There’s this application I have got on my android that lets me check the weather before I go out every day. Very useful, considering I choose coat, decide on hat or no hat and remember to pack gloves relying on this tool. I’m so obsessed with watching a yellow sun and fluffy clouds float across my Samsung screen that I’ve installed weather reports for some twenty cities around the globe, and I enjoy a secret, vicarious pleasure when I see the sun shining on LA a week in a row when all we’ve had in poor ole Buffalo is mist and flurries.

I like LA weather enough to be able to live in it without groaning obscenities as I crawl out of bed each morning (the piece of sky I get through the west window fails my optimism every single day). I think I’ll also love the shopping, the oranges, the nightlife, the two big universities. Both of which happen to have gender-intensive graduate programs in Sociology. Both of which also have a reputation for being selective, and for designating stipend amounts with a large degree of respect for the often impoverished graduate student from India or China.

Today’s not the first time I’ve felt like Buffalo and I don’t mesh well together. And it’s not just the weather. I’ve wondered what I’m doing holed up in a Sociology department, crunching numbers, learning how to write computer programs and formulating an endless stream of discussion questions, like everyone else, most of which never get discussed in class anyway. Very possibly, I’ve been rash switching majors from literature, which still excites me, calms, rejuvinates and comforts unselfishly, given how little time I’ve given to it in the last eight months. I’m definitely still hooked on interdisciplinary gender studies though, and maybe it’s too early to jump to a conclusion about Sociology having been the wrong choice, but I wish I did more gender-centric work, could take more advanced continuing courses surrounding gender and dive into an independent study program with our fabulous in-house gender expert.

Most of the other courses I’ve taken so far have left me feeling like I’ve just stepped out of a very hot shower on a very cold day, a little discomfited, a little more pessimistic than yesterday. And I could use a stipend that respects the inalienable right of TAs to buy food, pay rent, and clothe themselves warmly against the harsh winter here. I have started this long mental shopping list of fancy things I’ll treat myself to once I get a raise, which is for all practical purposes never, but I do have a pleasant time editing it between classes and snatched lunches and cups of thick coffee. I think I’ll post it here next time I sign in!

 

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