History, New Orleans, and World War II

The semester is almost done!  I couldn’t be happier.  Tomorrow I’m turning in my final paper for my World History Research Seminar, and after that I have two final papers and that’s it (also two ten-minute and fifteen-minute presentations on them).

This evening was the last meeting of the semester for our PAT chapter.  At the closing of the meeting we discussed the 2018 Biennial which will be hosted in New Orleans.  The 2016 Biennial was at Disneyland but it came at the beginning of my graduating semester, so months before my senior thesis would be completed.  I’m in better shape now to speak at a conference, and the pres said that they may be working on a World War II panel at the Biennial and my heart leaped when he said that.  They especially want Asia/Pacific content, which is what my recent research has been on.  I haven’t presented at any conferences yet so I know that’s something I need to start doing.  I’m hoping I don’t lose the courage to apply when the application deadline actually rolls around (October).

I’ve also started interning at a historic site near my neighborhood.  I’m part of the education team and I just do research for program content and will be given to choice to work with school groups that come to the park or to go to school visits (I’m going on one next Thursday to a private school near my university).  Right now my current homework is to do primary source research, looking at the Japanese perspective on Pearl Harbor and plantation immigration.  Things are going great. 🙂

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Bharat Yatra

I often forget that I have this Word Press.  I believe I made it as another outlet for myself to express myself where no one I personally knew could really find me.  I believe that was about two years ago or so.

I don’t even remember when my last post was, but I’m sure a lot of things have changed!  I graduate in about three weeks, and I’ll be getting my BAs in Religion and East Asian History.  Tonight I’ve completed about half of my senior thesis (my last real obstacle this semester, required to obtain my History degree).  Today I also booked my flight to India.  Next semester will be my first semester of grad school (at my same university) and I’ll be spending it abroad at a partner university in Delhi!  I’m very excited.  While my UG History degree was in East Asian history, my MA program will be on Indian history.  As of right now, I’m playing with the idea of mid-19th century to mid-20th century India, so namely from the time of the Uprising to Partition.  My UG advisor (whose speciality is WWII Japanese war crimes and the Tokyo Trial) advised me that an MA in Japanese History (which I initially planned to apply for) would be difficult for me since I don’t know Japanese.  As a result, I’ve decided to jump into Indian History.  I’ve studied Hindi for two years; I started studying Hindi in preparation for my Religion degree.  I thought I would pursue an MA in Indian Religion, but my GPA was a lot stronger in history so I didn’t even think I’d get into the Religion MA program (I got into both, and went with History).

I’ve been wanting to apply for the Delhi study abroad program since Spring 2014 but I never committed to actually turning in the materials.  Not to mention, two years ago, I was in a much worse place mentally and emotionally.  I’m a lot better now, and I have absolutely no reservations about going.  I’m so excited.  I’ll be living with a host family for the duration of my scheduled program (July 29th – December 3rd).  My return flight is the evening of December 17th, so I left two weeks at the end of my trip to venture on my own.  I hope to make it to Uttarakhand and Jaipur, and maybe Gujarat if I have enough time, during school breaks, and I’m saving Kerala (and maybe neighboring states?) for the last two weeks of my time there.  Another girl is going as well and we’ll most likely be sharing a room in our host home, and my professor is also serving as the Resident Director at the university there.  He’s probably the biggest source of encouragement I had throughout this entire process.  From last semester, once he learned that I knew Hindi (and after my Hindi professor told him I speak it well) he asked me a couple times about going, and eventually I agreed earlier this semester.  Since then he’s spent a lot of time talking to me about things I can do around Delhi, things I’ll need, etc.  He also helped my revise a bunch of statements for my MA programs, the study abroad program, and an attractive $5,000 scholarship I applied for specifically for the study of India.  Fingers crossed — the scholarship announcement will be made on Monday.  If I get it, I’m going to India for five months only for the cost of my plane ticket and spending money.

I’ve always been so timid and soft-spoken.  I never do things on my own.  I always try to get the approval from people and whenever possible, I always try to get people to do things with me so I’m not alone.  I’m going to India for almost five months;  I’ve never spent more than two weeks away from my mom and brother; I’ve never gone abroad in such a small group.  Most importantly, I’ve never really traveled alone — I’ve taken flights on my own (I love flying on my own, actually) but I’ve never taken a trip on my own.  And here I am, at 22 (will turn 23 in India), and I’m finally doing something on my own…which may include trekking across such a large country on my own.  Two years ago, badly affected by anxiety and depression, I never thought I’d make it to India, and now I leave in about three months.  And I’ve never been more excited.

Ephemeral

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here!  Admittedly, I often forget I have this account.

In the last year — judging from that photo I posted of Logan — a lot has changed!  I’ve gotten a better grip on my anxiety and depression.  We adopted another dog named Myron.  He’s a pitbull mix (possibly with shar pei).  He’s had a tough life: he’s about five or six and was a stray.  He was put into a negligent foster home where he became infested with ticks and fleas.  He was extremely timid when we brought him home; he warmed up in about two weeks.  A week and a half ago my boyfriend’s best friend brought over Marco, the newest addition to our menagerie: an orange tabby domestic shorthair kitten.  He’s about six weeks old.  Our other friend took one of the other girls and he’s keeping the other two, whom he has named Gribbles (he loses hit footing a lot) and Boots (she’s black with white paws).  We’re training for the 2015 Honolulu Marathon which is barely a month away.

Most importantly, my time as an undergraduate is just about at its end.  I graduate in the Spring and I’ve already prepared my schedule for next semester:

History 496E – Senior Tutorial, World/Comparative

History 445 – Revolution and Napoleon

History 421 – China in World History

Religion 352 – Sufism

Hindi 202 – Intermediate Hindi

Japanese 101 – Elementary Japanese

This semester is already difficult and I’m sure next semester will be worse, considering that I’ll be learning two languages (Japanese scares me even though I’m Japanese) and writing my senior thesis on Japanese foreign diplomacy during the twentieth century.  My GPA in history grew a lot stronger than my GPA in religion so I’ve decided to pursue history.  Earlier in the semester I was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society.  Our chapter is Alpha Beta Epsilon.  This weekend is my GRE and I’ve been hectically trying to prepare for it; I lost track of time trying to study for my other classes, do well on exams and midterms, write decent papers, etc. and before I knew it, my three months of studying for the GRE reduced to one week.  ONE WEEK!  I’m not so worried about the reading and writing portions; rather, I’m terrified of the mathematics portion considering that I haven’t taken a math course since my Algebra II class in the twelfth grade.

With my coming graduation in less than six months, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do.  I know I have security at my current employer but I don’t want to stay if I’m not guaranteed the opportunity to advance.  But even then, I’m not sure I’d be happy working there for my entire life.  If I am admitted to and complete the World History program, I would either like to try my hand at teaching or working in a museum, though the museum jobs in Hawaii are painfully scarce.  At the same time, I want to take off.  I’ve studied Indian religions and I love Indian food and Indian culture, so I’d love to spend some time in Mumbai or Kerala (completely different places, I know).  My professor does a lot of work in Delhi so I’m considering asking him for some life coaching.  My other professor has been urging me to apply for JET (a program to teach English in Japan for a year) for four semesters and I’ve been considering that as well.  Doing that would give me some teaching experience while also getting paid; it also gives me the opportunity to spend a year in the country I want to study and observe their current political behavior to see how the current state links to the previous century.  There are so many things I want to do, but none exactly wholeheartedly.  Is this what your twenties is?  Being unsure, adventurous yet scared, complacent yet trapped?

Hello, Stranger

I don’t even remember the last time I posted on here!  Since then, I’ve gotten my anxieties and depression under control (mostly, anyway).  I often forger to take my medication because I am extremely scatterbrained, but the most important thing is that I am feeling so much better and at peace.  My best decision of 2014 was undoubtedly getting help for how I was feeling.  I still have anxieties and I still am depressed, but I can function a lot better than I could.  I don’t cry or panic or cut as much as I used to.  I don’t dread going to sleep as much, or lie in bed dreading getting up and facing the day.  Everything seems, for the most part, mostly normal.

I think the last time I posted here, I had talked about school.  I’ve declared a double major in Japanese history and next semester, I am taking 19 credits:
History 328 — Modern Korea
Hindi 102 — Elementary Hindi
Religion 303 — Creation and Evolution
History 424 — 20th Century Japan
History 396 – Intro to Historiography
History 499 — Directed Reading
Wish me luck!

Lastly, my dog, Logan, is still as cute as ever.  His 1 year adoption anniversary is coming up on December 28th.  He’s getting presents for both Christmas as his adoption anniversary and my boyfriend and I are having a contest to see whose gifts he likes more. He also has his own instagram if you’d ever like to see what he’s up to: @logan_inu  

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New

Today is my first day on WordPress, and this, my first post.  I started my Tumblr five years ago in the middle of my English class with the urging (more like force) of a friend.  In those five years, that collection of pictures (memories, I mean), silly memes, and text posts ranging from pathetic to exuberant grew and I’d like to start something new here.  I’ve obviously grown a lot in five years and I’d like a new place to express my thoughts and opinions, one not littered with doge memes.  

Tomorrow I have work from 8:30am – 4:15pm.  At 10:30am, I will promptly request my break and beeline for the computer in our lunchroom so I can register for my Spring 2014 courses.  I’m very excited to transfer.  I’m actually one semester late, and this is the consequence of taking only 12 credits a semester.  When I entered school I was going into business — accounting more specifically — at the urging of my mother.  Two days into the semester, I realized how boring I thought Accounting was and how dreadful that one semester would be so I dropped three of my classes needed for a business degree — math, accounting, and economics — and enrolled in Philosophy 110 (Deductive Logic), History 151 (up to 1500), and Religion 150 (Intro to World Religions).  That semester sparked my interest in religion.  A year later in Fall 2012 I would decide to major in Religion and as of the beginning of this semester, my school documents had me down as a declared Religion major.  I think religion is a wonderful thing.  Now, let me say this: I am not “religious.” I do not subscribe to any organized religion, and I do not believe in God.  I believe in evolution and the “Goldilocks zone” Earth was lucky enough to fall into.  I, however, respect all religions and find a few in particular interesting.  At first I was going to specialize in Islam because it is terribly misunderstood and I, personally, find it to be a beautiful religion.  In Fall 2012, I was enrolled in Religion 202 – Understanding Indian Religions and I ended up falling in love with Indian Religions (Hinduism and Sikhism in particular); I’m now specializing in Indian Religions, much like my professor whom I’ve had for three semesters for three different religion courses (I actually took her Indian Religions course just to have her again).  I’m also planning to minor in History.  My interests in Religion and History don’t go hand-in-hand, though; my interest in History lies in geo-politics, especially topics like World War I and World War II.  My school offers a 400-level course on the Holocaust and I plan to take it next Spring.  My grandfather was in the army during World War II and he was stationed in France, Germany, and Italy.  He would always talk to me about historical events but I would never pay attention.  He passed away in 2008.  In March 2010, I was lucky enough to go to France with my French class and one day, we drove up to Normandy to see Omaha Beach (the D-Day beach) and later that day, we went to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.  I didn’t really hold any interest in history until the day I stood on that beach where thousands of people lost their lives; further, I thought about my grandfather and how thrilled he’d be that I was able to stand on that beach, touch the sand, dip my hands in the water.  I’m sure he’d be overjoyed to learn that I’m at least minoring in a subject he loved.

This was a small glimpse at some of my interests.  I also enjoy baking, running, and hiking.  In fact, next Sunday my boyfriend and I are running in the Honolulu Marathon.  Wish us luck!