So, I thought I’d give blogging a try as a way to keep in regular touch while I dive into this next phase in my life. We’ll see how this goes…
Most of this week has been spent trying to get myself settled in at school. As of Monday, I only knew one class I was taking and still wasn’t sure about my funding. This frustrated me a lot because I couldn’t do any sort of schedule or financial planning—I felt in limbo. I went to the UCLA orientation Monday morning and it was a colossal waste of time, so I left early. On Tuesday morning I went to the School of Theatre, Film & Television’s orientation and it was also a colossal waste of time (a student performance of a scene from The Hot Mikado and an interview with a top costume designer— vaguely interesting but not really what I needed right then) so I left that as well. Fortunately, Tuesday afternoon was orientation with Sue-Ellen Case, the graduate advisor. For those of you who don’t know who she is, Sue-Ellen is one of the premiere theatre theorists, focusing on feminism. So far she seems laid back—she says “whatever” a lot. Anyway, she finally cleared up my funding questions. It looks like I’m going to be her research assistant in the winter quarter.
On Thursday I had my first official class, Grad Forum. It’s a two-unit class where the first and second year PhD students from the theatre department meet to talk about various subjects. We cover anything from professional development to issues about the program to presenting papers at a conference to anything else we want to discuss; it’s almost like a support group. Fortunately, it only meets every other week (Thursdays, 3-4:50) and there are no major assignments. It was during the Grad Forum on Thursday that I got my schedule figured out for this quarter. Besides the Grad Forum I’m taking Historiography (Tuesdays, 2-4:50) and Globalization and Performance (Wednesdays, 3-5:50). Attending Grad Forum energized me—I like the people and I enjoyed the level of intellectual discussion, so I’m starting to look forward to the next four years.
At least this quarter I only have to be on campus 2-3 days each week, which means my commute won’t be too terrible. I won’t hit much traffic going to UCLA since my classes begin mid-afternoon, but I’ll probably hang out in the library after class until around 8pm when the traffic dies down. That way I can get work done while minimizing the amount of time I spend in my car, saving gas, my back and my sanity all at the same time.
So, I’m looking forward to my first quarter—I don’t think this is the quarter that’s going to kick my ass. In fact, in my historiography class I read two of the three plays and one of the articles in one of Susan’s classes last year (thank you, Susan!). I plan to update this once a week, I’m interested to see how I feel about this program as I continue through it.