The following is an interview with Petra Lamberson, a 2016 graduate of the MA program.
What are you currently up to? I'm in my second year of an MA/PhD program at UC Berkeley, in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies. I'm a Sanskrit emphasis (with Classical Tibetan as my secondary language) and my area of research is Indian Buddhism.
How have you applied what you learned at DRBU to what you are currently doing? My current studies are a direct continuation of what I began at DRBU. Aside from that, I have been reflecting lately on what a transformative experience it was in the DRBU classroom to be deeply listened to, taken seriously, and entrusted with my own capacity for understanding. Now that I sometimes take on the role of a Graduate Student Instructor (Berkeley's version of a TA), I try to adopt the same open and attentive attitude toward my students, an aspiration that brings joy to the task of teaching.
What is a favorite pastime / memory from your time at DRBU? I honestly miss having breaks that align with CTTB sessions. What a blessing that was! I also remember how wonderful it was to realize that everyone around me had tremendous courage and that all the members of my very diverse cohort shared some intangible, heartfelt thing in common, however much it did not look like it on the surface.
Insights, advice, and/or words of wisdom you'd like to share with new/current students: In the rare and precious container you are being held in during your time there, I want to tell you that there is no better place to face the darkness—and no worse place to take everything so seriously!