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Graduate School: Year 3 Part 1

Graduate school has been on my mind mostly because it has invaded every part of my mind. I wake up at dawn, sometimes listen to the sound of the cars passing by, waiting for the electronic words “route eight-six..To..Sullivan Station” break the constant rumbling of engines before the roar of the MBTA bus-like monster takes over. This is a break from thinking about graduate school, but then I start thinking about graduate school and how I don’t want to get out of bed to head to school because my bed is just so darn comfortable. Then I feel a pang of guilt and spring out of bed like my pants are on fire. I run to the backroom to put out the flames.

Last night, I had a complicated dream about trying to buy two apartments to confuse my landlord, but ended up confusing myself because I needed to move a refrigerator from one apartment to another and use that as a storage space, but then it was in Chinatown and the streets are often sticky in Chinatown, so it would be hard to push a minifridge down those streets all by myself. I probably had this dream because my ex-boyfriend just cancelled our internet subscription from our old apartment, and I just received the email a few days ago. Hence, the two apartment problem. Also, I had to defrost the refrigerator in our office a couple weeks ago and I had to drag the whole thing back into the office.

But as I was saying, grad school has been on my mind because it is like a formless shadow beast, or to quote John Mayer, it’s like “punching under water—you never can get who you’re trying for.” My thoughts exactly. How did he know?

I need to edit a paper and head out to meet friends for breakfast. More on this later.

Part 1

So I was inspired to keep a proper journal of “things that happen” after reading Atul Gawande’s Better. It’s an amazing book about the complex situations that doctors face once they enter the medical field. Anyway, there are some crazy stories of his own experiences in there, but one of the last things that Gawande suggests students and doctors do to improve their practice is to keep an account of their experiences. I mean, I’m not in any complex situation of sorts, but I think this would be a good habit to keep, or re-discover, since in high school I blogged everyday about the most mundane shizz. Hella exciting, I know.

But another thing that I realize is that I’m also quickly forgetting so many things that have happened. I’m forgetting what I was like in college, all the agonizing hours I spent writing papers and responses, researching, and just, you know, everything that students go through. Now that I look back, everything seems like a blur, and I’m astonished that I “accomplished” anything of substance as an undergrad. I was learning so much, and I think what really allowed me to test my potential and expand my boundaries was just trying new things. I just went ahead and did “stuff.” I was fearless and I had nothing to lose. But then my mom told me that as we grow older, we tend to be more cautious, and less likely to take risks—that we become terrified of taking risks. Poop, is that true?

So there are many possibilities. But one thing I do know is that my first post-college year being employed and applying to graduate school puts me in the same position I find myself every year: asking myself if I’m doing the right thing. Should I be applying to grad school now? Knowing what I know about grad school (horror stories, etc), I could just continue working for Barnard, live comfortably, and then…then maybe work for NOVA, become a rocket scientist, or a professional watch maker, or whatever I want. Anyway, I don’t want to be hasty, but I don’t want to watch opportunities pass by. In the end, all I can do is keep moving forward and not take life so seriously. Because I tend to do that when things just generally don’t deserve that much attention.

Oooo I have a sudden craving for ice cream. Ahhh..

Now that I’ve spent so much time on musings, I forgot what I really wanted to write about…

Oh, ok so grad school applications...


So I'm back to livejournal, I think as a way of searching for myself, or whatever that means. Just internal reflection, I guess. So I'll just talk about my 'feelings.' I feel as if I'm in limbo, a kind of spiritual and aesthetic limbo. For instance, I don't want to be a hipster, or look like a hipster, but I just bought these glasses, the blazer, and silver shoes, which completes the look of a hipster. yuck. I like each bit of garb individually, but the entire ensemble makes me feel alien to myself. Ok, a lame example, but I think that college grads go through this period (at least that's my excuse) of trying to recreate themselves. I know I am. I want to be an adult, but I still fancy these types of things. I mean, it feels really strange seeing friends and peers buying/wearing pencil skirts and bleach white blouses because the entire look feels so contrived. And maybe this is something that never goes away. Or maybe some people are born as adults and some will always be 'kids' or whatever that means. I guess I'm trying to generalize to feel better about myself because I'm not sure what's going on.

Anyway, so to get through this, I think I just need a routine. Freelancing doesn't help with that. School forced me to exercise the little self discipline I had, and now I'm just drifting, it feels. I'm eating breakfast at 11:06AM along with lunch, which will follow shortly after. I need to wake up at 7 and get things in order, but living in a room without windows and making videos blogs until 3am doesn't help.

Oh and about this whole youtube thing. I'm so ambivalent about it. And I keep returning to this state of intense ambivalence, which you can probably tell from a recovered draft from the last time I tried to post:
As grateful as I am for my experience with youtube, I'm still coming to terms with the type of human interactions that it totally messes up. Why? Ok, so it messes with the way you make friends, it messes with the way you keep friends, it messes with the way you think about your friends, it messes with the way you think about yourself. How? It just does.

anyway, so I'm back to this blog that I started in freshman year of high school. It's kind of comforting, but at the same time it's so different. Friends aren't posting with the same frequency and I'm not reading with the same fervor. What happened? Maybe I miss my friends. Maybe I feel as if I have no friends. Maybe I'm just imagining this to be like grad school and the rest of my life and am preparing for a super let-down. I haven't gotten a paycheck from work yet, so I'm still a bit lost as to my financial independence.

I think another solution to this is to call my parents more often (it also doesn't help that i have no service in my room) and keep myself busy. Alway keep busy. And leave this little cave (my room, but also metaphor for my mental state).

It's not that I'm depressed or anything, just worried. OH I watched this terrific NOVA documentary called "Mind over Money" and it's about different economic theorists' perspectives on what lead to the crash of 2008. Basically, everyone is attributing different vocabulary from different schools of economic and psychological thought to the same type of behavior. There was this bit on trace amounts of emotion and behavior I'm afraid that if I'm slightly worried without being totally cognizant....blah

here's the doc:


So I finally checked my over-flooded facebook message inbox and discovered that Iris is retiring from Noho. I guess that gives me less reason to visit NH. Then again who would want to go back? The first time I visited high school, I realized how futile were my attempts to relive those four years cause the underclassmen carried on, I didn't have my friends, and it really wasn't the same.

It's startling when accumulations changes make me fear time. It's like when you eat someone else's cheetos, it tastes sooo good, but when you buy your own bag, no matter how hard you try, you can't revive those few delicious moments of droolage. Only this frightens me more. I guess I should always be looking ahead and not caught on whatever is behind me. Just keep swimming!

Then again, we still remember, we still suppress memories--I mean after I graduate, I just want to spend a summer doing...something close to nothing. Dude, I wasted my summers in high school and still got into college, so taking a break and reading a few books (or...not in my case, unless college has made me enjoy reading...oh god) can't be so bad.

Do all college students (except the ones who were born as adults) experience this sense of dread and nostalgia? Am I so complacent with myself that I don't feel constant compassion for kids starving in south africa? Then again, always /feeling/ can be quite draining, so I'll leave it at that.


Anyway, the other day I dreamt that I met Justin Timberlake. It was awesome! we were in a field and he drove the fancy car, but he was running away from his boss, so he was all sweaty and it was...yeah it was kind of weird.

OK, so I'm going to apply for fellowships and things this winter. Take the plunge!

Dear Livejournal..again

so I always seem to update when i've somehow advanced my academic plans. Only that now that i know what I want to do, I don't have the motivation to write about it.

oh, and I'm also taking a break from the internet. psych, but no really. no aim for a little while--my anti-internet!!

and back to my neglected livejournal.

So lots of things have been going on emotionally and academically. but...too sleepy to write about it. applying for scholarships as usual, going to school as usual, not getting myself into trouble, as unusual, and picking fights and busting nuts. as usual. my own nuts. usually.


Sometimes I wish that there were some physical change in the city that would indicate a new year. Maybe paint all of the walls lining the freeway yellow? Maybe tape rulers to your door handles? Maybe paint your car green? I had a lot of painting ideas, but they kind of...well...sound dumb.

Anyway, I'm not sure where to start for this blog. There are a few things--wait there are many things that have happened in 2008. I learned to play guitar, wrote some songs for the first time, became an active YouTuber, met amazing people on YouTube, studied abroad, frikin traveled and met amazing people abroad. I guess many things in my life have changed and I'm very grateful for that. And wrapping things up does feel like a new year is beginning because when you look back, it gives you an opportunity to look forward and I don't know what you see, cause I just got my calendar as the best predictor of the future. Tomorrow's the 2nd? WHOLLY SHIZZ GENIUS!

Well, being sentimental on lj feels overrated for me when I think about someone somewhere reading this and the sentimentality is mostly just for me. i don't want to pour a bucket of sugar on you. mmm, but i guess it's still important to write down my thoughts.

ok, so it's starting to feel like 2009 the more I think about it because that means that I'm approaching my deadlines and heck... starting off the new year with writing...essays. It's aiite.

this year, my resolutions are honestly just hoping that next year will work out academically. work on Chinese, get good grades like a good asian, frikin find a frikin internship like a good asian, eat with chopsticks like a good asian...

totally not serious and being distracted like heck. ok i'm off to start writing my essays!

Home - brief review

Father's day was very eventful. jiejie and I made this dance video for baba and it's posted on jj's youtube account (rbrtdf).

so i'm leaving for NY tomorrow and then leaving for london...some time. UCL flipping tells me whether or not I get housing in mid-august. how's that enough time? heck! wut. eva. s.

This past month has been eventful - we went to the mall a couple times and chilled. we went tot he beach and chilled. I read some random information once in a while, but couldn't keep up my daily routine of reading one New Yorker essay aka David Sedaris essay once a day. Perhaps I shouldn't desensitize myself to awesome writing. his personality is quite potent.

anyway, i should have been more productive while at home, but youtube takes over my life and people are so gosh darn entertaining.

all right. That's it for now. hello lj, good bye lj.

Change my Mind

Hello livejournal, my friend, my home slice, my invisible talking wall. I've changed my mind about English literature and history. yes yes yes I do like them. literary criticism isn't as boring as all that because it's all about argument and using/contorting history to argue and argue and argue...which isn't bad as all that especially when them folks are writing so eloquently. I'm constantly persuaded!

meh. Revolutions of 1848 wasn't as boring as all that either.


hooray for jabbawockeez! they be awesome. I wish I were in a dance crew and could dance and stuff.

dance party!


I just burped and sneezed at the same time. It's like of like two falling balls. you can't stop them midway.

Ok, so I don't dislike enlgrish so much, but i'm still not majoring in it...

SO EXCITED FOR LONDON. well...excited for maybe being there if UCL accepts my application.

Also, I hope to stay in NY the summer and I'm still planning to go to DR after all of this midterm madness.

mmm....I dunno! what to doooooOOOOooooo

AIITE So I should be writing a paper right now that's due tomorrow. yuppers.

Going to Kansas in April! That's exciting too : ) I get to see wenwen jiejie!

P.S. guitar is the funnest game in the world. I can't stop playing with it. more tabs! more more MOREE

p.p.s. I keep on posting entries when I'm in a flipping mood. garsh!



I don't want to be and english major.

I'm going to study abroad next fall.

frik why is english criticism so boring?

Maybe I'll change my mind.

what's so hot about hannah montana?

I missed the movie!