I had a really wonderful day yesterday. Set the alarm and woke up early, did some grading, then had three substantial conferences with students. There's something very satisfying about doing one-on-one tutoring, though it's also exhausting (in a different way from teaching a class, which is more of a cumulative exhaustion). Intense. Then I got some breakfast and then sat down and wrote seven pages for post-co, catching up on three weeks of writing. I might have even said something vaguely interesting about the disjunction between constructions of beauty and realities of desire, as seen in Passage to India, Jewel in the Crown and Midnight's Children, as informed by my incomplete understanding of Bhabha and Spivak, and as illustrated by my own family experiences. Well, it felt interesting while I was writing it, anyway. There might be a real paper in there somewhere. We'll see.
Class then went well; I think I'm starting to understand this post-co theory, which is nice. Part of the frustration of the last two weeks is reading these long essays and understanding all the words and not having a clue what they're saying with them. You get paragraphs like this (randomly chosen, not the most difficult):
"Having freed the study of colonialist writing from an empiricist criticism and a liberal politics to disclose the ideological construction of colonialism's objects of knowledge, colonial discourse analysis has generated its own theoretical difficulties. One problem, I would suggest hinges on a model of colonial discourse overwhelmingly concerned with processes of othering that is luxated from the more extensive, multivalent and motile discursive practices of imperialism." -- Benita Parry
I know what the words mean; I'm not clear on what she's saying. But I'm not worrying about it today, because I know if I just keep reading these people as they talk about each other, and about what they're saying, if I read enough of them, eventually my brain will start making the connections. But in the interim, it can definitely be frustrating. S'okay.
Afterwards I went home and practiced recorder; there's a high E I'm having difficulty hitting cleanly, and in the ensemble piece we're performing next week Saturday, the alto line has that alone, so if we mess up (and there's just two of us), it'll be very evident. Since it's a small contest that we're playing in, that would be bad. On the plus side, the other alto is a transverse flute, which will hit that note with ease, so if I'm still having trouble next week, I may just drop out for it, or for that two measure run. We'll see. Around 4, Jenn came and got me and we drove up to City Creek Canyon and went for a long walk. It had just rained, or we might have hiked along one of the trails -- they ask you not to after the rain, so as not to disturb the fragile ecologies (presumably by slipping and falling and breaking stuff?). So it was definitely more of a walk than a hike, but plenty of exercise for wimpy me nonetheless, and it was so beautiful. The road meandered along the side of the creek, so there was always water in view, and the trees were full of color. The hillsides at one point looked almost furry, gently tufted in lemon and pumpkin and rust. The colors are more muted here than in New England -- the fierce scarlet is rare. But it's still lovely -- and the snow-capped mountains are enough to satsify anyone's need for environmental drama.
After that, rehearsal, which was satisfying as always. I wasn't doing great, since I hadn't practiced much (one hour the day of rehearsal is far from the most effective strategy), but people were patient with me, and by the end, I was doing much better on that E. We rehearse from 7-9 and then sit around and eat popcorn and talk for an hour. Really nice, and nice to be with a friendly group that I like and that isn't connected to grad school. Being entirely in the grad school world gets claustrophobic. Kerry was there, who I haven't seen in a while, and it turns out that she and her sweetie Jim were among the first to sign up for the SH newsletter, and that they really like the site. That was very nice to hear.
A little tv before bed (okay, a lot -- I had taped Gilmore Girls and Charmed, so I was up 'til midnight), and the end of a very satisfying day.
I woke a bit groggy today, and maybe grumbly for no good reason, but now, after e-mail and journals and tea, I'm feeling pretty good. I have a student conference in an hour, and I bought a bookshelf that is arriving today (that I'll get to assemble, woohoo! I love any excuse to feel butch -- it happens so rarely), and I need to get groceries at some point; that's it, though, for scheduled activities. It's raining outside, and chilly, but it's nice and warm in here. I can stay at home and catch up on my reading; really, the life of a graduate student has some mighty fine perks. On some deep down level, I am just blissful, despite whatever surface stress is going on.