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Rad Angela
I have this school friend. He and I were partners in one of the first classes I took here and we got to be pretty good email friends and we get lunch or coffee when we were both on campus. Over the couple of years that he and I have been friends there's been more and more annoying things about him. First he completely refuses to take any responsibility for anything that he does in our program. If he gets an A-, he can't own up to it--- it's always some sort of deficiency with the professor's abilities. He also has developed a weird overprotective thing with me. He's older than I am, he's 39 and I'm 26, and I think he feels very much like he needs to watch out for me. And that makes our friendship hard because before it was us venting to one another about school, but now I can't because I don't trust him not to say something to one of my professors. Last semester he went to one of my professors and thanked him for being nice to me. When he told me he did that I was shocked and I asked him if he thought he was my dad, and my 'friend' couldn't see anything wrong with the situation. Luckily the prof he said this to is a cool guy and I was able to explain to him what happened and he thought it was weird but blew it off. Part of what makes it hard with this friend is that he just doesn't get what's wrong with stuff like that. So there's been some underlying weirdness in our friendship, but I haven't really confronted him because it seems like a lot of energy for something that won't get resolved or maybe isn't really worth it.

Anyway, yesterday he sent me an email and part of it said,


I'm sure this article will drive you crazy; I'm not saying I endorse the conclusions only that I endorse exposing ourselves to information that challenges our assumptions.

I clicked on the article and it looks like a pretty controversial piece and it's something I don't even know about. I think he sent it to me because we've talked a little bit about how things happen in society-- mediating influences and stuff and a little bit of linguistic theory. We're both in a history grad program and I'm more receptive to the notion that things are constructed than he is. He doesn't think things like femininity and masculinity are constructed, he think they're innate characteristics. So, whatever, I don't talk to him about this kind of stuff and I honestly don't spend much time thinking about it either. And it's summer. And something about the tone of his email pissed me off.

Any thoughts about how I should respond? He's totally the kind of person that will bring it up later if I don't respond to it. I think he uses them kind of as little jabs-- like I didn't respond so it must have been true, kind of.

I guess this is more of a vent than anything else. I'm going for a work dinner tonight at Benihana. I'm a little excited. I've never been there but I guess it will be an experience.

Current Location: At work
Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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It's late (for me anyway) and I can't fall asleep. I went to bed, but couldn't shut my brain off. I turned in the second draft of my thesis prospectus today. It'd been a huge weight on my shoulders for the last few weeks and I was relieved to turn it in. There were a few places that I knew had problems, but I felt pretty good about it in general. It's fifteen pages long, and I think that's respectable. I turned in my first draft of it in April and my adviser pretty much told me it was terrible-- my writing was vague and filled with errors. It was a really rough meeting-- I nearly broke into tears twice and I'm not that easy of a crier. Anyway, I emailed her the second draft this morning, and this afternoon I went by the department to drop a copy in her box. She happened to be in her office, so I stopped by. She told me she'd glanced at it, and the first sentence was no good. Same problem as my first draft-- I was making something do action that it couldn't do. It's a problem with cultural history, but something I only really picked up in the last few months. Anyway, I'm anxious that the second draft I gave her is filled with sentences that do the same thing. And that we'll have another terrible meeting where I wind up feeling like I've made a poor choice in pursuing this. I'm pretty sure she'd tell me if that's what she actually thought, and she did tell me she liked my ideas, but I'm a worrier. So now I'm sitting here wondering if I can do this.... Will I be able to get into a PhD program? Is it even worth it to spend at least five more years in school? On the one hand, I can't picture not doing it, that's it's really, really what I want. But on the other hand, it's such a risk. The market is filled with history PhDs looking for academic jobs, it's cutthroat, and I'm not aggressive. And, so, I'm filled with uncertainty. Really I feel like I'm spinning my wheels here-- I'm living at home, exhausted courses to take, and I'm just tired of the same stuff. I think I need to take a deep breath and try and believe in my abilities.

In other, less angsty, news, I'm going to Reno in a week. I'm going for a wedding of someone I haven't seen in ages. I'm kind of nervous, but excited. I also got some cute fabric to make a skirt out of. I haven't sewn in a long time, and I don't have a pattern, but I think it will be okay. I want to make a kind-of full, elastic waist skirt.

So, that's that, maybe now that I've written this all out, I can go to bed and fall asleep.

Current Mood: anxious anxious

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Fun night out!
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I think I posted about applying for a big-deal fellowship a while back. I worked super-hard on my statement of purpose and writing sample and submitted my materials back at the end of Feb. It was at a museum in LA and it requires nine months there so you basically have to relocate down there and then work full-time at the museum. But this is only the second year they've had it and it's supposed to be for PhD students, and I'm just an MA. Well, the PhD who was in line to get it couldn't go and so they opened up to MA students and my adviser recommended I apply. So I applied along with another MA, and one PhD. Anyway, I've been waiting and waiting to hear about it, but I just got an email that they picked the PhD. I kind of felt like he didn't really want it and was just got doing it because it'd look good, but whatever. I really like the other MA and kind of wish he had gotten it, if they weren't going to pick me.

I'm kind of disappointed and not really looking forward to having to tell all the people that helped me with my application that I didn't get it. I already have work lined up at my campus job for the summer and I'm going to ask around if there are any neat-o public history internship/jobs around town this summer. I should be funded next year, so I will take two more semesters to work on my thesis. I'm hoping to go and do some research this summer and write in the fall/spring. And on that note I am very happy to say I turned in a draft of thesis prospectus this morning. It'd seriously been hanging over me all semester so I'm super-glad to have turned in a draft of it. Of course, I think I'm going to have to revise it before sending it out the rest of my committee. Now I just need to focus on writing a really fantastic thesis so that people will love me and fund me for their doctoral programs.

Anyway, now that I know I won't be moving I can actually plan my summer. I'm going to Reno in June for a wedding. I think I'm gonna drive and take some time up there, go to Tahoe, blah, blah. I'm also planning on going back to Colorado with my mom to visit family. I should also go on some research trips, but I don't need to cram it all into the summer, I don't think.

In other news I am going to Santa Fe Thursday for the National Council on Public History conference. I am super-excited. I'm going with a friend from my program here who is just a really good person. I've never been to New Mexico and I'm just excited about seeing it. I'm also looking forward to see public history people in action and see what other options are out there beside academia.

Anyway, that's my boring update.

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
Current Music: The quiet hum of computers in the grad lounge

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A little update for a hot morning.

I got back from my fantastic trip to Chicago and Kalamazoo late Tuesday night. It was an amazing trip, it was great hanging out with my friends and really fun to be in Chicago. Here's some pictures if anyone's interested... http://www.flickr.com/photos/angelacmoo/sets/72157600002384675/

Since I got home it's been warm, like ninety degrees. It's okay though, I like wearing skirts and flip flops so that's okay.

I have to go to campus this morning and meet with a girl I'm writing a paper with and then I'm going to Boulder City to meet my friend. And then I'm getting my haircut. I hope the cut is super rad! It's too long and looking a little silly.

So a funny thing happened to me last night. I met my mom and two other women (ladies I used to work with at the party store) for dinner. We went to Raising Cane which is a fast-food chicken finger restaurant. And we're all in line, me and three women all old enough to be my mother. And this guy comes over to me and says, "You look familiar, have we met?" And I didn't know him so I said no, I don't think so. And then he asks me what I do and I say I go to grad school at UNLV, and he starts chatting with me. In this total weird way, right? And even at this point I'm too dense to figure out what's going on--- and then he asks something else and I say this is my mom! And then he asked my mom if he could ask me out sometime-- and she told him that it was up to me. So he asked for my phone number and I gave it to him because I was too flustered about the whole thing. And everyone thought it was sooo funny--- and the woman behind us in line started talking to my mom about it.

I'm not the kind of the person that's into attention like that and it was just so confusing. He called last night, but I didn't pick up. He didn't leave a voicemail, though, so I don't know if I should call him back or not. I mean, maybe? I don't know about this stuff. And just meeting randomly at the chicken finger restaurant doesn't tell me if we'd have anything in common. Bah! And everyone else thought it was so funny.

I did all the laundry from my trip and it's all in the basket in my room so I should go put that away. I hate putting laundry away!
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I feel like this week has been terribly long already and it's only Tuesday night. I knew heading into the week that I had a lot to do, but it seems like I've lost focus. I'm applying for a fellowship and I've really been struggling with my personal statement. I've never written one, so I'm not sure what it should look like. After two bouts with my adviser, I'm still revising. And it's only about 2.5 pages. For the amount of time and energy I've exerted on it, I could have written fifteen pages. So there's that. And it's still not done.

On top of that, I have assignments due in my other courses, including a book review tomorrow in my historic preservation class. I haven't even really done all the reading or planned my part of the presentation. To top that off, I was supposed to visit the Atomic Testing Museum with my class on Monday, but I bailed on the visit, so I need to go and visit it, meet with my partner for that assignment, and turn in a proposal. And finally, I'm supposed to turn in an outline for my seminar class, but I'm nowhere near having an outline for it. And another paper for Friday. Really, I'm not sure how it's all going to work out. It's not the biggest rock I've been under, but it's a big one. And I just don't have the motivation to do any of it.

One of my professors passed away on Sunday. He'd been sick for awhile, he had ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). I hadn't seen him since the end of May, right before I went to Tahoe, but even then he was in bad shape, barely able to talk or type. There was this moment then, the other student who was with me said something to him about something and he said, I don't have that many words left, because he knew how close he was to dying. I'm grateful he had the time to say goodbye to his family and take the last minute vacation to Hawaii and all that he did do, but it's still so hard. We weren't terribly close, but I knew that he believed in me in a way I'm not sure other professors do. When I told him I was thinking of applying to PhD programs, he told me to go for it, tell him where I wanted to go, and we'd get me in. And that was from someone who wasn't my chair and our research wasn't that close. It was just the way he was. Especially in light of the rough weeks I've had with my committee, I missed him and the way I always knew he was there to help and that he had faith in me. He was a really important force in our department. It's hard for other students who came specifically to work with him since they'd arranged their whole graduate careers around him. I don't know, I think it's just been a sad way to start this week, and it seems like there's a fog around the whole department. Tomorrow I am skipping class to go to the funeral. The whole thing just really sucks. The first class I took from him was on Western film so I'll always think of him when I see a Western.

So, yeah, I'm unfocused. I need to start on my assignment or else I'll be waking up very early tomorrow. I hope I can figure out a way to turn this week around. In other news, I'm going on my big vacation next week, so I'm pretty excited for that.
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Originally uploaded by angelacmoo.
So this is my picture on the department website where I work. There's a little photo studio on campus and everyone had their pictures taken there.

You can see my new haircut in the picture. Most days my bangs are combed back so smoothly, but that's pretty much the sideswept the thing I've got going. When I got my haircut I was going for a 'not-old-lady' look. I think it's pretty good.

Really I've got work to do tonight and I'm just finding ways to procrastinate. I need to work on a statement of purpose and my CV for a fellowship I'm applying for. That's really my night, I'd like to watch Gilmore Girls but it might not happen. boo.
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Two updates in one day? Shocking.

I don’t post about this too much on here, if ever, but for those that know me in RL have heard about this. I have a younger brother. He’s about two and a half years younger than I am. And I’ve always felt a need to help him. Maybe I’ve been a little bossy toward him, I don’t know. But the latest drama with him has been with his education and finances. He lives at home (so do I), he’s supposedly working on his bacheolor’s but hasn’t been doing a very good job of taking the classes he needs, studying, any of it. So I’m always bugging him—did you do your homework? did you see your adviser? On and on. And I found recently that his finances were in shambles—his credit card is maxed out, he’s basically not managing his money at all—spending down to the last penny all the time and being broke until he gets paid again. I bailed him out the beginning of this semester and bought his books for him (he’s supposed to pay me back… someday). And when I did that I basically told him this is it, you need to get your act together and start to manage your life. That was about a month ago and I don’t think he really has been trying.

So that brings us to today. And I basically told him that I think he needs help; that I think he’s probably depressed. I think I’m probably right—he’s irritable, has no ambition, doesn’t have any hobbies, trouble making decisions…. All signs of depression. He said he’ll going into student counseling on Monday. But I can’t help but feel a little bad that I told him that. I’d be hurt if someone told me they though I was depressed, you know? I feel like it was probably the right thing, but I’m just not sure. Am I being too hard on him? Should I mind my own business? I really don’t know. I guess best case is that he can go to the counseling center and they’ll help him and he’ll get his act together. I just hope I didn’t hurt him by telling him that.

Current Mood: confused confused

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Over the last few weeks I've noticed people getting my name wrong-- a lot of people seem to think I look like an Andrea. I don't know if Angela is that uncommon of a name or if it just doesn't really fit me. So then I got to thinking what name would fit me... and of course I thought of Emily since, you know, that was the name the waitress at the bar gave me. But then I thought that Emily was a much too optimistic name for me. Also, I just found the Social Security Administration website that Emily was the most popular girls' name in 2005. Who would have known? And, really, isn't it a little funny that the SSA takes the time to compile those statistics? I also just discovered that Angela was the 12th most popular name in 1980 (the year during which I was born) and that begs the question, why don't I know more people named Angela? In 1980, Andrea was far less popular and was ranked 28th. And, by the way, Emily was not popular at all for 1980, ranked only 31st.

In any case, part of the reason I thought Emily was far too optimistic for me was my constant pessimism and negativity when it comes to trying for things. I'm just opposed to applying for things that don't seem like sure things, I hate asking people for letters of recommendation, and I just generally have a negative view of my abilities and accomplishments. I don't know where exactly this came from or why I am that way, but it kind of sucks. I meet people who I know are not as smart or hard-working as I am, but they apply for things that I never would, just because they go for it. I wonder at what point I decided to be such a Negative Nancy about things. I'm in the middle of applying for something right now and I'm really trying to work against my normal cynicism. It's hard, though. It just seems really futile to even bother trying. But I'm working as hard as I can on this application, just to see what happens.

In other life-news, my trip to the Wolverine state is fast approaching. I'm really excited! I ordered a new coat from Land's End to take, just in case it's really cold there. I imagine it will be colder than I am used to, especially since it's been right about 70 degrees here everyday. I'm very excited to see my friends and to see the sites of Michigan and the surrounding areas. I'm taking a trip in April too. It sort of just got decided today, but I'm going to Santa Fe for a conference on Public History with one of the other grad students. I think it will be really fun. I've never been to New Mexico and I've heard Santa Fe is neat, so I think it will be a good time. It might be a little pricey- with the flight and the hotel, but I think the trip will be worth it in the end.

I guess that's about all the new stuff I have to post about. I'm glad it's almost the weekend. This last week of classes has been the longest, ever. I'm just looking forward to the weekend.

Current Location: UNLV Student Union
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: click, clack

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I haven’t updated in awhile, which is probably how I’ve started a good number of posts on here. A new semester started and I’ve been trying to get back into the groove of school, my grad assistantship, and working on my own research. I’m actually super-excited about my classes this semester. I’m taking a class on the Culture of the Cold War which could not be more up my alley. I’m also taking Historic Preservation, because I’m a nerd like that. I’m also taking a research seminar. I’m not sure about it right now--- it was supposed to provide me time to work on my thesis, but that’s not happening. I’m supposed to be writing about the Advertising Council. Which is interesting, but I’m not sure it’s going to be part of my thesis. I guess I just need to write the best thing I can for that and see if I can get it published somewhere on its own. But, I had a different reason for starting this post…

Near the end of the spring semester last year, soemtime in April, I talked to two of the professors on my committee about going on for a PhD. And the one told me I should sleep on it and that it would come to me… And I thought that was some crackpot advice. The other professor who is much more straightforward told me to think long and hard about it because it’s a huge commitment. Anyway, I guess I’d never been SURE SURE about it until the last couple of days. On Thursday I was getting dressed and I put on some flip-flops and I thought that one day I’ll be the professor wearing flip-flops. And then this morning I just woke up knowing that I wanted to go on for my PhD and that I wanted to keep studying public history, not just because I think it’s a good skill to have in a tight job market, but because it’s a GOOD thing to be able to do and be a part of. Anyway, I thought a lot about this stuff morning and then I realized that maybe the answer had actually came to me in my sleep.

Anyway, now that I’ve mentally committed the next at least-five years of my life to more school, I need to start thinking about where it is I actually want to go. I guess that will come with time. I feel really good about stuff right now, though, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I want my thesis to be, I know that this is what I want, and I’m taking two great classes this semester. Now I just need to get off the computer and get some work done.

On a more fun note, I booked a flight to Chicago for Spring Break. I’m actually going to be visitng my friends in Kalamazoo, but it’s much cheaper to fly to Chicago and take the bus to Kalamazoo. I’ve never been to Michigan or Illinois so I’m excited to go on vacation there. I’m just excited for a vacation period.

I guess that’s about all I have to say today… I’m watching TV, then I’ve got to shower, and then I’m going to the basketball game tonight.

Current Mood: excited excited

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