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!)