Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#geekout

This is a story about the time I tagged along with some friends to a book release. It's really not that boring, you can keep reading. Okay maybe it is. You know what, you decide. 

The book: The Poverty of Capitalism

The author: John Hilary
The venue: Firebox Cafe
The motivation for attending: Free Dinner and Wine (approximately 40% of the reason why I went.)

Upon arrival we discovered that the wine was free, but dinner was not.


All was not lost though, for in London, insanely cheap fish and chips are never far! 


My friend and I went in search of food which consisted of us walking around outside until we saw someone with chips (fries), and kindly asking them to point us into the direction of such deliciousness. Chips were found, and purchased, and consumed and we returned to the book release and all was well. 


(We did consider buying food from the cafe because it smelled wonderful and looked delicious and we even made plans to go back sometime when it's not packed full of people, but we decided to find a [cheaper] alternative as a very tiny form of protest...it seemed fitting with the theme of the evening.) 


The talk/presentation portion of the evening was very intriguing (despite the fact that it was about five million degrees in the restaurant and it took a while for me to stop thinking about how I really shouldn't have made fun of my mom for all of the times she pulled a fan out of her purse and wishing she was there at that moment). I would have actually bought the book, too, if I wasn't too busy sniffing around for the last of the free wine and doing THIS:





That's right, DOREEN MASSEY signed my copy of The Dictionary of Human Geography.* 


You better stifle that snicker right now or we're not friends anymore.


She was one of the commentators for the evening and the other 60% of the reason I went.  

Do yourself a favor and click that fancy little hyperlink up there and read about the awesomness that is Doreen. In the world of geography (so basically the entire world), the woman is a legend. There's no way that I can possibly do her justice here in a cheery little blog post, but you should know that she has been a key player in our current day understandings of, you know, GLOBALIZATION. Not to mention she took a nasty spill recently and has a broken finger and somewhat shattered hip and still showed up to speak. Badass. 

Eeeeeven if you don't agree with the plethora of words she has to say about neoliberalism (read: let's not debate the subject here), her contributions to the idea of a truly global sense of place are pretty damn fantastic.**   


Twas a wonderful evening making memories with new friends, and I'm glad for it. 





NOTES:
*It was all Liam's idea that may have initially started as a joke but I did it anyway and we all got to chat with DM for like 5 whole minutes and it was amazing. ALSO, we found out she supervised our program director's PhD way back when. Cooool. London is really a small town guys.
**Don't worry I'm not all that boring. I may or may not have listened to Katy Perry's new album the entire time I wrote this post. Because I have an affinity for academia AND poprock. So there.




Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cheers

[Listening to: J√≥nsi – Why Not?]

Exactly thirty-seven days ago I moved to London to pursue a master's degree in community organizing.  I'm still not completely sure what I expect to gain from this experience (besides, you know, a degree and oodles of work experience), but apparently moving thousands of miles away from the only life I've ever known is cause for a bit of forced/necessary/at-this-point-unavoidable introspection. 


It was about this time a year ago that I returned home from an adventure that it turned out I wasn't quite ready for. But this time it's different.


I know it. My mom knows it. And from all the love and support I've received on this journey thus far, it seems as though a good chunk of those nearest and dearest to my heart know it, too. 


In just over a month I've met some truly wonderful, adventurous, scarred, hopeful and passionate people who have already challenged and encouraged me in the most unexpected ways. Just about the time I start to wonder what the hell I'm doing here and how someone like me was accepted into an international graduate program, I'm reminded why in the conversations, questions, laughter and kind words of new friends and colleagues. 

I am and always will be a Texas girl at heart (more on the kind of international conversation starter that is later), but for the next year (ish) London has my complete and undivided attention.


There are so many unknowns in store over the next year, and I hope you'll join in as I venture into uncharted territory. This journey is as much yours as it is mine. I wouldn't be where I am and who I am if it weren't for all of the people I've met along the way. 


Let's have some fun, shall we?


Cheers