It seems life is much easier without blogging. I had peace of mind not following up blogs in the past couple of days! My summer classes have started. I had to take two prerequisite undergrad courses this semester. In summer I don’t have an assistantship and since I’m on student visa I’m not allowed to work out of campus either and I haven’t found a job on campus so far. So, I had to pay for the classes (as well as the rent) out of pocket (I saved a small amount of money last year which hopefully would be enough for summer’s rent; my husband will pay the rest!).

I took one of the classes (statistics, yak!) in a community college which is much cheaper. The other class is reporting. Every week we have to write one local news report about our city. I’m horrible at the local news because I honestly know more about Boston and Berkeley than the city I live in! It’s because when I’m in town, I’m mostly studying and don’t have time to get involved with the town. But when I travel, I’m usually on vacation and have more time to explore the cities I travel to. I know it’s kind of stupid. I study too much because my self confidence is low and I think I know much less than other students. On my free time, I’m usually so tired that I either lie in front of TV or sleep! Well, of course I sometimes go to cinema and I’m online most of the time!

Now this summer I should explore the city, learn about the municipality and the city council, find the phone numbers of people who can be referred to as the sources of the news, etc. If I were in Tehran, I didn’t have that much problem, because I knew Tehran inch by inch (a little exaggeration!), but the situation is totally different in the small town I live here (I still get lost sometimes here!!).

We have two instructors for the reporting class. One of them is the legendary Mike Foley. He’s the coolest guy I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s 60, has an earring, and dances around the class while giving his interesting lectures. Three of the people who have worked for him have received Pulitzer Prize! I feel so lucky to be in his class.

So, this summer term, instead of being an online resident, I should get more offline. It’s a big challenge for me to see if I can become a news reporter in this small town. Sometimes I get very nostalgic, remembering Cappuccino – our e-zine that was closed two years ago. It was much easier for me to write reports for Cappuccino and I was never alone in doing so. We were usually a group to write the reports or do the interviews. Good old days that will never come again…

PS. Our project in Iran is going well. We had to postpone our first workshop for a month, but everything else is going very well. I’m very excited to see the results and whether our online network in the provinces is going to work or not. If the project works, I will have so much to write in my thesis as well! (I’ll tell you more about the project in a few months.)