Sunday, 4 March 2012


Sorry for being a lazy blogger, AGAIN--February got crazy. March is crazy. Yesterday we hosted our 22nd annual graduate student run art history symposium, and it went really well. I slept for 10 hours last night--for the past few weeks I've been waking up at, say, 3 am, panicking about something I was forgetting, or something sympo-related that I neglected to do. I am the chair of the grants committee, which means that I'm STILL not DONE. (A lot of photocopying, receipt-gathering, signing stuff, filling out online paperwork, and running to a couple financial offices this week!) All the committee chairs were my year, which is great, because we get along really well, but working with friends can be a total pain. I felt like we all had to be super polite and placating the whole time, when it's less of a worry with colleagues if you ask them to do something without prefacing it with "I know you're really busy, but if you could please get the caterers invoice to me, because I actually needed it yesterday, but you're doing a great job, blah blah." And after being on campus for 12 hours yesterday, I need to do some grocery shopping and cleaning and gym-ing and such today. It was worth it, though! Our six student speakers were great, and we give them an honorarium, which is really rare. All of them told me that we were super organized (ha ha!) and nice, and some of them are now thinking of applying here. It makes me glad to be a part of this department.

ANYWAY. I've been having fun these past few weeks too (as well as grading 98 exams on Leonardo, some of which were trainwrecks and some of which were excellent). One of my friends here loves musicals as much as I do, so we went to two really great things: a sing-along Sound of Music, and Bernadette Peters in concert. Hence the title of this post: divas. I've seen the Sound of Music about 871937 times (rough estimate) but this was the first time on the big-screen, and it was totally fun! They included the words, and we had certain things we had to do during it--like boo the Nazis, hiss for the Baroness (although I think she has the best lines), and act out Do-Re-Mi. And what I realized was not only how much I want to go Salzburg (and walk around it wearing nothing but drapes), but how gorgeous Julie Andrews was (and still is, really). Her skin is flawless, especially on the big-screen. I honestly don't think she has pores. We watched the movie a week later during Thursday Girls Night (mani-pedis, facials, wine) with more friends and we all agreed that Julie Andrews is a fox. And Bernadette Peters! She is 64, and my legs will never look that good--she was wearing a glittery dress with a hiiiigh slit. She also sings better than I will ever do anything. And all of her movements were so dramatic, and diva-y, that it was pretty fabulous.

Divas don't just occur onstage--now that I think about it, I've been dealing with a lot of academic divas over the past month. Some of them mean well, but are just dramatic--and some don't mean well. We had a speaker a few weeks ago as part of our regular lecture series, and they always have lunch with the grad students on the day, and she had zero interest in talking to us, either small talk or about our research. She was a prime example of what I've started referring to as "East Coast pretension". It got so awkward that we just resorted to asking her questions about her work. I'm reasonably certain that I'm not a diva, as I have little patience for that. But it's not always bad. And I think assertive, confident women sometimes get unfairly cast as divas, which is, well, unfair.

Slightly related, in terms of musicals--I went to see In the Heights this week and it was FANTASTIC. I suppose there were divas in that too, but I am so impressed with Lin-Manuel Miranda in general that I just wanted to mention how good it was. It made me miss NYC something fierce. (NYC is probably the diva capital of the universe.)

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