I’m a Lover, Not a Fighter

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post or two, this semester was extremely difficult for me.  I cut back my hours at work a bit, working twenty-four hours per week while taking nine credits at school (the minimum load for graduate students at my University is eight credits).  Still, this did not seem like enough.

I spent my entire weekend studying and doing my readings, only to get to class armed with my notes and not fully comprehend what I had read, despite how many times I had gone over it.  Seminars aren’t my favorite, and all of my classes this semester were seminars.  I had two in Museum Studies — “Museums and Education” and “Public History and Commemoration” — and a World History research seminar (my field is WH).  My Museum Studies classes were problematic because I had no experience with Museum Studies prior to registering for these courses; my advisor had recommended I take those classes in order to get a feel of the department and program, and to apply for my University’s Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies, offered through the American Studies department, if I felt it was appropriate.  My WH research seminar was something totally different.  There was only one other student enrolled for the course, so there was never a class session where I was not put on the spot.  I can’t speak on the spot; I realize this is something expected of me in graduate school, but I really like to have time to mull things over.  I did not have that privilege in that class, so I always left wanting to cry.  In fact, I left class almost every day wanting to cry.  Between January and mid-March I was pretty much just having a mental breakdown.  My official academic advisor was gone as he was in India on a research sabbatical, and my undergraduate history advisor was also gone, as she  had obtained a year-long fellowship in California.  I ended up talking to one of my past professors from the Religion department (my BAs are in History and Religion), and as I spoke to him choking back tears — visibly — he just said, “Can I ask you something?  If you already have a job you like, why are you in graduate school?  Most graduate students aren’t in the same boat as you, and they’re in school to get a job they like.  But you already have that.  So why are you in school right now?”  He didn’t mean that in a mean way, as to question my intentions.  He knew that I had been working at my credit union for over five years and that I loved working there.  I just said, “I don’t know.”  He said his door was always open if I needed to talk.

His comment has stuck with me since then.

In May, I quit my job.  My position was “Office Assistant.”  Basically, I was hired in because my mom was the Teller Supervisor at the time (she’s now the Branch Manager) and she has a good rapport with the President, and she’s known to be an extremely good worker — starts work early and leaves late, comes in when she’s sick, very strict with attendance and balancing, etc.  At the time,  I had just quit my job at a crack seed store at my local mall (if you don’t live in Hawai’i or don’t know what it is in general, crack seed is dried plums, cherries, lemons, etc.; despite working there, I’m very bad at explaining this).  The President asked my mom to extend a job to me, and I took it.  I first started out in Marketing but was later moved to the Loan department when they needed a receptionist.  I was in the Loan department for four years.  During my summer and winter breaks, I would adopt full time hours just to make some extra money.  During these times, I would help other departments every other day, like Accounting, HR/Admin, and mostly New Accounts.  Last year in May, I was sent down to New Accounts permanently until I left for India because they needed help.  I hated it.

As a student, I really love learning, and I wasn’t learning anything in New Accounts.  I was scanning for eight hours straight and they didn’t trust me enough to do actual meaningful work, like opening accounts, address changes, etc. (i.e., the help they actually needed).  Eventually I left for India and came back right before Christmas.  I asked the HR VP if I could go back to Loans, and she arranged for me to work half the week in Loans and half the week in New Accounts.  Since I was a part timer, I was administratively under Admin, not Loans, so she had the final say about my scheduling.  She felt New Accounts needed the help, so that’s just where I had to go.

In addition to hating the “bullshit” work I was doing down there,  I also didn’t get along with the supervisor.  The supervisor of that department is close to my mother, and she has made negative comments to my own mother about me (in 2015 a guy worked in her department that she couldn’t stand; we were close, and at one point she said to my own mother, “She has a boyfriend, right?  Because people are, you know, starting to talk about her and C”).  My mother was obviously outraged, but my mom is very good at keeping her personal and work lives separate, and I admire that about her.  I actually would have been upset and more embarrassed had my mom taken it upon herself to say something to that supervisor or any of the other managers.  Anyway, she made that comment about me and I just know she does not like me.  It’s understandable, because I am also indifferent about her.  I’m the kind of person where I either really like you or I’m indifferent; there was just no interaction, no quality about her that made me like her.  I may just be thinking this, but I think her indifference, probable dislike for me comes from that fact: I’m close to a lot of people around her, but unlike the rest of her staff who treat her like a mother, I just interact with her when work requires me to.  I can go the entire day without saying more than “Good morning” and “Bye, have a good evening” to her.

In May I asked the HR VP if I could adopt my full time summer hours.  She said okay.  I then asked, nervously, if there was any chance I could go back to Loans.  She said, verbatim, “I’m sorry, but with the way staffing is, that isn’t your decision to make.”  I said I knew that and that I was just asking, not demanding, but she just repeated, “It isn’t your decision to make” and walked away.  I was upset and insulted.  Why would she think I thought it was my decision to make?  I would never harbor that kind of entitlement toward a company that had done so much for me.  And on top of that, I just felt that the tone in which she spoke was completely inappropriate for a Vice President of Human Resources.  The straw that broke the camel’s back that day was when she went into the lunch room and told my manager, in front of another manager, a mortgage officer, a mortgage assistant, a teller, and a loan officer — my manager being the only relevant person in there — that I had requested full time hours, but only in Loans.  I felt that that was an inappropriate environment for such a discussion.  I quit the next day.

The week of my last day, the mortgage officer that was sitting in the lunch room the day the HR VP talked to my manager about my hours came to me and asked me why I was quitting.  He said, “I heard her say that you wanted more hours, and then a few days later your memo came out, saying you were leaving.  Why?”  I just shrugged at him with a grin and said I didn’t know.

In March I had acquired an internship at a local National Park Service monument.  Since quitting my job, I’ve been going there about twenty hours a week.  I really like the people with whom I work, and I enjoy the work I do there, but I’ve still really missed my old coworkers.  I’ve seen them regularly at things like Trivia Night, dinners, and just when I’ve stopped by.  I also can’t see myself getting used to the structure at the Park.  It’s the opposite of micromanaging, just as my boss said, but there’s too much freedom for me.  I don’t really ever need to be in the office except when students from contact schools are visiting; other than that, my work can be done from home.  I just choose to physically be in the office every day to make sure I get my work done.  At my old job, I worked a strict 8:00 – 4:15 day with a set lunch and no work to take home.  I knew what I was supposed to be doing every minute of the day, and if I ran out of work at the moment, I knew more would always come.  At the Park, once I’m done, I’m really done for the day.  I don’t like that feeling.  My boss at my internship entrusted me with a lot of things, and I’m extremely grateful, but I was told by the coworker whose position I’m prime to fill, that the position is classified as “Temporary,” meaning it ranges from one to five years.  Five years, especially as a maximum, will come and go quickly.  It also rubs me the wrong way a bit that I was promised a paycheck by the end of April.  It’s July and I still haven’t been paid once.  The experience there is more important to me than the money, but considering I haven’t received a paycheck in over six weeks, this is a major issue now.

About two weeks ago, a mortgage officer from my old work place, with whom I am close, asked me if I would come back to the company if I knew I would be permanently placed in Loans and never sent out to another department to help like I used to.  I thought he was joking because earlier in the night, the President, from across the table at which we were sitting, said to him, “It’s your job to get her to come back!” and I just smiled.  That same night, my old manager asked me, “Why didn’t you like New Accounts?” I just said, “It isn’t that I didn’t like it…” and he said, “No.  Don’t give me an amiable answer.  Be honest with me.”  I said, “Well, I wasn’t fan of being there,” to which he chuckled and said, “That’s still an amiable answer.  Be honest: if you hadn’t been sent downstairs to work with them, would you still be upstairs with us?” and I just rolled my eyes, smiled, and nodded.  He said okay and walked away.  The week prior, the President pulled me to the side and said, “Let me know whenever you want to come back.  We like you.  If you get bored there, let us know and we’ll be glad to have you back.”  I thought he was being playful.  He wasn’t.

A week ago I had lunch with the mortgage officer, and he said, “We all knew you didn’t want to leave.  We knew something must have happened since you left so abruptly, but that you just weren’t telling us.  I had a hunch that we pushed you out, and that’s why you left.  I told [the President and our manager] that, and they said ‘We believe you, now it’s your job to get her to come back.'”  I fought it until he had me in a corner, and I finally told him everything about why I quit: the boring work downstairs, the feeling of my brain rotting, and the conversation I had with the HR VP (I omitted my beef with the New Accounts supervisor only because I feel this is now a personal thing, not a work thing).  At the end of our lunch, he said that he, our manager, and the President agreed that they wanted me to come back and at a different capacity (a promotion), and that if I did come back, I would permanently hold a Loans position, which would transition to consumer or home lending when I felt I was ready.  I would be under the management only of our Loan manager, and HR would no longer have a say in my scheduling.  I agreed immediately.  At the lunch, when he proposed this, my professors voice rang in my head: “If you like your job, why are you in school?

I loved working there and I loved nearly everyone I worked with, save a handful of people.  There was never a day I didn’t want to go to work (okay, save those days in New Accounts).  The company had done so much for me and I really never wanted to leave in the first place.  I quit because I was unhappy, and I wanted to quit before I really began to hate the company.

When everyone asked why I never said anything, I just said I didn’t want to say anything that would reflect negatively on another department (turns out, another supervisor’s daughter is working in that department for the summer and said the exact same things as I had).  HR also questioned my mom and manager, asking if I was being forced back.  My mom had no idea what was happening since she doesn’t meddle in my work life, as I am her coworker more than her daughter at work, and my manager retorted, “No, she is not being forced.  She is an adult and we gave her options, and we told her to make her own decision after hearing what we needed to say.”  Apparently, my manager was not happy about such an accusation…

As a result of this, I’ve decided to take an indefinite break from school.  To be honest, I was in graduate school out of obligation.  I felt like I needed to be there because I knew I couldn’t do anything with a BA in Religion or in History.  I felt like I needed to be there because my advisors expected me to be there.  I felt like I needed to be there because I had broken out of my shell and gone to India.  I felt liked I needed to be there because my mom wanted me to be there.  In order to succeed in graduate school, especially in a field like Humanities, you need to be passionate and clearly driven — I am only one of these things.  I love my area of study.  I get so giddy talking about history, but I’ve lost my direction.  My proposals for my thesis have been shot down by my professors, saying they’ve been too general.  August would be the start of my second year, the generally expected date of completion for my MA.  I’m not even close.  I don’t even have a topic.  I was already shutting down between January and March.  I don’t want to keep taking out loans for almost $20,000 a year for schooling I feel I need but am fumbling through.  I love school and school has shaped a large part of who I am.  If it weren’t for my graduate program, I would have never gone to India.  But thinking about my thesis gives me this odd feeling, as if I were sitting in a dim root, lit only by a dull lamp with a crooked light shade, as the walls cave in.  Graduate school is done out of passion, not obligation.  I’ll return when and if I’m ready.

As for now, I’m ready to work and learn about loan processing, then slowly move on to decisioning and lending.  My manager chuckled when I said I would be happy to come back because I really like the company and people.  He added, “…and because it’s safe.”  It is, I won’t deny that.  On of my major personality flaws is that I’m always looking for confirmation, a guarantee, definite answers.  The credit union is a safe place:  I know I like the company and the way it works; I know I like my coworkers — Hell, I love them more than I love some of my own family; I know what I’m supposed to be doing every minute of the day; I know I can’t lose my job unless I embezzle money or make a huge mistake.  People applaud me for taking a huge step out of my comfort zone by going to a foreign country for almost half a year and living with a family I’d never met, but that’s different.  I’m tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck because I need to dedicate so much time to my studies while also trying to pay for my phone, car, credit card, food, and other miscellaneous things.  I think traveling and a job are different.  Maybe I’m rationalizing.  But even if I did complete my MA and graduate certificate, who’s to say  I would get a job in my field?  I would probably need to leave Hawai’i, that’s almost guaranteed, but what if I don’t get a job right away and my student loan repayment begins on top of all of my other financial obligations?  What if I do get a job but it isn’t anything that I had prepared for in school?  What if I do end up in a museum, but I feel unfulfilled and burnt out from the creativity needed that I can’t produce?  At this moment in my life, graduate school is a series of “what ifs” while this job is a stable income, a company I like, a job I know I’ll do well, and almost a hundred people I love.

It’s embarrassing to me that I couldn’t pull through this, but I know I can’t force a thesis.  My professors have told me I cannot do this.  I know I cannot do that.  Since my job is a set 40-hour-a-week schedule, Monday – Friday, I know I’l always have time after work and on the weekends to start research and to start thinking about my thesis.  My professors know me well, and they know that although I love academia, I’m also finicky and need approval, and that I’m hard on myself.  I imagine they will be disappointed but not surprised, but will expect that I will continue to do research outside of my program.  I don’t feel like a failure exactly, though I am disappointed that I couldn’t finish this the way I expected to.  Working in the Loan department for five years has also taught me, though, that loans snowball and two more years at $10,000 per semester will be a huge burden in a few years, especially if I don’t have a sufficient income shortly after I graduate.  I am taking the safe route and I know this.  But I’m willing to sacrifice adventure for safety that I know and love.  Fighting for something I’m unsure about is tiring and terrifying, and for now, I just want to do things at my own pace and to give myself time to figure out what I really want.

 

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. 🙂

29 Days

I leave for India in twenty-nine days.  Less than that, actually.  I’m finalizing my Visa paperwork and I got most of my vaccinations today.  I just have to pack and make the twenty-hour trek there.

I think this is coming at a good time in my life.  I think a five-month breather from my life as it is will be really, really good for me.  As heartbreaking as it is, I think I’m outgrowing my nearly five-year relationship in the same way I regretfully outgrew most of my friendships.  While my friends from high school wanted to drink, go to parties, and have bon fires on the North Shore on Wednesday nights (I always have to be up by 5:30am Monday – Friday either for work or school), I wanted to stay in and study or do something else that was usually school-related.  But now I’m the only one of them to have earned a college degree, and continuing on to an advanced degree.  Do I think I’m better than them?  Never — they’re much nicer people and have bigger and more genuine hearts.  I just prioritized other things over what they wanted to do here and there.  They’re genuinely nicer people.  I’m tempermental and obsessed with school.  My significant has a rather cookie-cutter idea of our future.  He wants kids and has expressed this since we began dating.  He is eleven years my senior — there was a time I said we should have stopped seeing each other because I wouldn’t want to start a family until I was at least 30.  He said repeatedly that he would wait because I was worth putting off a few years of his life.  30 is only seven and half years away for me, and I don’t see myself tying myself down with children at 30.  At 30 I want to have or be working on a PhD and travel for research.  I want to stay in my office until 8:00pm because I don’t have other obligations outside of my academic work.  I see what my single professors have and I want it.  I don’t want to have to bring my children to class some days when the sitter or preschool fall through and have to both lecture and open snacks for my child.  I want to write and read undisturbed.

But I’ve fallen deeply in love with school and I can’t wait for the next semester to start.  I’ll be taking three graduate courses and one undergraduate, two of which will be with my Study Abroad Program’s Resident Director, who is also my graduate advisor.  We have a really good rapport; I took a class with him a few semesters ago and we’ve gone out to dinner a couple times.  He teaches me useful Hindi phrases I didn’t happen to pick up in the classroom and he gave me three really useful textbooks that I read in addition to my assigned readings last semester since I couldn’t take his class as it clashed with my work schedule.  The question I get the most about him is if he is Indian.  He totally is not, and he is 6’2″ with dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, and hails from the Windy City.  But he’s frequented West India and East Africa for the last twenty years for research.

I’m really excited.  I need this change.

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?

Spring Semester 2014

I got through my first week at — finally — a university.  I was at the community college down the road for five LONG semesters because I only took up the minimum 12 credits to maintain my full-time status.  My coworker always reprimanded me for doing so and said I’d now take a bit longer to finish school.  True, but my study habits were awful and I think I’ve honed them in those five semesters.

I can’t read maps.  I’ll tell you, I can barley navigate a mall directory.  When my boyfriend asks me to read directions off the navigator on his phone, I can hear the annoyance in his voice when I repeat “…uuuummmmmm we’re……..getting close?  Turn down the next…street…?  I don’t know, don’t ask me to do this!!!”  Needless to say, I got lost.  I wasn’t horribly, hopelessly lost, but I ended up walking in a large circle a few times on Tuesday.  Thursday was better.

As I’ve stated before, I’m a Religion major studying Indian Religions.  This semester, I’m only enrolled in one Religion course — Religion 348 – Religion, Politics, and Society.  It’s a seminar course and 40% of my grade comes from my in-class participation.  I can give speeches and presentations perfectly fine, but put me on the spot and demand my opinion or evaluation, and I flounder.  My professor shut me (and every other person) down on Tuesday but it was fine.  His personality is wonderful and his sarcasm makes me feel more comfortable in his class.  I’m also enrolled in the following:

7:30 – 8:45: History 310 – East Asian Civilizations

9:00 – 10:15: Food Science & Human Nutrition 185 – The Science of Human Nutrition

10:30 – 11:45: Philosophy 350 – Indian Philosophy

12:00 – 1:15: History 468 – Viva Las Vegas! (The development and significance of Vegas in American culture)

and my seminar is 2:00 – 4:30.  From this week alone, I’m predicting that my Philosophy class will challenge me the most this semester.  I’m familiar with the Indian religious system, not so much the philosophical aspect.  I know facts about its history, deities, festivals, practices, etc. but something about this Philosophy class is challenging me a bit.  My professor spent two days explaining how “Indian” and “Philosophy” are two completely different things (“Indian” is faith-based and “Philosophy” is a Western system of logic and reasoning) rendering the class — Indian Philosophy — a contradiction.  My professor herself is Indian, by the way.  The pre-reqs for this class were either one Phil 100+ course OR background in Sanskrit.  My religion professor from my CC taught us a fair amount of Sanskrit in her Indian Religions class so I’m doing fine there, but my Philosophy credit is something different.  I took Phil 110 in lieu of my math credit for my Associate’s degree; Phil 110 is pure logic (fallacies, deduction, proofs, etc) while this course is a deeper type of philosophical thinking.  It’s also a little unnerving that I’m one of the few (VERY few) non-Philosophy majors in the class.  I’m also the youngest.  

Next semester I’m supposed to start my language credits.  In my senior year of high school, I took the French placement test at the university and placed into French 202 (9 free credits!) so I would have only had one semester left for ALL of my language credits for my degree, but the CC campus I went to didn’t offer French until two semesters ago so my placement expired.  I’m debating between Hindi and Sanskrit.  My CC Religion professor told me Hindi is far easier to learn and far more practical today.  She also added that learning Hindi would make it easier for me to go back and translate Sanskrit texts.  She took Sanskrit in college and said she found it very difficult.  I’m thinking about my Master’s thesis and I feel that Sanskrit would come in handy sooner than Hindi would, considering I’ll probably have to read scripture from the Vedas or Upanishads, or other old texts.  Plus, the Sanskrit time slots are a lot better.  Hindi 181 & 182 are only offered 4:00 – 6:00pm.  I really don’t want to be in school that long…

But anyway, I’m a junior in college now.  That went by so quickly!  Feels like yesterday that I was going to my junior prom, haha.

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!