Jun 14, 2013

More Springtime Shenanigans

I know ... I know ... I just posted!   And here's another one!  You will probably enjoy this post more, since it has some awesome pictures and is less ... boring ... than reading about the ins and outs of academic life.

Memorial Day weekend, Nick and I attended the wedding of our friends JeanAnn and Eric.  They are both really awesome people, so we knew their wedding would be really awesome as well.  Little did we know, however, that this would actually end up being the most awesome wedding either of us have ever attended.  Actually, if facebook is any indication, a lot of people who were in attendance came away with a similar sentiment.  Furthermore, I like to think that this is almost exactly (minus the food trucks, maybe) the kind of wedding that Nick and I would plan for ourselves, if either of us was susceptible to the idea of getting married.  So you should definitely keep reading.

What made this wedding so awesome, you ask?

1. Location: The wedding and reception were both held in Brooklyn, at the Vander Ende-Onderdonk house.  As you can see, it's a gorgeous home, and the wedding was held outside in the spacious garden area.

2. Food: In the style of true New Yorkers, the dinner and dessert came from food trucks.

Really.

Each of us got these cute little menus with the dinner and dessert offerings.  Dinner was tacos/little sandwiches catered by Mexicue, with one's choice of yummy fillings.  The best part is that it was self serve--everyone enjoyed the experience of waiting on line at the taco truck, and then ordering exactly what they wanted.  Of course, once we were given our food, the challenge of consuming said deliciousness without spilling anything on our nice clothes ensued.

Dessert was ice cream sandwiches--again, self serve, and we got to pick not only what kind of cookie, but also what kind of ice cream.  Totally a win-win.

3.  Music: JeanAnn and Eric both have an affinity for New Orleans, JeanAnn having earned her bachelor's degree from Tulane University.  So they hired a Dixieland jazz band to play the reception.  Given that so many of the guests were theatrical/musical types, many of them also being Tulane alumni, the reception was a big hit, as everyone there really knew how to cut loose and have a good time.  (and surely the vast amounts of spirits that were consumed helped with this ...)

Also, those New Orleaners really know their jazz stuff--some of the guests talked the band into doing a second line.  A second line, by the way, originated from jazz parades/jazz funerals.  The personnel involved (musicians, family of the deceased, etc.) comprise the first line, and the second line is ... everyone else.  Minus a funeral or a parade, second lining consists of walking/dancing around in a line, waving handkerchiefs and parasols.  Some smart cookie was clearly planning ahead on this one, because no sooner did the band line up for the second line, than boxes of parasols were produced for those who did not come prepared.

Check out this picture taken (I think) by one of the guests.  This is the front of the second line, but as far as candid wedding photos go, this seems to be quite the epitome of very, very awesome.

4.  Last, though certainly not least, this wedding was covered by the NEW YORK TIMES and was actually just published (see link below).   I'm telling you, this wedding was all kinds of classy/awesome awesomeness.

It's no small feat to get the New York Times to cover one's wedding, and it's even harder to make the cut on a holiday weekend.  Among my small circle of friends, family, and acquaintances, May has a record number of birthdays and anniversaries, so for the Times to cover my friends' wedding over Memorial Day weekend ... that's one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

The New York Times article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/fashion/weddings/a-rented-truck-was-the-stage-for-romantic-comedy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Jun 12, 2013

Publish or Perish: Devo's Adventures in Academia

It's June ... another semester in the books, and it was kind of a doozy.

On the PhD front this semester, I passed one language exam, and am now just two classes, an additional language exam, and one massive comprehensive exam away from being ABD (all but dissertation).   The idea is that I will attain ABD status in early February.  In the meantime, I will try not to think about what an oversized undertaking the Fall 2013 semester will be by dwelling instead on some of the other happenings of this past semester.

The motto of everyone in academia is 'publish or perish.'  Perhaps to you (nonscholars) this seems a bit extreme, but to me this slogan has become par for the course.  Somehow, inexplicably, I really snapped into scholar mode about a year ago and have been sending out proposal after proposal to be vetted by my advisors before submitting them to be considered for academic conferences, fellowships, and grants.  I would like to say I have had really spectacular success in this endeavor.  Actually, my advisors would probably insist to all of you, as they have repeatedly to me, that I am, in fact, pretty successful considering I'm only two years in as a PhD student.  And as far as conference proposals, my success rate this year has been a whopping 100%.

Really.

As far as various funding sources, however, my success rate is only about 50%--half of the fellowship/grant proposals I've sent off this past year have been accepted, but the ones that were rejected were awards that totaled almost 3x as much as the ones I received.  There are always more things for which to apply, however, and so every time another call for proposals lands in my inbox, I pull out my abstracts and prepare to send them out once again ....  

Of course, the 'next step' in the academic process is getting published, a feat which has very much been on my mind of late.  This is somewhat easier than it sounds, given the number of scholarly periodicals that accept article submissions and the evident interest in my research as suggested by my conference proposal acceptance rate.  All in good time ...