Another grad student event tonight. Itís odd to do this so early in the semester, but they wanted to welcome a new professor into the department. He seems young; in his 30ís, barely out of grad school, himself. He seemed to be at home with the grad students and eager to make a good first impression.

I was exhausted from this week before we even went. It was only 4 days long, but it seemed so much longer. I think because the weather was so dreary.

It was the usual uber intellectual, uber liberal crowd. Everyone getís to let their eccentricities develop because thatís okay and acceptable in an academic environment. Iím sure I seem incredibly boring, in comparison.

I forgot how much trouble I have hearing when there is a lot of ambient noise. Throw in a non-native-English-speaker accent or a low-talker, and I might as well be deaf. I got my hearing tested a couple of years ago, and I was told that I have the hearing of an 8 year old. I assume they meant the mechanism functioned as though it were only 8 years old, rather than that I listen like an 8 year old. I hope.

Itís not so much a physical problem, but a psychological one. I have a terrible time focusing on what is being said directly to me, if I can clearly hear other sounds, which does sort correlate with the, ďhearing of an 8 year old.Ē

Actually, it really wasnít that bad, but thatís something that I often forget about. Thatís reason that Iíve never liked bars or big noisy restaurants. Iím ok with clubs or concerts, as long as no one tries to have a conversation with me.

I mentioned to Adam that I like one of his friends, but that he talks so quietly, it amazes me that any of his students can hear him in the classroom. Obviously, this guy is different in a classroom setting than in a social setting. Most teachers are. Adam agreed with me that heís a really interesting guy, and I said, ďYeah! It seems like heís always saying something incredibly fascinating. I just wish I could hear it.Ē

I also had a nice conversation with a surprisingly friendly and laid back Japanese man, but he did tell me that heís too Americanized by this point, to ever return home. He kept praising me for being ďthe wife of a grad student.Ē Most of them assume that Iím Adamís wife, and most of the time I donít bother with correcting them. With marriage being what it is today; the high divorce rate, same-sex couples being denied the right, and other various lifestyles and living situations, I figure, what difference does it make, really?

Okay, legally, thereís a huge difference, but socially? Meh.

The Japanese man said a really sweet thing about how even though his degree will have his name on it, it will really be his wifeís phd. Sheís the one whose made the sacrifices, so he could be where he is today. We talked about the hardships of being the spouse of a grad student, but I noticed that he was focused on how hard it is for wives, especially financially. I guess the assumption being that women make less money; therefore, it is harder for a wife with a husband in school, which is truer in Japan, than here. Maybe he was just feeling a guilty, like he felt he let her down or didnít hold up his end of their marital deal.

Now that I think about it, itís also very Japanese to give credit to others. Perhaps, heís not as Americanized as he claimed. Wow, I am so tired. Why am I rambling on, like this?

Of course, there was still all the stuff thatís way too thinky for a Friday night. Thereís not much else that Iíd want to do less on a Friday night, after a long work week, than philosophize about the universe.

I think Iím going to do what Iíd want to do most. Go to sleep.

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Friday, Sept. 09, 2011 at 11:26 PM