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
...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.
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.
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."
Morals and Ethics: Word Study
Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic