living the dream

oh no. it happened.
the meeting of minds i was dreading.

my comfort level shifted yesterday afternoon and i really do like it here and there are a couple of professors doing things i'd like to work on. and everyone seems so concerned with letting me do what i'm interested in, a meeting with the graduate advisor today left me with the impression that second year spent in india doing fieldwork would be feasible. the resources here are amazing.

on the personal side, my grad host has opened up a bit and we' ve had some good talks. everyone here is smart, it's a given, but overall there is a wonderful lack of attitude. except this one guy, another prospective who yesterday in a post-colloquium reception was going on and on and on about something and i smiled and i said "so...is that your thing? is that your soapbox?" meaning is that your pet project...is it your passion. but he looked at me and said smugly "i don't *need* a soapbox...i'm already *here*." ugh. ass.

but other than assy guy, people are cool. especially this one girl who is also a prospective who i liked from the beginning but who especially won me over when last night as we watched another prospective flirting endlessly with a grad leaned over and whispered "he's been bird-doggin' her since he got here." and we laughed at his body language, how he was almost falling off his chair. she wore a decemberists tshirt to breakfast today so i asked her about music, what she's been listening to lately, what she likes. when she mentioned lou barlow and that she was the music director of her college radio station i was like oh my god you're my new best friend! she's pretty and sassy and she's into caves and she worked at mit and lived in umbria for a year and has not a touch of pretense. she's pretty much fabulous.

so yeah. things are good and different and crazy here and i cannot deny it is nice to be courted by the department. today i've met with two professors and missed a typology class because the first meeting ran long; he was showing me the computational lab. next is lunch and campus tours, then a historical class and dinner at a grad student's house tonight. i want to go see the johnson art museum on campus which was designed by i.m. pei.

but you know, i'm not worried. everyone is right, between berkeley and cornell there's no bad choice here. even the faculty here acknowledge that ("wow, berkeley has a great lineup" said one of the professors yesterday after he asked me who i'd studied with & i told him).

oh god i don't sound pretentious like assy guy do i?
you guys have to be my reality check & smack me down, if i do.
i don't mean to.

it's more that i want to pinch myself because i realize that i'm living the dream.