Update from Arrianna: 7 Weeks Into Graduate School

Hello All,

I can’t remember the last time I blogged. I was probably still in Georgia preparing for my move to Chicago for graduate school. Well, I’m here, and I love it. The University of Chicago lives up to its much-vaunted intellectual rigor. It is refreshing to be surrounded by people who at lest have a basic grasp of my research interests (statelessness, land dispossession and internally-displaced populations.)

It’s lovely to be here. It really is, but being one of the few people of color in my cohort, and often, the only Black woman in the room, is tiring. Well-meaning, self-avowed liberals and allies are the source of most of the microaggressions I deal with everyday. It could be the casual remark about rational choice as applied to Black women’s dating choices or an attempt to explicate why Black women are excluded from dominant political discourses. I call these moments paper cuts. Thing is, paper cuts, while small in size, are a pain.  At the end of some days, I just want to be alone in a quiet, dark room while I decompress and comprehend the things I saw and heard.

Aside from that, I love my job (Program Associate Intern for International Programs, working specifically with LGBTQI refugees and asylees) and my classes. I’ve managed to find a balance between work, school and home, and I’ve made a handful of friends in my cohort who will likely be lifelong friends. Oh, and I love Chicago. I’ve adjusted nicely to the Autumn weather (it remains to be seen if I can handle a Chicago winter).

How have you been?

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