Graduate Student Spotlight: Happy People

We’ve loved doing the newsletter, because we love getting to talk to people (what a great excuse to talk with YOU, friends!). And because this our last hurrah as your Newsletter Editresses, we figured we had better talk to as many people as possible. Thus the graduate student spotlight is a pilot study of our new, fabulous, completely unpublishable, barely peer-reviewed (we’re peers; we count) methodology. It’s called “sneak-attack sampling,” wherein the researcher sneaks up on people and puts them on the spot with a nearly unanswerable question. Sound unethical? Wait until you hear the question …It’s about BEING HAPPY. Gulp. It went something like this: “Tell us, esteemed colleague, how has someone else recently made you happy?” It was a conversation killer. But a few bold and joyful souls offered us some warm, fuzzy, humanizing happy-thoughts. We share them here, because when YOU’RE smiling, graduate students, sometimes the department smiles with you.  Love … Meg & Bev.

Kendra Barber:  My parents came to visit from Brooklyn this past weekend and this made me very  happy!  When my parents visit, that means a weekend where expenses are covered by other people.  This always makes me happy!

Valerie Chepp:  My brother and sister-in-law conceived A BABY!

Tyler Crabb:  My mom sent me an Easter care package filled with candy and photos of my brothers!

Kathleen Denny:  I got married!  The wedding was in San Antonio, TX on Saturday, April 16.

Anya Galli:  My friends and I went out last weekend and made two different human pyramids. I was pleasantly surprised by how effective human pyramid making can be.

Jonathan Jackson:  A friend made dinner for me the other night.  Tostadas!

Joanna Kling:  My mom made really good food for Passover.  She made me really happy!

Marek Posard:  What made me happy this week was Dr. Collins’ lecture in our Contemporary Theory course.

Jillet Sam:  My friend, who is visiting from India, came to visit, and we spent the day together. She helped me clean, we cooked a bit, and we had a great conversation about links between theory and practice, and activism and different types of feminism. That made me happy … Oooh, there was something yesterday that made me REALLY happy. There’s an Indian environmental activist, Medha Patkar, who’s coming to campus, and the organization that I am part of that is bringing her here asked me if the Sociology department could organize a space for her to talk on Friday, and so I emailed Reeve, and he pushed it forward, and now it is happening!

Dave Strohecker:  Okay, okay, this past weekend I went up to New York to visit a buddy who tattoos up there, and he spent the whole day with me, he took me around, he gave me some old clothes — really nice clothes — he bought me lunch, he tattooed me, and told me you’re the coolest guy ever. That made me happy. [giggles and thanks the interviewer]

Daniel Swann:  I’m about to have a baby!  I saw a father playing with his child in the park the other day and this made me really happy.  My son, Sebastian Apollo White Swann, is due on June 10, 2011.  And my birthday is June 9.  There’s a chance we’ll have the same birthday!

Joe Waggle:  My older sister is coming in May.  That will make me happy.  It gives me something to look forward to.

Bill Yagatich:  My wife made a cupcake-tower-birthday-cake with cream cheese icing and sprinkles with a note that said “Happy Birthday, Hubby!”

And it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t answer our own question!  So, here you go …

Bev:  Mark Gross recently let me take care of his Pug/Boston Terrier-mix puppy named Baxter!  For four whole days!

Meg:  Hmmm. I would have to go with the Easter card my mother-in-law sent me. She made it from a picture of my husband as three-year-old. He’s wearing a smocked romper and he looks like an Easter egg with arms and legs.

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