front of me, covered in water, that if I'd been with Neil when this was happening he would have been concerned for me -- funny that, because it's not exactly the feeling of missing him so much as missing having someone out there who i call to check in with who tells me to be careful.  So I called my mom when I got in which I think worked out pretty well for her and me. And I smiled at myself a little, because as much as it was a strange adventure in the dark of night, it was also just driving an hour in some rain. 

I can't stop smiling this morning either, and I don't think it's just the sleep dep./jet lag/what have you.  I think part of it is just that I'm here doing this thing called life.

It's kind of awesome.  I'll probably post more if I get bored at the conference, but if not, wish me luck!
katekat: (Default)
Getting sick is not productive.  And sure, you say, "I knew that already, trust me" but for me this last week has been an exercise in forced remembrance.  For a week I've felt as if I was pushing too hard trying to break through some invisible barrier of "behind" to get to the point where I'm ahead.

My rough draft of my conference paper was due today to my adviser (and if you count a draft without a conclusion I just sent it to her at 11:34 pm), translation of a page or so of text (of a fantastic little story called Hanabi [Fireworks] by Uchida Hyakken) was due in class Mon & Wed and it was a little painful to get through, along with the kanji quiz per day.  Plus I found myself taking an active role in the conference-from-hell planning, which meant I worked (probably too much) on things all last weekend while I still felt about 50%, then on sending emails.  Much needed relief came this afternoon when my grad seminar was canceled due to the hurricane (well, not due to the actual weather, but scheduling difficulties on the part of our prof) and while on the one hand I'm depressed that I didn't actually get the chance to prove i did the 200 or so pages of reading for this week's class, at least it's reading I won't have to re do next week.  And I worked on the paper.  And volunteered to co-chair the East Asian Studies graduate student stuff until I can get someone else to do it (which will be at some point, but right now it's monthly meetings -- and compared to the conference-from-hell monthly meetings are ... soooo far away).

the only way i've managed to be as productive as i have is through massive infusions of vitamins - a vita-C here, a double-boost jamba juice yesterday, b-monster Odwallas on tuesday and wednesday and m/w/f i've been a good little munchkin and had apple juice.  I don't think I've drunk this much juice this consistently since I was a kid.  Other than expensive, its not as bad as I remember it.

So this weekend?  I want to collapse.  Instead I need to get started on my abstract for my master's thesis.  Whew. 

OH, but about that?  has anyone ever heard of this movie [ tokyo gore police ] ... cuz i think it might work as a second text.  not cyberpunk though as far as i can tell (oh, and warning, the link is not for the faint of heart)
katekat: (_anita - snark)
i have been deeply amused today by the troll post on [livejournal.com profile] lkh_lashouts

i remembered to take a spoonful of b-complex today and WHOA it was actually wonderful having energy for a change - i feel like an an energy drink commercial without the crash - but I hope I can sleep.

i am appalled by Amy Goodwin's arrest and the fact that you can't even get a hit to Democracy Now! from Google news.  This story is BURIED, and it's really really creepy.  Makes me believe in the concept of a media conspiracy for sure.

i am reading about Mori Ogai.  And Maeda Ai.  And they are hawt.  Well, in an intellectual, modernist kind of way.

i got an email back from a tokyo cyberpunk prof I emailed!!!!  I'm like a fangirl in scholarly clothing.  In his last line he actually took my bait about looking for a Phd program and told me I should go there.  I'm trying to set my sights slightly higher, but hey, it's a fall back school in case my GRE scores are that crap.

i ran the stupid conference meeting today.  But at least we were done in about an hour and I didn't get so annoyed I couldn't stand anyone in the room... just mildly annoyed that they insisted on having the doughnuts vs. bagels debate during the damn meeting.  For 20 minutes.  Count them, 20.  Imagine how efficient it would have been if they could've, you know, not worried about which kind of pastries to have in the morning right in front of the rest of us.

i'm done.  lol.
katekat: (willow - grr)
first things first, [livejournal.com profile] elizabuffy and [livejournal.com profile] lilianvaldemyer (and any other Willow/Tara shippers on my flist) you should go check out this beautiful and heartrending W/T picspam by [livejournal.com profile] mouthfullofdust ... it goes through all of their time together through the whole show.

second, it was my beloved's birthday!!  )

third, school, oh you (planning, rants, annoyances) )

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