You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Archive for May, 2005

London prologue

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

Taken on the long walk from the gate where we landed at Heathrow.  When I arrived, I told such an incoherent story at customs, since I’d been travelling continuously from Boston to New York to Frankfurt to London.  Ask me about it sometime.

Welcome to London (31 May 2005)


Well then, I’m here in London, currently staying with my good friend Laurel.  Getting here in/with many pieces was not completely unmanageable, though it had its tough moments.  It’s been two days since I left Ryan’s summer apartment, but I’ve only *just* arrived – haven’t even spent a single night here yet…

Taken on a beautiful day during the REP end of year party held at the Quincy House Masters’ loft.

From left: Alli, MaryEmily, Bryan, Nina, Tasha, Lindsay, Jeremy, me, Jordan

REP End of Year Party (13 May 2005)



I know it’s early, but I miss people from school.

View from the top.  I so want to be a House Master someday.  That’s Old Quincy in the foreground, the Lowell bell tower and the Holyoke Center.

View from the Quincy Masters’ Residence (13 May 2005)


And overall I kind of miss the semester already.

That’s all folks

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

I’m done!  Done!  *does jubilant danse*  I mean dance.  The French paper is done, it’s barely 18 pages (rather underweight), and quite unconventional (read: might receive a failing grade), but then is free-association-interpretive-dance on paper ever conventional?  I think not.

Must pack up fast.  Today is the last day storage is open, I believe.

Added: I wrote an addendum to my French paper, in an effort to shore it up against a failing grade.  *worry*

For my paper I tried to explore, performatively, the act of narration as creating a “fiction” out of actual events, in the Brechtian sense that fiction gives us the necessary distance to relate to the characters and learn something form their situation,  Thus, a meta-aim of this paper was to assert the role of art and literature in a globalised world.  As such, the first half of the paper is presented as “true fiction”, or a realistic retelling of actual events.through flashbacks and analysis arising from hindsight.  Naturally, the paper deals with themes related to globalization; the first story explores the characteristics of what I call our “new sociability” or means of relating to others in “society” in a globalized world (no longer created by history, geography or bloodlines but by chance and by a rhizomatic yet identifiable administration).  The second story examines the more machinic aspects of globalization, namely the control and modulation of society by impersonal rules and technology.  Through the recounted experience, I examine the perfectibility of this (inevitably flawed) r

I sense a trend here.

Thursday, May 26th, 2005

So BS 55 went poorly too.  This is shaping up to be a very bad semester, grade-wise.

I’m going to go write my French paper.  I need positive thoughts from everyone, and prayers.  Eek.

Relatively unkind

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

That went really badly for me, that Eng Sci 6 final. *woe*

That is all.  *whimper*

What a day this has been…

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

I don’t have time to go over the details (because I *must* spend at least a little time looking over the material for my ES6 final tomorrow morning), but essentially I was stranded, on my own, in New Haven, with _nothing_ on me other than a yellow highlighter and some lip balm.  This after the deliberately hateful greyhound bus driver drove off while I spent less than two minutes (literally) running in to buy a roll of mints.  With the other four Dins on the bus demanding that he wait, no less. 

It took a fair amount of assisted ingenuity to get out of that scrape.  But at least I’m home now, with all my stuff.

Interesting side note:  I saw Filbert and his sister at Union Station, on their way to his graduation.  Such a small world.

And on the bright side, I’m going to channel some of this experience into my French paper.

High as a kite

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

Wow.  It’s pretty amazing what a little time on the treadmill can do, mood-wise.  I’m actually feeling absurdly high right now.  *floats on happy clouds*  And that’s even while sitting in this fume-filled, fluorescent-lit basement computer-lab printing notes on island biogeography and human epidemiology.  Very cool.

I shall go to bed very early and be up by 4am.  Can you believe I have a Dins gig tomorrow, call at 5am??  We’re going to Long Island and it’s going to take the entire day.  Estimated time of return back to campus: 11PM.  Absurd.  So basically I will a) miss going to Professor George’s home in RI where he’s holding a final “class”, b) miss church, which makes me sad, c) be away from my computer and from the books I need to write that increasingly overdue French paper, and d) lose studying time that I might otherwise have spent on BS55 or something.  Not that I’m complaining, it just is the way it is.  Just another day around here.  *shrug*

Three down, three to go

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

I’m exactly half done with my classes.

My Hist 1856 paper has been graded, but I haven’t had a chance to look at it (too busy to pick it up yesterday and today after my A-12 final the history office was closed).  I’m pleased with the paper overall (even if it turns out to be bad) and will probably post it at some point.  Thesis-schmesis, pshaw!

SA10 was…  iffy.  Not confident that I did well enough to pull up my year-long grade.  A touch frustrating, but it’s my own fault, mostly.

HIS-STD A-12 (some abbreviation the college picked, huh?) went pretty well.  But then everyone will be in the same boat.  Intellectually I loved this class, but I was *sooo* stupid and dashed my own chances of a good grade with…  sigh, never mind, not worth talking about here.  My last paper (the one where I copped-out, gave up trying to engage the material and just regurgitated what they wanted) did well, as I expected.  It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty decent.  I pray I make it over the grade border…

So what’s left?  A 20-25 page paper for Fr273, in French, that will essentially be (as Wojtek agrees), the equivalent of a six-hour, solo interpretive dance about globalization.  Arghhh.

An ES 6 final.  I’m still highly recommending this class to anyone who needs a Sci-B core.  Looks impressive but is the easiest class, *ever*.  and I’m _required_ to take this??  Hey, I’m not complaining.

BS55 final – this one actually worries me a little, because it’s cumulative and I essentially stopped going to lecture or paying attention at least for the final month of classes.  But only because it seemed fine to do so.  *positive thoughts*

Time to start stretching those interpretive dance muscles.  Vas-y!

At last!!!

Thursday, May 19th, 2005


It’s now 5.25am, and I just sent off to my professor my completed draft for my final research paper for History 1856, Environmental History of East Asia.  It was 42 pages without a bibliography (which I will write after some sleep), and it’s a whole day ahead of the deadline, for which I am proud.  I’m sure I’ll read it again later and realize how not great all the parts I wrote after 2am are, but whatever.  For the moment, I am satisfied, and too tired to care much.

Later, I need to study for Ec10.  From scratch.  The exam is on Friday morning.  At 9.15am.  I’m not sure how I’m going to be awake and ready to take an exam at that time.

And it is still unclear whether I’ve gotten an extension for my French paper, or not.  *trepidation*

To bed.

Time to start hitting that panic button

Friday, May 13th, 2005

Problem: I have done no real academic work in two days now.

Today I woke up (late, late, late) at 9.30am, having missed my breakfast appointment with Melissa (bad, bad, bad).  Then I pottered around briefly before going back to bed (I’m fighting off a cold or something).  I woke up just past noon, late (again!) for lunch with Naabia at the CES luncheon.  After which we went to pick up our ES6 midterms (ha!) from Pierce Hall, and then I walked over to Yenching to photocopy six pages of Totman (the one shred of work I did today, and it isn’t even really work).

After that I spent a couple hours taking EnviroCitizen pictures and making posters until about 5.30pm.  I then went to my favorite florists’ and the post office.  This brings us to about 6.30pm, and a quick dinner in the room before I have to leave to make the Abu Ghraib opening (so many Singaporeans!  Even more than in the photo!).

This show was a must see, since I knew half the principal players – Jeremiah and Ellen in the cast, Xin Wei, Curran, Calum, Wojtek, Maria in the crew.  The set was the best use of the Loeb Ex space I’ve seen yet.

The Singaporeans turned out in force for opening night in honor of Xin Wei.

From left: Joanna, Vaughn, Amerson, Xin Wei, Shi Ming, Yishan, me

Abu Ghraib Opening Night (12 May 2005)“>

Afterwards I do more EnviroCitizen work for REP, piddle around briefly in Xin Wei’s room, and then do more REP work, and now it’s 2.35am.  Eeek.  I’m going to bed.  With *no* work done.  Abysmal.  I pray the rest of reading period will be uber productive.  It *has* to be. 

And yet there’s more REP stuff to be done.  Oh well.

Quincy Q-Ball

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Tonight was the Quincy Q-Ball, ie the Spring Formal, held conveniently in the Quincy courtyard right outside my room.  I had a great time. 

Chrix took this snapshot of us under the tent of the Quincy Q-ball.  Happy times.

From left: Naabia, me, Chrix

Under the Q-Ball Tent (10 May 2005)



I left my camera in Kieran’s room during the pre-game party, so I don’t have many pictures of the Quincy House formal, held in the Quincy courtyard.  It was a beautiful night, and it was lovely to see everyone dressed up and having a lovely time.  My date was the wonderful Naabia, who I’ll be living with this summer since we both got the same internship in London.  High point of the night (in terms of comedy) – seeing Master Kirshner dance enthusiastically with some Quincy-ite.

From left: me, Naabia, Ryan

Quincy House Q-Ball (10 May 2005)“>

And yes, we actually are in the midst of preparing for finals and stuff.