On Longevity and Other Matters

Self knows this: there’s nothing better than coffee at 7:49 in the morning. The icon for weather alerts that self installed on her desktop is blinking, and when self examines it she sees there’s a severe weather alert for (holds her breath) San Luis Obispo, California (!!!). And here is the confirmation that son, like self, has genius intuition: because he’s 3000 miles away this morning, in New York City.

Today hubby has to work and soon self will go to Safeway to get soft drinks and the New York Times, and who knows what we’ll do this evening but there are already two bottles of Moet and Chandon chilling in the fridge.

Self’s looking over latest newsletter from the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford. It’s been over 20 years since she got her degree, and she notes with interest the places where the recent graduates have gone or will be going, and here’s an abbreviated list:

Dept. of History, Chapman University; Linguistics, Cal State Fresno; Political Science, University of Alberta; Political Science, National Chengchi University, Taiwan; Political Science, UC Berkeley; Sociology, Texas A & M University; Japanese, Wesleyan; Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Thailand

On the Faculty News page, self sees the names of two professors she studied under and who she presumed had long ago passed on to the great beyond (but no, such is the longevity of Stanford professors — both are still very much alive and kicking and in fact have just published books) :

    Michael Sullivan, from whom self took three courses in Chinese painting, has just published Modern Chinese Artists: A Biographical Dictionary (University of California Press)
    Makoto Ueda, professor of Japanese, has a book forthcoming from Stanford University Press: Concealment of Politics, Politics of Concealment: The Production of “Literature” in Meiji Japan.

Furthermore, in April of 2007, Prof. Daniel Okimoto of Political Science was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, one of Japan’s most prestigious honors. And Michael Armacost, whose wife Bonnie is one of Dearest Mum’s closest friends, has received something else called The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, which award was presented to him by no less a personage than Emperor Akihito, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

And then here is a picture of dear old fun-loving professor Susan Matisoff, who looks exactly the same as she did when self was in grad school (which leads self to surmise that having a Stanford professorship is probably the cheapest way to ensure absence of wrinkles), and she is surrounded by these other professors who self has known:

Tom Hare, now at Princeton; and Beth Carey, former Assistant Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, who wrote a book on geishas which self thinks was infinitely better than the one that was made into a movie (because Carey’s book was true), and who also translated the novels of a Japanese mystery writer whose name this morning completely escapes self.

And then, finally, in alumni news:

    Chris Armacost moved to Tokyo.
    Amy Borovoy published The Too-Good Wife: Alcohol, Codependency, and the Politics of Nurturance in Postwar Japan (University of California Press, 2005)
    Sabina Chen became Executive Director of the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco. (Congrats, Sabina!)
    Shari Epstein became Dean of Academic Affairs at Dharma Realm Buddhist University, which is in “The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas,” which contrary to self’s expectations is not in Nepal or Tibet or any other place in central Asia, but is conveniently located near the city of Ukiah in northern California.
    Robert Corrigan became head of the Man Group in London, which is in charge of awarding the Man Asian Literary Prize. (!!!!) — Darn, if self had only known Rob would end up there, she would have made sure to engage in more idle chit-chat with him in hallowed corridors of the Stanford Quad.

Self now needs time to digest all these various surprises.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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