Wednesday, April 29, 2009


While technically I graduated in December, there isn't a ceremony then. The advantage of the spring ceremony is, I suppose, that it doesn't conflict with winter holidays. Well, and admittedly the lilacs begin to bloom around graduation time, which is a fine thing. And several of my colleagues were also graduating in the spring (three of them actually attended the ceremony), as did a fair number of my students and my friends from gamelan.
My department does a very nice ceremony of its own on the morning of the big ceremony, but it has almost become too successful: the auditorium was packed with families and I hear that quite a few people had to stand in the hall outside because the aisles were filled. (We refrained from alerting the Fire Marshall.) While it is nice to combine the Studio, Architectural Studies, and Art History festivities, I suspect it won't be feasible to continue to do so. I was planning to take pictures at the event, but completely failed to.
Before long, it was time to race off to the main graduation, which undertakes to do everyone from every school in the university all in one long afternoon. As such things go, it was pretty standard, but despite the airconditioning in the stadium, those of us wearing caps and gowns were sweating profusely. I don't know how any wool can rightly be described as "tropical," but better tropical wool than the synthetics that most people had gotten. Synthetics feel hot in a nastier way than natural fibers, and I am not about to endure that if I have any choice. What I don't understand is why, given that academic regalia is generally worn in the spring or summer, it is not made mostly of linen. We are not living in medieval days, when academics wore heavy robes to keep warm through the winter.
Still, I think Kristen and I looked rather festive in our regalia.

Kristen and I standing around awaiting our parents.

Kristen's parents arrived first.

My family did manage to explore the campus a bit too.

I had intended for there to be quite a few photos of various people around the Fine Arts building, but that didn't end up happening.

I also meant to take photos at the wine-and-cheese party my (and Kristen's) advisor threw us, but that didn't happen either. Eventually we went home, where at least there are plenty of trees in bloom.

And that's all. It will probably be about all for this blog as well, as the blog was intended to keep people up to date on my life and research in Prague, which ended two years ago. Kristen has inquired whether Facebook has lured me away from blogging, and the answer is decidedly not; different online activities have different uses. But there are limits, after all, to how much I can say about my life these days--at least without being annoying. I like blogging, but it has to have some purpose, even if a fairly vaguely defined one.
So, if there is something to say that fits this blog, I might add it, but otherwise I think the reasonable thing would be to start a different blog. After all, this one was mostly about being a PhD student, and now the PhD is done.
Time for something new and exciting.

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Blogger Julia said...

Keep us posted on where you go! I'll miss you here. Just don't forget to post pictures of the bunnies on Facebook too.

April 30, 2009 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you both on the opportunity to wear academic regalia!


April 30, 2009 2:35 PM  
Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Congratulations on your tropical wool graduation! Perhaps your new blog will have warp drive and anti-gravity plating...

I didn't know that you were on Facebook! I still can't figure it out. Do you need exact change?

April 30, 2009 6:52 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Dear Karla,

I have been following your blog off and on for the past two years. I studied in Prague for a semester as an undergrad where I became interested in Czech Surrealism and especially Toyen. I wrote a short paper on the transition from Artificialism when I was there but kept hitting walls with the availability of resources in English and those that were in English often essentially said the same thing (at least the ones I was able to find). I regretted that my Czech was not better and that I did not have more time there to dig deeper. After I graduated I thought briefly about applying for a Fulbright to study Toyen and the Czech Surrealists at which time I stumbled upon your blog. I was so excited that you were studying Toyen and the Czech Surrealists and that you had the time and linguistic abilities to get information from letters, papers and publications in Czech.

I think about Prague pretty much every day and it is funny how the things I learned and experienced in that one semester seem to trump the rest of my time in college.

I was wondering if perhaps I could have a copy of your thesis to read? I'm not really sure if that is a kosher request but I must admit that I have been hoping to read it ever since I found your blog. Of course I am happy to pay the cost of copying or shipping or whatever else.

Let me know if this is something you would be interested in/willing to do.

Oh, yes, and Congratulations on your PhD!



jlehman678 @

May 02, 2009 7:35 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Congratulations Karla! You get a PhD AND you get to wear the funkier cap (the one that doesn't make you look like an eagle)...does life get any better than this?

Will you be heading down to DC and the Jaromir Funke exhibit anytime soon?


May 04, 2009 12:40 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Thanks everyone, I'm kind of missing the blog already, but still think I would need a new focus.

Alex, I will try to make it but will be swamped for the next week or so (plus I have the flu).

Jennifer, I will email you.

May 06, 2009 2:57 PM  
Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

You could do a blog about bunnies...

May 06, 2009 8:50 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Ah, but lots of people blog about bunnies. The Spotted Pair will probably be featured from time to time in whatever I do next.

May 06, 2009 10:20 PM  
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November 01, 2009 4:11 PM  

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