Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Alumni of Columbia University

In September, I applied for a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Scholarship and to my surprise, I got it. I leave on Friday and when I return August 9th, my resume will list "Columbia University" instead of "WWU" as my alma mater and I will be buying new silver to match my new Ivy League attitude.

Here is a link to the program if you want to read about it in detail:


If you don't want to read about it in detail, here's a synopsis: it is called "China Institute's Living and Being ‘Chinese’: Geographic and Ethnic Diversity in China NEH Summer Institute." The four week itinerary I'm holding includes visits to many NY museums, viewing classic Chinese films, Fengshui and dumpling-making workshops, touring NY's Chinatown and a Salem, Massachusetts excursion to see a late Qing Dynasty home, a visit to the Staten Island Chinese Scholars Garden and listening to lots and lots of lectures about lots and lots of dynasties.

Of course, what excites me most is that I will be making dumplings at the foundation of modern genetics, the same North American site where the first uranium atom was split, where Langston Hughes' and Jack Kerouac's minds were sparked to contribute to/begin the Harlem Renaissance and Beat Movement, respectively, and where Spiderman went to school. Shouldn't the dumplings be great?

While my Texan sub-letter lives in my condo on Phinney for the second summer in a row, I will be living in a dorm on the Columbia campus- the International House (or the I-House as my fellow graduates - Alexander Hamilton, FDR, Madeleine Albright, Barack, Meadow Soprano and Peter Parker -like to call it) -with 23 other attendees of the institute (teachers from all around the US), as well as students of Columbia from all over the world. I have heard that the I-House is the most international dorm in the US. NEH has awarded us all a $3,ooo scholarship to cover travel costs, room and board (and I paid extra to get an air conditioner installed in my room).

Obviously, my "board" will run high... I hope you are ready for many food photos. My brother thinks I should change the name of my blog to reflect this trip, but I think "noodle by noodle" still captures my main goals. And with all of these dynasties- yes, I will still be in a state of Confucian. I suppose some things will be different, like there won't be any Stir-Fry Streets or Noodle Performance Artists, and I won't have to play Frogger across eight lanes or lead games of Simon Says in rooms with broken air conditioners. So I will just change "China" to "New York City."

OK, lay all of those NY tips on me now, please!


The Norris Clan said...

Yeah! Another Marjie blog (or glob, depending on the day, I suppose)! First, I think the title does say it all; but perhaps along with the "Dynasty" theme, couldn't you change your name to Krystal Carrington or Alexis... also, I am sure that you will find MANY artists performing curious acts on the streets, although they won't be as entertaining (and delicious) as the noodle guys. Last, I can't WAIT to taste the delish dumplings after learning to make them in such prestigious surroundings... Peter Parker should be thrilled to include YOU in his alumni list!

Have a great time... and to get a cab, push an old lady out of the way! Works every time!


Brian Bowker said...

I am so excited to read your stories and help work on your Glob!

Please learn how to make bao and then bring that technology home with you.