Image: cityscape from Wong Kar Wai's beautiful 2046 (2004).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

So I Did this Thing Today...

... that probably made no sense. I sent an email, out of the blue, to a highly distinguished professor in UCLA's department of Urban Planning. I have been considering a critical/theoretical construction of his for some time now and recently decided it could be the missing dynamic that subtends questions of periodization, methodology and intent in my Introduction and... by extension... the entirety of my dissertation.

Emailing him resulted from my following one of those random impulses that I have to try to take the "virtuality" out of my current academic situation. (I've been corresponding with some of my committee by email and phone and just yesterday emailed our remarkable Student Affairs Office in the FTVDM department to ask him to please print and deliver a letter to another committee member who apparently does not email, ever.) After all, if I were still in the environs of UCLA, I could have found out this professor's office hours and just turned up, all inquisitive and such.

Though, in fact, randomly meeting him face-to-face would probably have made me dreadfully nervous and all the smart, informed questions I had about his work would likely have turned into a lot of "hi smart mister... I think you are smart... can I use your smart words in my book?"

So, a thoughtful email was probably the way to go. It may lead to a fruitful exchange of ideas between two people interested in notions of community, progressive scholarship and urbanism, or, it may have ruined my academic career permanently. Or, he may never write back and the result will be fantastically nil. I'll update if anything comes of it.

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