Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

14 Jan 2001, 6:35 a.m.

Two days till school starts

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

What to do? Should I review Russian, create flyers for the class I'm teaching, or just enjoy unfettered Berkeley? Ah, a procrastinatrice like myself generally chooses the path of least (immediate) resistance...right now, I'm listening to an XMMS playlist, surfing K5, and delaying going over to a friend's.

(In case you care, I enjoy the music of The Weatherheads, Copperpot, Frisbie, Ben Folds Five, Audra and the Antidotes, and Ten Til'Eight, and you can find music by all of them at IUMA, the Internet Underground Music Archive. No, I'm not a shill, otherwise I would have had a child, named it Iuma, and asked for the million dollars or whatever.

The third semester of Russian is coming, starting Tuesday. I surprise myself at my facility with Russian -- and at gaps in knowledge, or at least memory. I wish I could find some sort of free Linux program that does a flashcard kind of thing, programmable both in Cyrillic and Latin characters. Somehow I think I'd be better, more disciplined, at doing flashcards if I could do them on my computer. I should check Freshmeat.

I'm trying to think of a tagline with which to advertise my class. "It's not just punk, it's cyberpunk!" No. "Watch the Matrix for credit!" Misleading. "Lots of reading, but it's enjoyable!" A bit too James-Morrow-"City-of-Truth" for my taste (though we will read that work in my class, the longest short story -- in fact, it's a novella, I think -- that we'll read). "Al Gore is a robot!" Well, that combines sci-fi and politics, but somehow I don't think it's strongly associated enough with a "take my class" behavioral command.

Got any ideas?

Anyway, I wish I had another week to do research, figure out how this whole summer-in-Russia thing is going to work out, and just hang out at Cody's and watch interesting movies at the UC Theater. But wishing makes nothing so. (Reminds me of a line from Philip Pullman's excellent The Golden Compass, the first book in his His Dark Materials trilogy. You'll find it in the "young adult" or possibly "fantasy/sci-fi" shelves of the bookstore. It's terrific. Gosh, another thing I wish I had time to do: read the second and third books, before school starts on the sixteenth...)

Poll: The Evil Empire

  • Microsoft
  • MPAA
  • RIAA
  • Vader & Co.
  • Republicratic government
  • The Matrix

Originally published by Sumana Harihareswara at