succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, February 07, 2003

This is going to sound incredibly lame and cliche, but as I try to convince myself that I must pare down my book collection before my next move, I realize just how hard this is to do. Looking at each one, trying to figure out what it says about me, imagining which parts of my collection I want to display in my (so far imaginary) new apartment...wishing that it was more reasonable to move all of them...wondering why I just bought 5 new books...

Thursday, February 06, 2003

So I was watching the West Wing last night, and I started pondering this question/argument, which I haven't thought out very completely, so I probably won't present it terribly eloquently here, but I'll try anyway: One of the plot points was about tribal violence, bordering on civil war, in a tiny African country virtually no one had heard of. The president stated that he had been "vaguely briefed" on the situation, and someone pointed out that if it were a tiny European country, his briefing probably would have been less vague. Which is a valid point, and I've long been bothered about the fact that "we" (white/american/european-descendents) are less concerned with global issues that involve "them" (anyone who doesn't fit the above description). But I started wondering today, at the risk of sounding like I'm defending this fact (which I'm not trying to do) if there were, perhaps, more to this than the fact that we feel more sympathetic towards people we can identify with. I wonder if we're more concerned when violence erupts in a european country because we feel more like we have a partnership with them (which I suppose is just another way of saying we identify with them). I'm not trying to say that one human life is somehow more worthwhile than another, and I wish that we could help in all the places where we are needed...and I don't necessarily believe that these are valid reasons...but I wonder if we are more likely to aid european countries because they are, and have been, our allies in other battles. We somehow feel like if "bad things" happened over here, they'd help us out, so we should do the same for them. The cynic in me says it's because they are our allies in business, but I'm trying to move past that for a moment. But then I think of the violence in Northern Ireland and the fact that America doesn't seem too concerned about it, so I wonder if perhaps sharing history/culture/being able to identify with the victims isn't all there is to it...
reading back over this I realize that I have not presented a very coherent argument, and I'm sure there are a zillion holes that could be poked in it, but that's been bouncing around in my head today, so I thought I'd try to start sorting it out.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

"Dear Ms. Price:

It is a pleasure to inform you that you have been admitted to the Graduate School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."

WA-HOO!!!!!!!!! :-)

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Received this e-mail today from Emory University:

Dear Ms. Price,

Thank you for applying for the Ph.D. program in biostatistics at Emory. Although we have not yet completed the review process, we would like to invite you to our open house for Ph.D. applicants, which is scheduled for February 21-22. All expenses will be paid by us.

Trying to decide if there's any reason why I shouldn't go...haven't come up with any I guess I'll be going to Atlanta in a few weeks! :-)

In other news, I've become obsessed with the yoga classes offered at the gym I joined last month (I'm still getting over feeling like a yuppie asshole for that one). I think I'm actually going to go to two different ones tomorrow - one that's more muscle conditioning and in the other they jack up the heat (so you sweat out all your toxins). I'll let you know if I can still move at all on Thursday.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Well, I've made it uneventfully back into the States, via a nice detour to see The Falls (it cracks me up that all the signs leading up to Niagara just say "The Falls"). Here's the re-cap for those who are interested:
Friday - drove to Hamilton, nap, yummy Indian food, cool art gallery thing (associated with conference) featuring local indie bands and amusing videos;
Saturday - shopping, conference session on surveillance, "electronic things," and reality tv, second session (where carrie delivered the previously mentioned kick-ass paper), dinner and too many beers at Chester's, night caps at a little coffee shop, where I was completely prepared to buy cute-guy-in-red-shirt a drink before I noticed him eye-ing the attractive girl behind the counter...early to bed;
Sunday - brunch, Niagara Falls (tres impressive), detour through Buffalo (got to see Mark's house!), seemingly-never-ending drive back to C-land.

Generally had a great time on my first ever excursion to Canadia, and of course thoroughly enjoyed road-tripping with the roommies. The only kind of sad thing I noticed this weekend is that I feel old - we skipped out on the dance-all-night after party Friday night because we were too tired and last night we were back in the hotel room, watching tv in bed by 10:30!