So being a student can often feel pretty 大起大落, and right now I’d say I’m on the upswing. I’ve realized the basis of my academic self-esteem is how much reading I’m doing – which makes me feel like the biggest idot for having slacked in undergrad (ought I walk across campus and print off forty pages about pre-Medieval Shi’ism, or take a nap?). So after a spasm of midterms in the wake of my Chengdu vacation, I’ve committed myself to focusing until the end of the semester. And so far, it’s awesome.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get the Chinese newspaper. Get it? No. Neither do I.
Like many young scholars of Chinese studies, I have in the past tended to not esteem mainland media as a source of valid information. But I have reconsidered and decided that nothing is a bad source of information, as long as you know how to interpret it. I’m now a big fan of 南方周末, got myself a lovely post-Communist-style-avant-garde LuXun-special of Beijing Lit yesterday, and upon the recommendation of the magazine coolie, a Hong Kong-based magazine called Pheonix Weekly. I was going to start reading up on LuXun Award winning short stories last night, but wine, cheese, and crackers showed up in the lounge and I haven’t had cheese and crackers in months so weakness took over.
Today I read a great article, one not at all recent (1968), The Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett Hardin. I hope that was never on the assigned reading list in undergrad, I’d be kind of embarrassed for having looked that one off. Here I was thinking it was fairly recent literature, and after Wikipediaing it found it to be 42 years on the books. So this is when I start being a student… finding the perfect article for a paper a day late bites.