Beleaguered Grad Students of the Future… Don’t Bother!

While emailing a friend, I was reminded of a funny thing that happened once in a Korean newspaper. The band I used to play with was interviewed by a newspaper reporter — I can’t remember if it was the guy with the funny hair, or maybe the very pretty girl because of whom the word “reporter” became a euphemism for a “very pretty girl” in the band thereafter.

Anyway, each band member was interviewed in turn, and when my turn came around, I was asked about my other interests. I stated that I’d been working on a book about the Chinese Taiping Rebellion for a few years, and stated very clearly that it was a work-in-progress. I don’t know whether something got ganked in the translation, or whether a little reality-modification was done to make it sound better, but when the article based on the interview was published, it was claimed I was a published author and that I’d written (and completed, and published) a book about the Taiping Rebellion.

In a way, I was amused, but also quite glad to know that this article would, as non-English-language material, be very unlikely to end up in any archive pertaining to me, such as, say, if my writing career does take off. No poor grad student will spend hours trying to figure out why such-and-such newspaper claimed my Taiping book was already published by 2003 when in fact it wasn’t even completed till winter 2008.

Of course, now that I’m mentioned this, maybe some poor student will be trying to hunt down archives of these articles instead. Heh. Listen to me, kid, it’s not worth it. The articles just weren’t that interesting, even in the sense of completeness.

I also found a place online where googling me brings up nothing: Flickr. But I’ll be starting to use my Flickr account soon, so that will change…

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