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January 30, 2005

Written Prelim Hell!

In some doctoral programs, students study for weeks on end and then go spend a day writing essay exams. I should be so lucky! In my program, I get towrite a 30 page case study policy analysis of my own choosing, as long as I address the five broad issues (loosely framed by my faculty). While I have no doubt that I will be eternally grateful for having completed this project at some unspecified point in the future (because it could lead into my dissertation??), I am currently in a state of sheer and utter panic!

I could try to remember to breathe now and then. I could try to stop feeling the urge to keep reading random things just in case they need to get added in to the paper. I could stop worrying about being perfect and start thinking that "revise and resubmit" doesn't sound so bad. Does it?

Posted by chri1010 at 12:53 PM | Comments (558)

January 29, 2005

You Know You've Been in Minnesota Long Enough When...

You tell your friend in Portland when she asks about the weather, "it was a beautiful day today! It was in the 20s, sunny, and a nice blanket of snow on the ground."

What IS wrong with me?! 20 degrees and I think it's beautiful? Well, I've learned some things:

1. when it's not windy (as it is in North Dakota), it isn't as cold.
2. I've also learned that the sun can be a very nice thing.
3. 35 degrees can be a good thing to look forward to. (Maybe next week?)
4. There's a genuine sense of accomplishment when January comes to an end.

I DO miss the constant rain in the the Northwest. I miss being able to buy and plant primroses in January. I miss not being able to see the sun for most of January. But for now, the snow and cold is a good reminder of how adaptable we really are.

How do you know you've been in Minnesota long enough? Feel free to add your own reasons.

Posted by chri1010 at 11:31 AM | Comments (421)

January 12, 2005

Red is Right (this time)

I hesitate to even foray into the Minnesota Vikings blogosphere, but no blog about Minnesota culture would be complete without a few postings about the Minnesota Vikings. If you want to read a couple really good blogs on the topic, check out Greet Machine and Mr. Cheer or Die's Viking Underground.

I'm sure many of my friends don't understand my interest in football, since for the most part, I'm a serious, bookish type. Furthermore, many people with my general political orientation tend to be fairly opposed to professional sports because, let's face it, there ARE a lot of injustices in this world. How does professional football, with it's high ticket prices, etc, contribute to making the world a better place? Oh, and there's the overt violence that goes with football that generally doesn't fit with the things I value, like world peace, children frolicking happily in the snow, and a good lentil curry. I can't explain it, and what's even more surprising is that I really like college hockey too. But football goes way back for me, to childhood Friday evenings, my dad and me bundled up in snowmobile suits sitting on the cold metal bleachers and watching the Williston, ND Coyotes lose yet another game. I learned football from my dad, who taught me not just to watch the game, but how to play as well (for fun only, of course).

I've always been a fan of the Vikings, although I'm loathe to admit that in certain parts of ND where I grew up, the Packers are often a second choice team. The rule is: Vikings first, then Packers. I know, it doesn't make much sense to anyone in the cities, but when you're miles away from anywhere, you cheer for who's winning. It's a bundle of contradictions, but it all makes sense to me.

Sunday's game had to be one of the best Vikings games ever! If you want the true sense of the game, just read Greet Machine or Mr. Cheer or Die. They really capture the feelings I think all Vikings fans had at the end of that game. Perhaps one of the best moments in the game was Randy Moss's "pseudo-moon." I think I've seen it replayed on tv 100 times. And I for one was disguisted only by Joe Buck's disguisting comments on the event. Fox Sports WAS out of line, yet, loving Fox in general as I do, I have no doubt that Sunday's game will be full of disparaging comments against Moss. And, to finally come to the point the title here has been leading up to Red McCombs IS right to ask Fox not to have Buck at the game on Sunday. Sportscasters barely disguise their support for one team or the other, and we all know who Buck wanted to win! McComb implied in his comments (heard on KARE 11 tonight) that Buck's comments were racist, and I don't want to make a full racial analysis here, but I agree. I think there's a lot of racism inherent in professional sports that we overlook in the name of entertainment.

See? I really know how to take myself too seriously. In the meantime, Go Vikings!

Posted by chri1010 at 11:46 PM | Comments (21)

Arctic Blast

Today I feel compelled to write about two topics dear to Minnesotans--the weather and the Vikings. The Viking entry will come next, but for now, I just want to take a moment to ask, why did I move to this frozen tundra again?

The cold hasn't even hit yet, and already I'm dreading it. I'm remembering how cold it was last year, and it wasn't even this cold!! My eyelashes are going to be frosty, I'm going to have to make sure that I wear long underwear to keep my legs warm, and dang it, I'm going to have to actually wear a coat when I'm outside.

Break out the electric blanket--we're headed for subzero temperatures!

Posted by chri1010 at 11:14 PM | Comments (1049)

January 10, 2005

No Want for Things to Do

I am at the point of convergence in my education and professional experiences. When I moved to Minneapolis two years ago, I was a little sad that all the things I had going in Portland were put on hold and/or ended for me to come out here. I had no connections, no projects...

And now, I feel like I have too many projects! I suppose I could learn to say no once in awhile but the fact is, as a doctoral student, saying yes to the projects that advance my career are a good thing! Right now, there's a lot of potential projects, though! I should probably list them here as a way to take stock in just how overcommitted I really am, but I feel like guarding my tacit knowledge today.

So how have I spent the break? Crocheting a very ugly blanket from skeins of yarn left over from the 70s, creating playdough projects with a three year old, and avoiding the countless tasks at hand. Above all: trying not to feel guilty for taking a break. After all, everyone needs a vacation, right?

Posted by chri1010 at 2:48 PM | Comments (1164)