An embarassment of riches

A lot of things have been happening recently. I started a new job awhile back, which is going well. I’m back in the non-profit world, working on educational events again. I get to use my Japanese a bit (and have learned just how pathetic my Japanese really is). Last week, however, was the tops. We were involved in a trio of events that all seemed to go well. The most rewarding for me, personally, was a three-day conference that brought together experts from across the world to discuss a Troubled Nation. In those three days, I had all sorts of fun, informative experiences – including witnessing a prominent television anchor prove that he can, indeed, tell a story and hearing a respected previous presidential candidate expound on TN with a depth of insight I had not realized he possessed. Though the majority of the conference focused on bringing together foreign thinkers who had not had a proper opportunity to discuss the issues before, interactions with prominent officials in the government and the IMF led me to believe that the impact of the event may extend far further than we had intended.

That’s all that I can write at the moment, but I will follow up in a few days with a discussion of my first conference paper presentation. (Also last week!) I will say this, though: When I first began work after college I was young, green. I may have felt like I knew what I was doing, but I was also feeling insecure about making even the slightest mistake. A small mistake or misunderstanding felt like a failure. In a way, going off to grad school has helped my non-academic career very unexpectedly. I now feel secure in both my abilities and my failures. If I make a mistake now, I do not feel as though I am guilty of some crime; I simply move on. Get the work done. It’s a healthier attitude, and it keeps me more engaged with my work.

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Socialvibe

Hello all. Just a quick note about the Socialvibe widget off to the left of your screen. If you click on it, they’ll ask you a quick question about whatever they’re selling, and in return for your answer – no identifying information is requested – they donate some money to a pancreatic cancer research group. I’ve added it ’cause my grandmother died recently of pancreatic cancer and I wanted to help a bit. So if you’ve got a moment, please do try it once. Thank you!

Slow and pathetic

I know, I know, I’m about twelve updates behind.  I’m sorry.  Very sorry.  Mainly because this isn’t really going to be an update either – I have one planned but it’s somewhat theoretical and I’m a bit tired to use theory with any actual skill.  So why update at all?  Well, I was planning to do the update earlier this evening and am now feeling guilty.

I’ll leave you with a quote for now.  On the topic of how theoretical jargon often sounds like mumbo jumbo (and vice versa), and with a spice of Philadelphia (home of the Schuykill River) flavor:

“The monster Schuykilled toward me in a non-Euclidean manner.”  Courtesy of L- from last semester’s literary theory course.

Quick quote

All of the grad students in my department recently got together so that the older students could give advice to the newbies.  After someone asked a question about how to prepare to get a job, K.H. said:

“Speaking of jobs and finding employment- ”

At which time all of the older Ph.D. students audibly smothered ironic laughter. 

In theory one can get a job with a degree in the humanities… it’s just hard.

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu

Welcome to my new blog, Taking it Outside.  It sounds contentious, but it was inspired by the way my classmates and I regularly continue the class’ discussion while walking out of class.  The next class needs the room, but we still want to talk! 

This blog will be my rather one-sided continuation of my classes.  It will also have some amusing quotes from various classes and events that I have collected over time.  I hope that you enjoy your stay here.