My Historiography seminar seems fun and I really like the professor. She is relaxed, not intimidating but very smart. She created the class so that it’s half theoretical and half practical. Besides reading a bunch of theoretical articles/chapters, we are working on research projects that involve archival material prior to the 1970s. The goal is to amass enough materials to create a paper that may evolve into an article. The point is for us to become practicing theatre historians, along with having grounding in theory. She told us that in the 1980s and most of the universities were hiring profs who focused solely on theory, but now they want to hire people who have some sort of specified knowledge about a subject along with theoretical knowledge. My project is identifying the first productions using motion pictures; mostly I’m looking at old reviews from the early part of the 20th Century.
The Globalization and Performance class will, I hope, turn out to be really beneficial, but it did not get off to a good start. First, the seminar was supposed to be in a seminar conference room—nice table with ergonomic chairs. But the prof had the room changed to a dance studio because she wanted more light in the room. Practically, this meant uncomfortable chairs with no table, though there was plenty of light. I especially appreciated the light as it shone directly in my eyes as the sun began to set. The seminar is also really big, about 16 people. The good thing is that students come from various backgrounds and disciplines, which should make our discussions more interesting. We even have two students from Tulane—they call themselves “Katrina students.” I knew there were some undergrad Katrina students at UCLA but I didn’t expect doctoral students to show up in any of my seminars. Anyway, I expected the first class to be short just because it was the first class. Was I wrong. The professor just returned from a year-long leave of absence and I think she’s out of practice in terms of teaching. Never did I hear anyone drone on and on. Over the course of the quarter we will read about 45 articles/chapters, and she described each one of them. Not just each article, but the author, the background and sometimes even the journal. It took the entire three hours.
I felt so drained after class that I couldn’t stay on campus to do any work, so I drove home. Since it was about 6:30 by the time I left, I knew the 10 would be awful. I took Sunset to Coldwater over the hill and then the Ventura. It took about 50 minutes, which is only 15 minutes longer than what it takes when it’s not rush hour, so I thought that wasn’t too bad.
So that’s the end to the start of my first quarter as a doctoral student. Like I said last week, this quarter will not be too hard so I’m grateful for that. My funding issues still have not been completely figured out, which is a little frustrating, but I’m sure it will get worked out eventually.
Veering from the subject a little:
Tom received his tenure last night. The board made a big deal out of it and I was so proud to see him getting the accolades he deserves. He was presented with a certificate stamped with a seal of excellence, signed by the director of personnel, one of the people who tried to deny him tenure last year. Ironically, the last sentence of the certificate had a major typo: it was missing an entire word! Excellence, indeed!
In other news, Oatmeal got groomed and clipped yesterday. Her ears were cut really short, so it looks like she has a bob. Soooo cute!