Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not Title-able

I'm not quite in the proper mood to write a blog, but I have a fairly substantial
chunk of time I need to kill.

Remember how I said Lord of the Flies was next on my reading list? I mistakenly got
The Grapes of Wrath from the library and am currently working on reading that. I'm
taking my time because it's not the easiest read, but I like it so far. Yes, even the
four chapters about the turtle crossing the road. There was a severe disconnect for
quite some time because I had looked up the synopsis of Lord of the Flies, expecting
to read that next and, for quite some time, while I was reading the chapters about
the turtle and the dust storms, I kept wondering when the characters would end up on
a remote island and have to establish their own government. Heh. Good old disconnect.
I also got Neuromancer from the library and it is sitting on my pile for when I
finish The Grapes of Wrath. My goal is to finish The Grapes of Wrath by my birthday.

Oh, hey! My birthday's coming up! Should I be excited? I'm not. I'm usually not a
particularly excitable person, actually. And, even I were a more excitable person,
it's only number twenty. The only significant landmark associated with twenty is the
cessation of the teenage age and the accomplishment of being one more year closer to
legal freedom. Haha, legal freedom. Anyway. Birthday? No big deal. I only noticed it
was coming up because I was working at the library and the due date for some items
happened to be the date of my birthday.

There was an article in the most recent edition of the college newspaper that started
out by saying "I hate Valentine's Day!" The author went on to simply say that the
day always reminds him of his loneliness. The rest of the article had nothing to do
with Valentine's Day OR his loneliness.

I will be having an interview sometime next week for my application to be an RA next
year and, with a fear of high expectations in mind, I AM SO EXCITED.

Also, today I met with a Sociology professor to get general advice about grad school.
I had arrived early and was waiting in the lounge when she arrived and asked me if
she was late. She made no move to look at a watch, so I'm guessing she doesn't wear
one. Neither do I, but my phone is my timekeeper. I started not wearing a watch a
few years ago for one of my classes as an experiment in sacrifice and relaxation.
The experiment required me to not wear a watch for a full week. I haven't worn one
since - with the exception of during my trip to Australia. And then I became more
and more attached to my phone. And then I entered a world where the structure is
mandated by time and anxiety has been conditioned with being late. So, essentially,
the world I'm in doesn't allow a timeless freedom and that's a shame because I
really do enjoy it. But, no, I'm held to my class schedule, my work schedule, my
activity schedule, the dining schedule, and so on. I've known people on both sides
of the continuum in regards to responding to this structure. I know the kind who
rebel completely and lose almost all sense of time. I know the kind who embrace the
overwhelming nature of structure with multiple calendars or other methods of
keeping a schedule. I'm suppose I'm close to being balanced and moderate, but I
would prefer to be more toward the timeless side. In my current environment, the
best way to make that happen would be to schedule all classes in one big chunk each
day. That way, I could keep going until I was done and wouldn't have to look at the
time, except to know when to start.

Speaking of being overwhelmed, I feel that I've become even more OCD since the
beginning of this semester. For nearly a week, almost every day, I've been writing
myself a daily to-do list. To me, this seems excessive. Am I busier? Have I too much
to do? No, just the opposite. I have things to do, obviously, but I have just little
enough that suppose I fear it would be easy to sit and do nothing. So, instead,
I've been writing myself daily to-do lists that I commit myself to completing before
I allow myself to sit and do nothing. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. This sounds like
workaholicism to me (which, apparently, I've never posted about?). Not allowing one's
self to enjoy nothingness until everything is completed? I do believe that was my
brother and my working definition of workaholicism... Oh dear, dear, dear. But it
can't be! I've been doing SO much nothing! I watched the entire first season of a
new tv show over the past two days! I'm doing nothing right now! I'm going to do
nothing tonight! Perhaps this workaholicism would only be a severe problem if I had
much more to do and thus never scheduled time for myself to do nothing. Maybe it's
okay so long as I don't get to the point where I would need to schedule time to do
nothing? Even so, my increasing reliance upon daily to-do lists is becoming a bit

From Thursday to yesterday, I had a test in all four of my classes that have tests.
I will post a school update when all of those have been returned.

Also, I am really, really static-y. I'm at the library and, every time I get up to
go to the laptop shelves, I get shocked on the metal case. And, every time I sit
back down in the computer chair, I get shocked on my laptop. Ahhhhhghghhrhrghghgh.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

I think it's a stupid holiday.

Am I single? Yes, but that's not why I think it's stupid, I promise.

My relationship status does not influence this opinion. Just like the date of
February 14th should not influence how people act toward their significant others.

Going above and beyond simply because it is February 14th, to me, has a sense of
insincerity. If you're going to go above and beyond toward your significant other,
you should go above and beyond every day. It's a matter of integrity.

Similarly, the fact that February 14th causes the above and beyond to be societally
expected adds another level of insincerity. Going above and beyond simply because
it is expected by both society and one's significant other, well, it starts to feel
like lying.

Today, I deliberately wore green in protest. Petty? Probably. Clever? I think so.

What most amuses me is that the general reaction to my opinion is that I am bitter
because I am single. When I argue that is not the case, I am probably labeled as
in-denial. I can't say anything to make you believe me other than that that is false.

In contrast, I am not a relationship cynic to the point where I disregard the
significance of anniversaries or random acts of romance. While anniversaries may be
able to be argued against in the same fashion as the above (because they tend to
become societally and romantically expected), to me, an anniversary is different
than Valentine's Day because, while expected, the date holds significance.

Here's an open invitation to argue why the date of February 14th is significant and
how that significance is legitimate.

Anyway. Anniversaries are okay (in moderation... one week? Ridiculous.) because they
can express dedication and re-dedication to the relationship, as well as significance
of both the relationship and the date. Anniversaries are alright because the date
does hold significance for the relationship, as it is when the connection was really
(really meaning officially and/or publicly) solidified.

But the premise of Valentine's Day? To show extra affection toward one's significant
other? No. There is no real reason, other than society. And to show extra affection
on one particular day for no legitimate reason (anniversary) looks like a lack of
integrity which looks like insincerity.

I feel like I'm going to repeat myself if I keep writing, so I'll simply end with one
more way to convince you of my honesty.

I do not support the premise of Valentine's Day. Similarly, I do not support the
premise of Mother's and Father's Days, much to the dismay of my mother. Sorry, mom.

Regardless, my mom sent me roses and baby's breath, but not because society expected
her to, simply because she loves me. Right, mom? Also, because they were on sale. :)

Lastly, because I was just questioned... it is not a matter of me disliking today.
It is a matter of me disagreeing with the entire premise. :)

Happy Monday!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sleep, Leaps, and Feminism. (And Dystopia Binge)

I am so sleepy. In retrospect, I feel like I always require more and more sleep as
life continues.

During my senior year of high school, a typical day looked like this:
Wake up around 5am
Work from 5:30am-noon
Stop at home for some lunch
Go to Algebra class at PSU York from 1-1:50pm
Babysit from 2-5pm
Run home for some dinner
Go to class at HACC York from 6:30-9:35pm
Go home and do some homework before going to bed
Wake up around 5am
Work from 5:30am-...
And so on and so forth.

How did I not die? AND how did I get all my work done?

During my first semester here at Bridgewater, roomie and I would stay up until
about 1am, on average. Usually a little later; sometimes much earlier.

During my second semester here at Bridgewater, I stayed up until about 2am, on
average. Sometimes a little later; sometimes a little earlier.

Last semester, roomie and I were tired around 11pm and exhausted by midnight.

This semester, I'm sleepy NOW. I could go to bed right now and be totally okay
with that. (It's currently 7:30pm. I don't know why the timestamp on this says

When did I get so old?

And it's not like I didn't sleep last night. I was in bed at midnight and set my
alarm at 12:15am. I don't recall waking up until 8am. Theoretically, I got enough
sleep. I can't say whether or not I slept well, but I should have slept enough.

I was planning on taking a nap today, but didn't have time. I didn't have much to
do today, as far as actual work; but only had 3.5 hours of genuine free time.
Genuine free time meaning no scheduled classes or meetings or work that can be
filled by leisure activities, eating, sleeping, or homework.

The point of all this is that I am ridiculously sleepy. I'm not even particularly
tired or exhausted; just sleepy.

On a side note, I seem to have taken to the style of attaching an end-thought with
a semi-colon, rather than making it a sentence fragment.

That was pointless.

In other news, I've still been thinking about leaps. I'm currently at the library,
working my shift from 7-9pm, and the girl that I relieved is a Freshman. She is
a Freshman. Sorry, feminists. I met her last semester through a friend who is now
an RA and I think one of my suitemates had a class with her. Anyway. She is a
Freshman and, immediately after I thought of that, my mind reminded me that, last
year, I was a Freshman. That makes me feel really weird. Granted, I am in a complex
position... being a second-year student, but also a Junior who will graduate in
fifteen months. Sheesh. That makes me feel weird, too.

I was a Freshman last year, but I don't feel like I was a Freshman last year.


Although it does make sense... technically, I was a first-year college student when
I was a Junior in high school. Almost. I'd frame it more in the sense that I was a
first-year college student during my Junior and Senior years of high school. So,
following this train, I was more of a Sophomore during my first year at Bridgewater.
In some terms, I was a Freshman; but I wasn't and I didn't feel like it. But I also
didn't feel like a first-year.


I probably wrote about this somewhere last year. It mostly feels weird to say "last
year." It feels like longer than that.


I probably wrote about this somewhere last year. The complexity of being a first-
year, non-transfer, homeschooled, Sophomore college student.

Yup, anomaly. (what a strange-looking word)

I'd like to write about feminism, but I'd want to do some legitimate research in
order to actually be able to know what I'm talking about, primarily in regards to
the first-, second-, and third-waves of feminism. Maybe when I meet with another
Sociology professor to discuss grad school advice, I'll ask her to tell me about it.
I'm certain that she would be thrilled to share with me. Anyway. I'd like to write
about feminism, but I don't want to do the research right now and Wikipedia was
entirely not helpful (for once).

In regards to being sleepy, I wonder if it has something to do with how little
work I have to do as of yet. Sure I have work to do and I have been doing work, but
I mentally-prepared myself for the most difficult and time-consuming semester of my
entire college career. So far, it's let me down. But that's perfectly fine.

And shhhhh, don't tell Bridgewater, lest a hurricane of assignments arrive in my lap.

Anyway. This hypothesis was more fleshed out in my mind, but it bores me now.

That's really all I wanted to write about, but I'll go ahead and talk about my
dystopia binge. I've been reading for pleasure so much, as of late. It all started
when a student in my Interterm class mentioned A Brave New World. I immediately
checked it out from the library and read it. Next, I read A Clockwork Orange.
Next on the list was 1984, but I first watched the movie version of A Clockwork
. While I am the type of person to generally prefer books over movies*, the
movie was very well-done and the last scene made a much greater impression visually,
as opposed to the book.

*Although I mostly do agree with the argument that books and movies are very, very
different media and cannot be compared very well and usually should not be compared.

Next was 1984. After that, I read a borrowed copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower,
which, while a deviation from my dystopia binge, was highly recommended and extremely
worth my time.

Right now, I am reading The Catcher in the Rye. While it is technically a coming-of-
age novel, it's very good so far and may end up relating to Perks. I'm not sure yet,
as I'm only at page 88 out of 214, and I didn't know any of the plot before reading
it. But anyway, it's been on my list to read for quite some time.

While I was reading Clockwork, I began to realize that I was on a dystopia binge
and compiled a list of dystopia novels, according to a few internet sources. Next
on the list is Lord of the Flies.

Speaking of dystopia stories, I also enjoy a few apocalyptic stories, although I am
nowhere near as obsessed with them as old mister Nathan was. However, if you'd like
a good, heart-wrenching short story to read, look up "Song Before Sunset" by David
Grigg. It's ridiculous because you figure out what's coming before it does and it
is a strange feeling to know what is going to happen and be able to see it unfold
before you. Premonition does not lessen the emotion of watching that event.

I'm not sure if I'll be in the mood to read Lord of the Flies. If not, I'll move it
down a few spots on my list and read Neuromancer by Willam Gibson.

I think I may have just overheard a student say that "efficacy" and "efficiency" are
the same thing. Oh dear, dear, dear.

Upcoming Topics:
Morals and Ethics: Word Study
Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

Thursday, February 3, 2011


The following post was first written in my personal journal yesterday, February 2, 2011. I will
gently edit it to post here.

I have a feeling that it would be a good idea to read this post in its entirety or not at all, as
topic order is a bit inconsistent, because I did not edit it in regards to organization and thus
follows the mental flow of a real journal entry. I edited very little.

Here's to being vulnerable. Cheers.


February 2, 2011

Well, it took eight days of being in the Spring semester, but I finally feel good about school.
Really. I feel so good. I felt really good on the last night of Interterm - Jan 20 - and that lasted
the weekend to the first day of Spring classes - Jan 26. Both of these times - that weekend and
right now - it's been a really deep, sincere kind of good. A good that I hadn't felt in a long, long
time. I estimate at least a year. And it had to have been fairly over a year, now that I think
about it in terms of landmark events. A few weeks ago, I realized it was soon going to be a year
since I "met" Nathan. That felt weird. I told Ryan and he didn't get it. But it's a landmark. And
it feels weird to see those landmarks moving further and further away. Like I can think about
other landmarks and they feel so strange... A best friend friendship really fell apart back in
Autumn '04. '04! That's six and half years and that length of time feels a bit ridiculous. Even
saying I met Jeremy and Ken September '07 sounds like an age ago. I was sixteen. Sheesh.
And I think I'm a baby now. Anyway. The point of this is that I hadn't been deeply and
sincerely happy (satisfied?) for quite some time. Sure, I was happy, but not like this. Not this
good. And sure, I can never know for sure because happiness is subjective, especially when it
gets skewed by memory and time, but I know that, right now, I feel really good.

You know what I miss? Having someone read my journal. Rather, writing a journal specifically
for someone to read and evaluate my reflections. (I suppose that's why I decided to post most
of this journal entry.) In the post before my last, I was alluding to the fact that the fundamental
thing in a relationship is to have a compatible dating/relationship philosophy and how that was
what I currently had. But things (change, progress; but neither of those are the right words)
happen in leaps. I posted about compatible philosophies a few days before Ryan and I began to
break up.

...began to break up. I find a lot of truth in that sentiment. In my experience, however limited
it may be, that's how it happens. With Nathan, we began to break up because he ignored me.
With Ryan, we began to break up when we both acknowledged the distance was harder than
we anticipated and that it would only get worse. I wonder if there are ever instances where two
people begin to break up, but don't. And, not only do they stay, but the really stay. Not just for
convenience or comfort or some other insecure reason, but because they really want to stay
together. I imagine it's possible, but probably nearly entirely unlikely if one or both persons
frame the obstacle in terms of beginning to break up. "What we believe to be real is real in its
consequences." (Thomas Theorem, self-fulfilling prophecy)

I'm entirely not writing about what I intended to write about. But I feel so good. And I'm happy
with my writing style. And I am so independent, but not alone. I know I'm jumping all over the
place, but I'll blame it on the fact that I started reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower last
night and finished tonight. So some of that frantic writing style has been absorbed.

Anyway. I hadn't been happy with my writing style for a short time. I wrote academically well
enough, but couldn't really bring myself to write privately and be satisfied with how I said what
I had to say. My writing had been called repetitive and unclear. And I know I can be redundant.
It's how I find the right, best way to say something. I don't delete the first tries because they
add poetry. But I tried to be more concise and I couldn't. It was like trying to be concise
suffocated my mind to the point where I couldn't communicate sufficiently at all. I really do
sound like Perks right now.

In the meantime, I'm trying to decide if and how I want to post this as a blog. I feel like not
posting the whole thing would do it a disservice and that it would be really freeing to be so
vulnerable. To make myself, no, allow myself to be so vulnerable. That's why I want someone
to read this. I guess there's no reason not to post the whole thing, except that it might seem
less important once it is made public. (I'm posting this nearly in its entirety. I justified the
precious argument because it is equally important to me because it was in my journal first.)

I suppose I should write about academic things. I only hope doing so does not stop me from
feeling so good. Maybe I should write about feeling so good first, so that if academic topics do
interfere, I can read and remind myself. Yes. In short, I really cannot explain it adequately.
(For your information, my new-found happiness was not induced in any artificial way, meaning
I haven't turned to drugs or anything like that. Figured I'd put your mind at ease, mom.)
but I really feel like I am me. Genuinely, sincerely. Thus, I am sincerely happy. I felt like this
Aug-Sep '09 during the first few weeks of my first semester here at BC. Well, the first few weeks
after the first few weeks. I felt genuinely me because no one here knew me and had no
preconceptions or expectations. It felt really good. And that's essentially how I feel now.

I write redundantly, as discussed earlier. I am very independent - I don't mind eating alone or
sitting somewhere by myself to read and write. Conversely, I very much enjoy people - it's why
I like working in the library or walking across campus; I like saying hi to people and I like
people saying hi to me. I don't know what else to say. I feel good right now and, while I want to
keep feeling good, I primarily want to remember that I feel good.

Anyway. (Blubber) Academia!

I really want to draw. Anyway. And sew my pillow. Annnnnyway!

Psychology Research Methods
In class the other day, I was listening to my professor talk about his teaching philosophy and
considering the overall theme of If I Were a Teacher. I think one of the Sociology professors
is probably my favorite teacher here at BC, but this particular Psychology professor is a very
close second. Additionally, I think he best-exemplifies my book. I haven't said this before, but
it feels strange to say "my book" because it's not a book yet. Sometimes I say "my book idea,"
but that is also insufficient because it is more than an idea. "Work-in-progress book?" Too
many words. Anyway. My Psychology professor is great and I'm glad my first class on MWF
is with him because he is an awakening individual. I mean that in the most literal sense. As
for the class, it is super-cake because all this general methodology was drilled into my head
so much last semester. I even opted out of buying the textbook for this class. I know! Me!
Without a textbook! On Monday, we worked in small groups to complete a 40-question test
about APA term paper style. I loved it. SO much. I am SUCH a nerd. We also formulated
concrete groups and chose a topic from provided options and my group is doing something
related to positive allusions vs. reality, which was my first choice. I wonder how much I'll like
this course when I actually have to do any substantial amount of work for it. Probably enough.
Today, we talked about research ethics and if it is ethical to use any deception in research, even
if it is necessary to prevent skewed results. One girl said no and I originally agreed with her,
but as I thought about it, I decided that deceptions is more a matter of morals. In my opinion,
any degree of deception is not moral and should be avoided. But that doesn't mean that there
are never times when it can be ethically justified - whether for research or personal reasons.
Morals and ethics are not the same.

Geology is fine. Better now that we've actually started talking about rocks and looking at rocks
and touching rocks. I like rocks.

Group Process
A very strange class. I just remember I had to write a journal entry about class yesterday, so
I just did that and now no longer want to write about it here. But I'll try. It's a required course
for Information Systems Management majors and an elective for Sociology majors, so the class
is about half and half. Essentially, the course is as student-led as possible. Discussions, format,
division of assignments, weights of grades, etc. The first day was exciting because it reminded
me of the group lab from SOC101 at HACC, but it was absolutely terrifying. Yesterday was a
zillion times better and I WANT to go tomorrow. So that's good. But it's still scary. I hope it will
turn out to be my favorite course.

Social Inequality
I feel like I hear a lot of terrible things about this course and its professor last semester. But, so
far, so good. The professor is a bit unorganized, but otherwise awesome and hilarious. It's a lot
of review material so far, but I'm trying my best to focus on learning all that I can. That's my
goal for this semester. Also, most of the class is everyone from Methods, so I love having
another class with all of them.

Methods II (Socio)
For the division of labor this semester to actually do the survey, I volunteered to be on Team A
and we will handle the organization/compilation and editing/proofing of the entire survey
instrument. Remember how I said I love to proofread? Yup. It's a giant task, but I get to help
make things consistent! Yay! Yesterday, the time approached and passed 3:30 and I finally
left at 3:50 so that I could be at half of Jazz Band. I hate being late to Jazz, but I even more hate
skipping out on Methods early. A classmate-friend said they didn't get out until at least 4:15.
So that was ridiculously stressful. Actually, yesterday was ridiculously stressful. I think I kind of
forgot how much work is involved in the course. Oh well. Hopefully I keep liking it.

Well. Those are my classes. Jazz Band is pretty good. I think I'll be getting recruited for
Symphonic pretty soon, as that concert is the week before Spring Break and ours is the week
after. Members of the instrumental ensembles are having dinner at P. Corn.'s house next
Thursday. So that's pretty neat-o.

Had my first piano lesson of the semester on Monday and, as much as I was dreading it, I think
it should be a good semester. I feel like my teacher wants to work me really hard, but I'm taking
peace in the fact that he'll understand if the semester fluctuates in busy-ness. He wants me to
work on a piece from each time period and wants me to be genuinely enthusiastic/passionate
about what I'm learning. I think that's possible. All in all, as much as I dread lessons, I do end
up enjoying them and I am so glad my teacher is back. I completely forgot to ask him how his
sabbatical was. Whoops.

On Monday, I had some time to kill between piano/lunch and Psych Methods lab, so I chilled in
the Socio lab for a bit and then wandered around Bowman and walked past my PDP advisor's
office. The door was open and he was sitting with his feet on his desk reading, so I turned around
to say hi. It was a really nice visit. He said he had just read my blog and asked specific questions
in regards to my most recent post. So that was awesome. :) He also asked about the origin of
the name. I'm very glad my roommate was in his English class and that she talked about him
and that I picked him to be my PDP advisor.

As for my goal for this semester, I am trying to learn as best I can. I'm trying to focus less on
the future outcome (grades/GPA). I think focusing on the final, technical outcome hinders
learning. If I focus on that, I get wrapped up in a memorize-to-retain mentality. And that's not
a good method for real, long-time acquisition of knowledge. So I'm really going to try to learn
for the purpose of learning. So far, this new mentality has helped with my Inequality readings.
I feel like I've talked about this before. I know I have. Last semester, I felt like I learned very,
very little. Maybe it was the courses, maybe it was me. Regardless, I want my educational
career (and the rest of my life) not to be like that. Right now, now that I feel good, I want to

This semester got off to a strange start. Tuesday night before classes was a fun time with a new
friend. Wednesday, as I walked across campus after working at the library, an uncensored
thought entered my head: "I hate school." Whoops. Where did that come from? It was deeply
upsetting, both to have it enter my thoughts without permission and for feeling it as valid. I kept
myself occupied by reading ahead for classes, reading 1984, and spending entirely too much time
on Facebook. The really stressful day was Tuesday, particularly because of the ongoing conflict
between Methods and Jazz. I got The Perks to Being a Wallflower from my friend and began
reading it Tuesday evening, since I had finished 1984 on Sunday. I read 78 of the 213 pages
that evening. I finished the rest this evening. It was so good; precisely what I needed at a very
opportune time. And I'll spread the word: if you haven't read it, please do. It is very easy to
relate to and sincere and transparent. I think transparent is the best word. As I left the library
tonight, I had about ten pages left to read and I felt really, really good. I had started to feel
good earlier today. Monday and most of Tuesday were not very academically productive days,
but I got back into it today.

The end of Perks, my re-commitment to really learning, and my re-decision that productivity
feels good coincided quite well. And yes, I will balance academic productivity with free-time
productivity (playing games with friends and making things) with other productivity (piano
and grad school research).

"Don't let your classes get in the way of your education."


Upcoming Topics:
Morals and Ethics: Word Study
Dystopia Binge
Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic