I passed my qualifying exams! Woo woo!!!

Of course, the last 24 hours have been quite strange. I’ve been prepping for quite some time. Yesterday, i chilled and a friend came and did reiki with me. I was heading to bed, all relaxed when I heard a pounding on my door. I found this quite strange given that i have a gate to my apartment. I started walking downstairs when my doorbell started ringing. And ringing. I reached the bottom and it was my neighbor. “Isn’t that your car?” I looked out and said yes. “There’s a guy in it.” I was totally frazzled and i walked down and started pounding on my car window. “Get out of my car! What are you doing in my car?” He said that the door was open. “No it wasn’t! Get out of my car!” He said he was going to sleep in it. “Get out of my car!!!” I started flipping out as my neighbor was calling the police. The guy got out and started walking down my street, away from the situation… slowly, as though nothing was wrong. At that point, i realized the window was shattered. I realized the light had been turned off, the glove compartment was open. The hood was popped. He was going to steal my car! My neighbor explained that he saw him get out of the backseat, walk around and get into the front seat. My other neighbor came out and said she had heard glass break. Baroo? The cops arrived in two minuts, but couldn’t find the guy – they confirmed that he was most likely going to steal the car. Eeeek! So now, a day after getting my car from the shope, i had to go back to the shop with a broken window. What a strange event only hours before my exam.

In reflection, i realized how thankful i am that my neighbors are so kinda, that they reacted so fast, that they cared. I’m soooo lucky. I cannot imagine how i would’ve felt coming out this morning to drive to my exam to find my car missing. Thank god for my neighbors. But then i was sad. The guy was about my age, was wearing gloves and had a backback. It was clear that he broke the window with something he had on him, in that bag. He was intentional about his theft. He did not care – he lied to me. It makes me so sad that he thinks that this is the best thing. He cost me hundreds of dollars but that doesn’t matter. I understand being poor, but i cannot imagine living a life where such theft seems reasonable. I found that i was more sad than angry, more thankful that my neighbors cared than upset that this man wanted to steal my rather simple car. It was strange to go to my exam with glass all over my car, to think about what different life paths he and i have.

Still, i got to my exam and my committee was so full of insight and good thoughts. The process was more enjoyable than scary, even though i was terrified walking in. I found that i enjoyed their critiques, found their concerns valid and intriguing. I’m looking forward to starting proper data collection. But first, i’m looking forward to a vacation. ::bounce:: Finland, Fiji, New Zealand – here i come!!

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17 thoughts on “qualified

  1. Kevin

    Firstly, Congrats!
    Secondly, that is Sad!
    I had someone break into my Honda by picking my lock. Then another guy break into my apartment, but I actually caught him red-handed. Unfortunately, he brushed past me and headed out the doorway just as I started realizing what had happened.

    How the hell these people pick their prey I really don’t know. Must be luck of the draw or I was just next in line. In future, I should try putting up a sign that says “Do not disturb. Poor grad student inside”.

  2. davee

    congratulations on the exams!!! woot!!!

    strange car karma… cudos for turning that into general gratitude and wondering what kind of path the perpetrator is on.

  3. Jeff Cooper

    Dear Danah,

    First, congrats on passing Danah, that’s great.

    Second, yeah… too bad about the car, and certainly juxtaposed to the stress you were about to undertake with the exams, it will be something to reflect on again.

    I had my car stolen twice when I lived in S.F. It was a 69 Dodge with a slant 6. First time it took over a month to get it back and hundreds to fix. So I put a kryptonite lock around the steering wheel, but they managed to steal it anyway! I guess they needed a ride home the second time (and the duplicate boards I had in the trunk for bridge tournaments). Oh well… those were the days.

    I don’t suppose your dissertation will be made available at thinkfree.com or on a wiki so we can all have at it? 😉



  4. Paul

    Yoohoo! Way to go. Someone asked me the other day why I read your blog (I guess they couldn’t get past the funny hat at CHI). My reply was – well I don’t know anyone that is looking into youth culture online with the kind of open mind you have. The fact that my wife (psychologist) my son (20yr illustration student) both read it and find it insightful confirms my own impressions. Keep up the great work. We’ll be watching – said in a positive way, not in a creepy government way : )

  5. Dr. Virago

    Congratulations from a lonnnnnng-time lurker (and, coincidentally and apropos to social networks, a friend of people you know).

    Yay!!! And enjoy the vacation!

  6. tiffany


    and i’m sending evil vibes to the raggedy bastid that broke into your car. i have no patience for thieves. they should all be hit in the face with a brick.

  7. B

    Congratulation for your quals. Promise you won’t forget these are done, neither Fidji & Finland (BTW: what’s the rational? They are not exactly in the same direction, are they?)—while your car. . . You’ll have changed it twice before you’ll come back on your blog archive & remember about the incident.

  8. Meri


    Must be a huge weight off your mind to be finished with the exams now 🙂

    Re the attitude of the guy — I think sometimes people HAVE to take that attitude (that it is normal/acceptable/required to steal) in order to be able to cope with it. I saw it a lot in young people in South Africa — they’d gotten hopeless and started stealing or dealing and the only way they could morally reconcile it was to convince themselves it was necessary and OK.

    Terribly sad that people end up like that, but I think it’s just a different type of coping mechanism — same as some housewives have drinking, students have drugs, etc.

  9. Clara

    Congrats on your exam! And your car story reminds me of an incident I heard about a little while ago…

    After parking his car on the street, a student was waiting to cross the road at an intersection when he noticed that the car stopped at the traffic lights looked remarkably similar to his own. In fact, the license plate was identical! Yet there it was, being merrily driven down the road. Without thinking, he ran over and hopped into the front passenger seat of the car, asking the driver, ‘are you stealing my car??’ Shocked, the would-be thief immediately fled the scene.

    Later, in an interview, the student said that he felt really lucky that he’d been able to recover his car, like he’d won the lottery or something, but also that what he did could potentially have been very dangerous. Anyway, I’m glad you managed to retain your vehicle as well!

    By the way, that happened here in Auckland, NZ – hope you enjoy coming down, and let me know if you’re looking for recommendations of places to visit! =)

  10. kimberly moore

    Hi Danah,
    I live on Waiheke Isand a short ferry from Auckland. I know your blog through Eric (we met on his travels). If you need a place to stay, or recomendations, would love to show you around.

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