Tuesday, May 26, 2009

summer travels

happy summer! most of the coursework for my MA ended in april, so may was like taking one huge sigh of relief and then one huge breath of fresh air. the first two semesters of a graduate program is much more busy/stressful/difficult than i expected. (although still fun!) however, i'm sure writing my thesis (starting around january) will bring another round of stress, so check back next spring :)

this summer is also the first semester i'm not TAing, so i also have a more flexible schedule. i have a research assistantship (RA) with my supervisor related to my thesis (mostly "data collection" via surveys and interviews involving an interpreter). i'm also applying for some part-time jobs at the moment; more later on the results.

the commercial drive neighborhood is also a blissful place to be in the summer - it's actually sunny in vancouver during this time of the year, so people are outside, talking, hanging out on the grass in the parks, etc. i put cruiser handlebars on my bike (myself!! which involved replacing all the cables!!), got a bell, and now am sufficiently comfy (+ nerdy looking) when i ride around in the sunshine. my friend majid moved to the neighborhood so we've been hanging out a bit too. i don't have to make the long bus-commute to burnaby mountain (where my university is located) as often these days, making things generally nicer overall in my life.

with this new-found flexibility i've been taking lots of trips to seattle to visit iman. we've gone to stuff like the mozart oprea "the marriage of figaro" (or at least half of it, since we were a little late), the play "the smile off your face" by ontroerend goed, the Official Bad Art Museum of Bad Art (OBAMA) at cafe racer, a u-district community day with lots street vendors (& elephant ears, which i tried for the first time but seem like a wanna-be version of cinnamon funnel cakes), and the my bloody valentine show (totally, totally wonderful - - really - - this song in particular was incredible). i've gotten to know all the u-district coffee shops by now, since i hung around the neighborhood working on my laptop while he did his work in the lab during the day. i started learning farsi a bit more seriously - which isn't saying much - but i have high hopes.

rachelle also came to visit, which was wonderful!! - we met at the seattle airport, hung out with iman a bit in seattle, took a boat to victoria & saw SO MANY BUNNIES at the university of victoria!!! (seriously a highlight of our lives, not kidding), & then rented a car with some friends and headed out to tofino (so beautiful!!) for a 2-night camping trip. . .then a ferry back to vancouver.

i also went to the women's health research network summer institute/conference in kelowna with 2 friends & hung out in the Okanagan for 2 nights.

this weekend i'm heading back down to seattle & will go to the juniper dunes in washington with iman & some of his friends.

despite all that i've mentioned, i really am doing work!! - besides the surveys, i'm presenting my first conference presentation on friday at SFU's Interrogation Techniques: Law, Texts, Culture and wow - i'm on the schedule i just realized - anyway, my presentation is called "Legal Restrictions and Community Definition: The Early Years of the Ladder" which is about how U.S. restrictions on magazine distribution influenced the creation of a national lesbian community in the 1950s by enabling the legitimization of a limited, assimilationist expression of lesbian sexuality.

i'll also be in toronto from june 6 - 14 taking the "summer course on refugee and forced migration issues" at the centre for refugee studies at york university in toronto. my supervisor is teaching part of it so hopefully we'll be hanging out there.

so! that's what's up. i'm trying to reconceptualize this blog into something more structured and potentially more useful/interesting (rather than just a laundry list of what's going on in my world) but until then - بدرود ("bedrood," or bye!)

Friday, March 6, 2009

update from b.c.

This semester I'm taking 3 classes (research methodology, grad studies/research proposal preparation, and introduction to immigration and settlement at the university of british columbia with a really awesome prof) and liking them a lot, especially the class at UBC. i'm a TA for a class called "gender & geography" taught by my supervisor who is awesome as well. i settled on a thesis topic (government-assisted refugee resettlement in vancouver) and am in the early stages of the "data collection process" ("field work" ??). oh! and i'm going to my first conference - the metropolis "frontiers of canadian migration" conference in calgary - generously paid for by my supervisor :)

speaking of migration, i started a new blog at http://migrationinthenews.blogspot.com/ to casually comment on migration themes in popular online media in case anyone is interested.

A few other random things:

- here's a cool interactive graphic from the New York Times on the gender wage gap in the US
- i'm totally into sarah haskins & her target women show
- i also recently discovered cake wrecks and why cats paint and kittens inspired by kittens! - all 3 of which i genuiely find out of control!!! in a good way.
- as evidenced above, i've been spending a lot of time on the internet. iman is still in seattle :(

however, my friend Mr. David did come to visit me from pgh, which was awesome! Here we are celebrating the superbowl. . .

and me about to cross the Capilano suspension bridge (with what seems to be only one leg!):

and me with my friend Arefe about to eat a meal we (mostly Arefe) made:

bye for now!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

hi from vancouver

hey! i haven't posted in. . .er. . .about 9 months or so, but now i'm living in vancouver, BC & studying at simon fraser university. i have a website!! - which is something i always wanted to do (learn the basics of how html works) & thus exciting for me, maybe more exciting than it should be. other than school-stuff, i primarily:

1. avoid bears:

2. get really happy when i see the beautiful scenery of the west coast:

3. ride the bus:

4. and, until today, hang out with my awesome boyfriend:

we USED TO ride the bus together (primary activity), play racquetball, go out to eat, watch curb your enthusiasm, play soduko and water polo and backgammon, go ice skating, go on hikes, do work at coffee shops, watch movies, make cookies, go swimming, go to hot springs, walk near lakes, sleep on floors, ride bicycles on sidewalks, celebrate halloween, go to birthday parties, hang out at the library, go grocery shopping, etcccc. . .but today he moved to seattle (temporarily). hence, spare time to update the blog - you might have noticed a suspicious correlation between blog activity and meeting him!

anyway, that's where i am, and this is iman's official introduction to the blog. he's probably the only one who will read this anyway! more later!