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Monday, January 9, 2012

I am sort of stressed

More like nervous? I am not second guessing my decision, but sort of second guessing. I am super excited for this summer, but also very worried. I have this constant waking nightmare in the back of my mind of walking around the streets of New Delhi too afraid to talk to anyone and not knowing what to do. I think I need to just sit down and write down some brief sketches exploring project ideas. I think having a semi-concrete idea of what precisely I want to do will help my peace of mind as well as help me figure out something useful to do rather than just randomly reading like I have been. I mean, the reading is very useful, but more in a general background kind of way, at least right now. It is not helping to nail down a well defined project. I came down with a cold or the flu or something on Saturday and it kind of has come to a head today. At least I hope it has. Anyhow, I have been on meds, so I have been able to operate, but I kind of missed class today, which I am super pissed about. I got home from work/class at two and I was really dragging so I lay down at like 2:38 for a short nap and woke up at 5:03. Whoops. I made it to Hindi though, so that was one good thing. I am still mad about missing class though. I really want something concrete to do because I am not exactly sure what I should do and I don't like flailing. I think I will give myself the assignment of writing out semi-project proposals, just to walk my mind through it and see if I can discover a solid direction that really interests me.

I am currently reading The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi. It is about an Indian woman who lived in India until she was twenty and then went to the United States for school. Now seven years later she is returning to India and dealing with how strange India and Indian culture seems to her. I am actually kind of surprised how interesting this perspective is. It feels (I mean, it may not actually be) but if feels fairly revealing to tag along on an Indian rediscovering India rather than an American writing about India or the child of Indian parents going to India essentially as an American. This book is an interesting fusion of other things I have read. Indian cultural practices are highlighted, especially family dynamics. It is a page turner, but the going has been slow because of all my other reading and now this stupid cold/flu thing. I am settling into the groove of this semester, so I hope to be able to figure out when I can set aside time each day specifically for research/reading relating to my field study.


  1. You served your mission in India, no? If you can approach strangers on the street and talk about God, I'm pretty sure you could talk about a book.

    And guess what, you make friends and meet people, and they are the ones who become your informants. Really, you are going to be okay. You ask intelligent questions, which means you will be well prepared for field work.

    Mango Season sounds like a good book. I'll have to pick it up.

    1. Do you want to borrow it? I am always afraid of recommending books to people and then having them not like it. It seems like no one ever really sees a book the same.

      Ahhh! But what if I only get small data and it doesn't amount to anything? I mean, like, shop keepers within a two block radius of wherever I stay. That isn't terribly useful.

    2. :) That shop keeper might have a son teaching at the university, or a cousin who is trying to write a book. Faith my dear. If trying to push God onto someone was doable for you, field work will be much, well, probably easier.

      And I'd love to borrow the book. Is it long?

    3. Why won't it let me reply to a reply? Blerg. Blogger, for serious? I may have to put disqus back on. This is not acceptable. I hope it won't jack up all these commits.

      Bah! I hope you are right. I am so nervous!

      The book isn't that long? Maybe two hundred, two hundred fifty pages max? It is a quick read, I think. If you have time in your hectic schedule, just let me know. Recommending books to busy people makes me nervous! What if you think it is dumb? I would feel so bad for wasting your time.