Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Berkle

(I don't know why I call it that, but it feels right.)

Provided my husband finds a job offer to his satisfaction, I'm moving to San Francisco to attend Berkeley's PhD program. As reported somewhere below--back when, you know, I was still updating my blog--the visit weekend was incomparable, the faculty smart and genial all at once, the fellowship offer generous, and the department in general conducive to pursuing my research interests in literatures outside of English. I've agreed to write up the narrative of my grad school application season (which I'm tentatively calling A Season of Migration to the North) for the livejournal community which held my hand through the heart-piercing anxieties of the last couple of months, and possibly host on this website other accounts of the same, written by my friends. Much is said about the competitiveness and general cutthroatiness of English graduate students, but our livejournal cohort--and we kind of are our own cohort, no matter where we go--proved itself quite the opposite, quick to jump on the negative, identify it for what it was, and dismiss the occasional anonymous commenter with little ceremony. Helpful and cheerful to a fault, we were genuinely happy to see each other get into programs, even if it meant others of us were out. So much for that myth.

Moving comes with its own anxieties, and I don't even want to admit the amount of time I spend on Craigslist looking for a new place. We're thinking a loft in not-quite-gentrified Oakland or smallish house farther north. I'd like to avoid another Pit of the Soccer Moms, the corresponding one of which my sister-in-law tells me is located somewhere around Walnut Creek, but other than that, I'm pretty open to whatever happens our way. Cheerful, even. For instance, I've stopped composing the list of things and people I hate in my head for most of today.

Posted by Shannon Chamberlain @ 2:22 PM