1 comments Friday, November 27, 2009

Yesterday evening with the rest of the graduate students was quite revealing. It was familial yet frenzied; an inviting get-together that was more illuminating to me personally than anything else I have seen and experienced this semester. It opened up my eyes so wide that I realized I had been somatically moving through this semester without recognizing the reality around me.

Six hours revealed the graduate students of this department for who they really were: overly dramatic celebutants or fame monsters. (It seems even more fitting that at least one to two hours of the night were almost devoted to discussions about Lady Gaga as well.)

In short, I've come to the conclusion that I am more adult than the vast majority of my fellow graduate students. Instead of treating others with respect and common decency, there are many here who are childish, selfish, and downright ill-mannered. These individuals have no sense for collegial congeniality and are so wrapped up in themselves that they cannot see beyond the current situation. They are insecure and so pretentious, tirelessly working for attention in fear of the missed glance or longing glare.

These people are the reason I know I am a better person. In this one evening they revealed to me how genuine, sincere, and compassionate I am, all while being themselves in the face of company.

I am no longer burdened by the drama these people continue to produce in attempts to bury everyone in their wake. I am not longer worried that I am different or the so unknown. Instead, I am proud to know that I am resolutely mature, personable without pretentiousness, and secure enough in my own skin.

I am the best person I can be and no one—professor, graduate student, frienemy, or fame monster—is going to make me lose sight of all that I am.

0 comments Thursday, November 26, 2009

My favorite cheesecake to make. It is light, simple, sweet yet tart.

Happy Thanksgiving!

0 comments Monday, November 23, 2009

I love Trader Joe's Pretzel Bread so much that I decided to look and see if there were any comparable recipes. Sure enough I found one and I can't wait to make some, but with cheese tops just like those in Germany.

Maybe I'll start a bakery?


I've been combating my affliction for the past two weeks and I think I've managed to mend some of my wounds. Although it is still too soon to say what will be in the coming semester, it is clear that I am going to finish up here to the best of my abilities. However difficult it may be and however lonely I may be, I am going to push through with the ultimate reward in sight: seeing my family.

I have no doubt that the remaining three weeks will challenge me beyond most everything else (except for the thesis, of course) up to this point. Two major (20-25 pages) papers and one theoretical paper which will inevitably drive me to drink heavily. I'm calling it my Martini Headgear (for Martin Heidegger) paper. All in all, I have my work cut out for me.

In addition to the stress of school, I've decided to go to campus health services to make sure I don't have some strange medical problem. I know that sounds odd to couple with all of this information. After all, you would think I would be headed to health and wellness services for some mental problem, but getting accepted into the Ph.D. program was the mental problem! Besides, I don't think my fatigue, dizziness, and abdominal pain have too much to do with my mental faculties. I'm sure it is just stress, but I want to make sure I'm not pre-diabetic or dealing with something worse. Of course, you might think I'm being paranoid. Maybe I am. I would rather be certain than sorry, though.

On a completely unrelated note, I deleted my twitter account. I'm not surprised if you didn't notice. I did it hastily and unannounced. Although twitter originally was fun to be a part of when it started, I have come to find it increasingly trivializing and downright boring. I enjoyed being able to stay in touch with everyone quickly, yet I secretly detested it. 140 characters into my life and you know nothing more about me; nothing substantial or important. Ultimately I felt that what I was getting out of twitter was a growing disconnection from others--a way of knowing less under the guise of seeing more. Thus, I deleted my account in the hope that those who know me and enjoy talking to me will continue to communicate with me through more genuine means. Type a comment. Write an e-mail. Send a postcard or letter. If I'm not too busy, call me and I may be able to chat. Don't expect to see me around twitter again, though. I'm done with it and, to some extent, some of the status updates I could put up on facebook as well.

0 comments Sunday, November 22, 2009

Or more like two weeks ago, but I thought I should post the photos for your viewing pleasure.

0 comments Tuesday, November 10, 2009

. . .find the resources necessary to do so and become stronger for it.

Although I am not wholly better after venting my frustrations and concerns, I do feel somewhat better in the realization that I have an amazing support system of friends and family who have helped me think through my personal issues. I feel comforted by their words as I continue to struggle through my program and I am incredibly thankful for them.

It has been tough to occupy this liminal space, especially since I feel so alone. However, I know that I am not so isolated. I have support, although it is distanced. I have faith, even though I am clouded by hopelessness. I have my convictions, though I doubt my abilities.

It's time to turn toward the fight, and not away from it. It will inevitably include psychosomatic bruises and strains, and uncertain pain, but I am better for it. I am better than what I was and will be better in what I become.

1 comments Monday, November 09, 2009

I think the title of this entry says it all, but in case it is not enough, I will elaborate.

The last three weeks here have been particularly hectic. So hectic, in fact, that I have often thought about quitting the program if things do not improve over the next semester.

I'm not entirely sure when it started, but I believe that it is a feeling that has been under the surface since I started the program here. Without being too specific yet for clarity purposes, I will say that, over the last nine weeks, the image of this program that I thought I came here for has been replaced by something darker.

Darker in that: I cannot understand why so many of the people here are distant and/or judgmental; I still do not understand why no one here has read the research I have already done to know me better; certain people are incredibly rude and inconsiderate of those who have moved from further away than those who came from within the state; everyone has all these ambiguous expectations and no one will clarify what the fuck they mean; and, outside of the program, nothing feels like home--my apartment is still mostly empty and I don't have many people to rely on here.

To top it off, I was also assigned to teach Public Speaking again for the tenth time. While some might find this less of an issue, I think it was the cherry on top of the icing coating the clusterfuck of a cake I've been choking down here. I'm tired of teaching this course, but even more tired of "paying my dues" or "putting my time in" or "jumping through hoops". Haven't I done enough of that already? I thought a Ph.D. program was less about learning the ropes and more about being welcomed into an academic community where you were understood and pushed to develop further in the best ways possible.

I guess I was mislead.

Of course, I'm not throwing the towel in or giving up. Although, I wouldn't necessarily say that leaving would be either of those options in my eyes.

I am going to give it one more semester. One more chance in the hope that things actually improve and that I actually find some happiness, clarity, and warmth out here. One last chance before I lose sight of the real reason I came out here: my future happiness, not my future endless sacrifices whilst bending over the table so I can be repeatedly raped by a broken glass bottle.