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Archive for March, 2010

March Madness

This week we are on “Spring Break”.  (WOOOOO!!!!)  (Fans of the late, great U.S. television series “Arrested Development” may join me in enjoying a great Kitty flashback as to that line.)

During the last couple of weeks, naturally, there were many assignments and projects and group meetings to attend, and for my part, finishing certain requirements on my to-do list took precedence over everything else, including blogging.  Since one year ago (only one?) my “spring break” was devoted to working on my first policy lab group’s brief, comparatively, the notion of any time off (even a bit) is novel.  This year, I’m spending the week working on more job applications and out enjoying some much-welcomed sunshine when possible.   I’m also rereading Judith Butler’s book Gender Trouble, because we’ve had just enough little tastes of theoretical reading in one of my classes to remind me how much I enjoy such thinking, and this particular book is such a touchstone for many of us who have worked in gender theory.  In a couple of days, returning to my Quant work will burst that lofty intellectual bubble, but in the meantime I’m having fun.

Next week, we return to embark on The Big Finish to this academic year–and to, in many ways, Milano as I have known it.  For me, feeling the first warm days in a long while has me hoping, more than ever, that by the time summer is here I will be back to working full-time.  I know I’m not alone in that wish–so many of us are eager to take our newly formed and refined skills and use them to make a difference elsewhere.  So if spring makes me wistful, embracing the spirit of a season devoted to what is and will become new, I hope you forgive me, dear readers.  There is a quite well-reasoned cliche which applies here, you see: it has been a very long winter.

Next week (TEASER!!): Gender Studies returns to the New School (complete with a conference!) which is an exciting development for another field of great personal importance, and also, I think it’s time to delve a little bit into discussing some of the changes to our graduate programs to which we’ve been alluding this year.

-KD

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During the undergrad years ‘anticipation’ was the keyword associated with spring break, even if you weren’t going anywhere for break you looked forward to the stories from roommates/suite mates on their return. Leading up to break there were fliers for ‘cheap’ Caribbean all inclusive Sandals Resort stays, as well as the usual suspects of South Padre Island (TX), Daytona Beach (FL), Cancun (Mexico) and of course … the Big Easy so the possibilities existed for the cheap to the extravagant. I only had one opportunity for a true spring break and it turned out to be a disaster. I ended up driving for roughly 20 hours with several friends to Florida only to get to the hotel (okay — more like a motel) to find out we had no room. We decided to spend the night on the beach (which I would learn is illegal) and look for a hotel room in the morning. Not long after being roused by the police our merry gaggle of gals decided to split up. Some made new (male) friends and crashed on a hotel floor of a severely overcrowded room, two went on to drink the night away….and I called my parents for help which came in the form of wired money for a bus ticket home. I learned a few things with my failed spring break attempt, so I can’t complain overall.

In the subsequent years I saw spring break as an opportunity for reacquainting myself with my friends and family and less about the moviescape of the MTV spring break myth. During break I would hang with friends who decided not to go to college and instead were already in the work world (both the blue collar and white collar varieties), cousins and friends who went further away to school or instead joined military academies (VMI), and those who found themselves with kids earlier than anticipated. Post break I always found myself with food for thought…who did I want to talk to post college? who would I miss most if this turned out to be the last time I spoke to some one? Post college many of my classmates grappled with reconnecting with pre-college friends and while I had cultivated many of my pre-college relationships  I found myself equally concerned post-college defining community.

Not surprisingly once I had learned of my acceptance to Milano I recognized the community I built post-undergrad would be equally effected by my decision. I told most of my friends that while they would lose me for fourteen or so weeks (at a clip) that I would be around for spring break. After two snow days (and a class cancellation due prematurely to weather), two papers down and an awful lot of grad school reading under my belt…..I was looking forward to hanging with friends and enjoying the city once again. BUT at Milano there is a preoccupation with group projects (and sitting in circles), so I will be spending my spring break with my new school community instead of with the community that’s sustained me post-undergrad. I have a group for every class and two of the professors have made it clear the group process counts as much towards the grade as the end product. I will be spending my days focusing the broad group projects (diversity within a specific nonprofit, fundraising), deciding tasks, and of course …. more reading. As it stands if I am lucky I will leave this spring break with a fantastical 24-hour period to party like it’s 1999 …. and caught up on all of my group work and class reading.

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My Reading List

Happy March Everyone!

I’m working steadily along in my last semester here at Milano. My 3 classes are either client based or I’m creating a new venture and there is not as much weekly reading as we had in foundation classes like Making a Difference or Management and Organizational Behavior. I’ve been doing a lot of reading however,  whether it IS for these classes, or on my own. A lot of what has been in my hands or on my screen has proven to be either very interesting, extremely useful, or just fun to give my brain a break. Below are some of the books, articles and blogs that I would recommend to any of you. Enjoy!

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