Catching Up

Forgive me for all I talk about are mundane and rather boring events and aspects of my life…but I mean, I’m a junior in college, how interesting can I be?  Well, let me rephrase: I’m a junior in college with a job while trying to balance school work, work, my family, and my boyfriend — how interesting can I be?

Last month my aunt from Washington came to visit so that was really awesome.  She was here for nine days.  I was still in school and at work during her stay so I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I would have liked.  My cousin is getting married on August 2nd so she and my other cousins are coming back for the wedding, so that’s something I have to look forward to.  At the end of August I’m also going to Washington to visit them and to go to Bumbershoot.  I’ve wanted to go to Bumbershoot for about seven or eight years now, so I’m really excited.  Plus, since I’m staying through September 7, I’ll get to go to the Puyallup Fair!  I’m aware they’ve changed the name, but it doesn’t sound right to me…I’ll be missing the second week of school (that’ll be my first semester and second week of Sanskrit, too) but…worth?  Normally I’ll only get to see my Washington family (my mom’s sister and nieces) once a year but I get to see my cousins twice this year and my aunty three times.  I’m so, so unbelievably happy over that.  Despite being 2,500 miles apart for 51 weeks out of the year, we’re very close.  Aside from my mom and brother, they’re my favorite people on the entire planet.

Speaking of school (kind of), I just got through midterms….though, I only had two — one for my History 310 class and one for my Religion 348 class.  Both were rather unconventional; for my History exam I needed to write three short essays using one vocabulary term from each of the five columns.  So I had to find connections between all of them a form a thesis that way.  I wrote about the Qing Empire, Japanese nationalism, and Tokugawa Japan’s Genroku Era.  The other two parts were a letter to the Daoguong Emperor on behalf of Lin Zexu and a review for the 1999 Japanese film Poppoya.  My Religion exam was another one comprised of short essays.  The class is actually titled “Religion, Politics, and Society” so we discuss a lot of current and controversial issues.  My essays were on same sex marriage and the “slippery slope” (how to legalize same sex marriage while not discriminating against other unorthodox relationships — polygamy, zoophilia, incest, etc.), capital punishment, and an ethics case that’s too long to explain here.  I hope I did well.  It would have been WAY easier to just “regurgitate facts on an in-class exam” but I understand that my professors construct their exams in this way so we actually critically reflect.  And that’s how I know I have good professors.

Now that I have a set goal, I’m doing a lot better in school.  I was legitimately worried that I wouldn’t graduate high school on time.  I needed 24 credits and if I failed my math class like I was sure I was going to, I’d end my senior year with 23 credits.  Luckily, my math teacher had always liked me and let me make up a semester’s worth of late homework.  I got a D in Algebra 2 and graduated.  My high school was actually pretty dumb; rather than starting all freshmen off at Algebra which you’d figure a school would do, all 9th graders were first enrolled in a Pre-Alg class.  10th grade was Algebra I, 11th was Geometry, and 12th was Algebra II.  If you had taken Pre-Alg during summer school, you’d graduate with Trigonometry; if you placed in Geometry as a freshman (or went to summer school a lot), you’d graduate with Calculus.  Silly, right?  Hawaii’s mathematics score isn’t very good but I don’t think enabling students by putting them in a Pre-Alg course during their first year of high school helps.

But anyway, like I said, now that I finally know what I want to do with my life (get a Master’s and be a Religion lecturer) I’m doing a lot better in school.  I just existed in high school.  Now I have a goal and a plan and I’m stickin’ to it.  Tomorrow I’m meeting with my undergrad advisor just to make sure everything is going as planned and to discuss grad school in a few semesters.  

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