however, if we get a guest speaker related to the Japanese art history field, I will get an invitation for the dinner after, which usually means alcohol.
It is very lucky to get in here last year, for this year, the whole academia was almost destroyed, from faculty to students, by this great depression, a term meaning only the poor got wrecked while the rich tightened their pockets and watched the poor died.
even now i still puzzled at why they accepted me last year among many other applicants. what were my strength except a seemingly attractive thesis topic. I don’t speak German or French, or classical Japanese and my background was not as strong as people who grew up in the ivy league. of course they took me because i spent two years at pitt, where my soul belongs.
having a dinner with profs. who actually cared about what you were saying was a heavy task. I made it fairly ok during the dinner, but in the later walk back to school, my grade was not a pass, because i misunderstood my accompany’s action and crossed the road when there was a taxi coming. little, simple mistake lead to a comment on the entire Chinese thing of crossing road regardless of traffic. I did not argue that in china i never crossed any road when it was red-light because it wont work on people’s prototypes. until they know me personally fairly well, anything i do will have a connection to the general impression/custom of Chinese. I am not comfortable with it, but I guess i will have to suffer it.
the other day i was talking to my friend, saying that in the US never feel really fixing into the so-called "American people" circle because of cultural difference, etc. I agree. However, I suddenly remember that even when I was in China I did not fix into the people. I was always somehow outside every circle and struggled to fix into the social norm. So right now, although fundamentally I am and will be an outsider for maybe a whole life time in the U.S, but I am an outsider anyway: it’s better to be an outsider in a foreign land then being one in your fatherland. That is what I thought about the so-called "identity" problem.
this year is definitely a wedding rush year. so many friends got engaged, to a degree of surrealistic. congratulations, to all!