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  • One night I was drunk, surfing the internet, and I came across a call for papers to a graduate student conference at Harvard. The theme of the conference sounded right up my alley, so I made up a proposal and sent it in, on a drunken whim, and quickly forgot about it. A few months later I get an email saying my proposal had been accepted, and a few months after that I’m on free trip to Boston, and I’m presenting a paper called “Nationality and Empire: The All-Union Census of 1926 in Soviet Azerbaijan” at Empires and Imperial Control in Comparative Historical Perspective, The Fourth Annual Harvard Graduate Student Conference on International History. I had reached the pinnacle of academia.

    So I spent a couple days hanging out with world famous historians and over-achieving graduate students, had dinner at the Harvard faculty club (the most swankiest place I have ever been), and hung out in the Harvard law school dorms visiting my old pal Donovan. And on my last day, on my way to catch a cab to the airport (save the receipts!), I jumped into a Cambridge textbook store, and Eureka! there was a snow globe. I slipped it in my jacket and walked out.
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