I am determined to apply for PhD programs, but this shit ain’t easy.

Heeding the exaggerated expectations of mentors, I’m aiming for the stratosphere, the best programs. To satisfy some requirements, one needs to read French and German. Can I learn to read French and German in one year? It would take Nietzschean will for that; but then, nothing less than Nietzschean will will do!

I would like to study overseas, but again the search process is laborious, and I have a job to do here in Japan. A creeping sense of how quickly my 3 months here will conclude is haunting my daydreams. No one wants to be an unemployed scholar.

I am hoping also to travel to India by year’s end to deliver some invited lectures. If all goes well I will have a tiny bundle of publications and lecture presentations, internships and work experiences — along with a documentary film appearance — to show admissions committees by early 2014.