Tag Archives: school

I’m in the final stretch

11 May

and here’s what it looks like.

Lots of charts for this last paper.

(So what if I multitask?)

I’ll be done with college for good when I’m done with this one. And that may be why I’m prolonging the process (in part by writing this post!).



6 May


Ariadne auf Naxos. In German, unfortunately.

It’s kind of hard for me to analyze a German libretto. Zu schlecht?

Closing time

6 May

Instead of saying something sappy—that’ll come later, I promise—I’m just going to narrate the most recent goings on. I know that I’m going to wish I kept a better record of my time here.

Graduation is in 14 days. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Yesterday, I handed in my thesis. It was my last English paper here. It was one of those ambivalent moments. I was glad to not have to worry about it anymore, but I’m going to miss belaboring over this long-term project.

Easy come, easy go.

  • Last week, Jake and I finished our very long profile of Lee Bollinger. Give it a read if you’re interested.
  • Another Spec-related note: I did my last copy shift with Betsy. That was kind of sad.
  • Also, I published my senior column, which was kind of surreal. I remember reading the senior columns of the people who brought me into the fold. I considered myself a senior column reader, and nothing more. Seeing my own column in print made the whole graduation thing seem very final. It was weird. Also, I’m used to writing sterile third-person accounts of the news, so I didn’t quite know what to say.
  • Last night was my last Spec Dinner. It was so lovely to see that bunch of really great people in the same room at once, perhaps for my very last time.
  • The Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section launched. Woohoo! I can’t wait to start!
  • Right now, I’m working on what may be my last aesthetic/art/lit theory paper ever (assuming the future holds no Ph.D.’s for me!). Maybe my procrastination stems from the fact that this is kind of upsetting. Here’s what it looks like right now:

As you can see, I have it, um, all figured out.

Hiyooo + overheard

11 Apr

For the 1.5 of you (including myself) still reading, sorry about the long hiatus. I’m hard at work (/procrastination) on my second thesis. It’s about Othello. Here’s what I’ve been looking at for the last maaaannnny hours.


More words, less sleep

Anyway. At the moment, I’m sitting in the J-school cafe, thesising—ostensibly—with Lan. But it’s also Days on Campus, when accepted prospies storm campus and Columbia puts on its best wooing face. A group of five prospies, apparently sold on all this, sat down at a table next to me.

A short redhead in a plaid top and khaki shorts looks up and says, “Guys, this is what life will be like for the next four years. Amazing.”

Four years later, I’m not sure how I feel about this. Ah, to be young…

We all love history!

18 Mar

The nerdiness of this Bwog comment thread made me laugh out loud.

Meanwhile: studying outside is the best thing to happen since last summer! Yeahhh spring break 2010. I’m hard at work on my second thesis, on Othello this time. Mostly on my backyard patio.

Life is good because:

1 Mar

Happy belated Purim!

  • After a year of hardcore editing, a return to reporting feels great. To be honest, I was nervous starting out. I read and read and read about the issue, putting off the actual interviews. But the moment I started cold calling, I remembered why I love reporting to begin with. I’m glad I came back to it with this story, since charter schools is a fascinating topic—one I’d like to explore further in the long term. I’m excited for more.
  • I just returned from an epic trip to Barnard’s library. But before that, I met with my advisor/senior seminar professor. We talked for 40 minutes about my paper topic, teaching, and his publishing adventures. I think I arrived at something concrete for Thesis the Second, and I’m really excited. Interactions like that remind me that I really will miss this place. As does my ability to walk outside my door for one minute, enter a library, and return with a bag chock full of Othello. And these eight are only the beginning:
  • This is before the stacks. Gotta make sure to not run out of steam this time.
    Continue reading

Before I shut off the internet I NEED to show you something

23 Feb

Ok ok so maybe I have six pages to write before I go to sleep tonight. And maybe I have three quarters of King Lear to read as well. But I just got back from the Met’s production of Donazetti’s La Fille du Regiment, and it would be practically inhuman for me to just proceed with my work as if nothing happened. BECAUSE IT WAS SPECTACULAR.

It’s been awhile since a performance has blown me away. Last week, I saw Brooklyn Academy of Music’s The Tempest, but it left me feeling cold. The set was interesting, but the production couldn’t make up its mind, and the acting had no spark to it. The week before, I saw the Met’s Ariadne auf Naxos which was very good, but more intellectually stimulating than entertainingly enjoyable. (Lots of opera this semester because I’m taking a class on opera. We get incredible seats! It’s such a treat. I feel like I’m finally taking advantage of going to college in New York City. It’s about time).

La Fille du Regiment was out of this world. It’s hard for me to land and work on a political science paper when my head is still replaying these beautiful arias. For starters, the script is fun! And it’s in French instead of German, so I could make out some of the words. Then the CAST. Unbelievable. Kiri Te Kanawa trekked in from New Zealand for a very rare performance. She had a small part but delivered it with grace and dignity.

The two principals, though, were out of this world. The female lead, Diana Damrau, portrayed the mascot of France’s 21st regiment, an indignant young woman who falls in love before she is forced to move in with her ritzy Marquise aunt. Damrau’s Marie is petulant and powerful, hitting coloratura notes while doing splits and being carried around by soldiers. I didn’t think that was possible. And she was so FUNNY! Everything at once.

Here’s Damrau in Zauberflaute (can’t find youtube clip of her in this). Click to 2:18 for one of my favorite arias, expertly rendered:

More impressive, though, was Juan Diego Florez as her love interest. I have never heard such a pure, lyrical tenor. He sings a 7-minute song in the first act (see below) and I was so upset when it ended. I watched him in awe. His voice is so smooth, and he, too, pull it off with hilarity. I want to carry him around in my pocket and make him sing to me on command. During the curtain call, someone threw him a Peruvian flag. He wore it around his shoulders. Aw.

Here he is in that song I mentioned above. Listen to those high notes! What grace! What clarity! (For a quick and dirty display of his incredible talents, turn to 5:58. Whew. I melted.)

All this was topped off by a brief run-in with a certain former source/Columbia administrator. And it was the last Regiment production of the season. I am so lucky.

Okay. Back down into this world. For polisci. Sigh.