Wednesday, March 29, 2006

my last quarter

this spring quarter will be my last as an undergraduate. some other graduating seniors have expressed some sort of emotional response due to that concept, but i can't say i'm feeling it yet. is it because i don't have plans for what i'll be doing afterward? or is it because i've been in school so long i'm not sure i fully understand what not being in school means?

in high school, i had senioritis for most of the year. after i knew i was admitted to college for sure, the academic aspects of high school ceased to matter much. all i had to do was graduate and i accomplished that while spending most of my time out in the grass of the quad tanning and flirting with boys when i was supposed to be in class. why do i work harder now? is it because i'm older and more responsible? or is it because i fucked up so much in my earlier college career i had to step it up these past couple years? i'm thinking it's mostly the latter, but i'm sure the former has something to do with it too. oh yeah, also, a lot of my college friends are now friends that live in another city or friends that work all the time. less friends to spend my free time with results in more free time being reallocated to time that i spend on schoolwork.

the minimum i have to do to graduate is to take two courses, a history course and a literature course and get a minimum of 0.7 (the passing grade) in each class (yes, i'm proud to say my gpa is strong enuf now to withstand two such grade points), and yet, instead of doing the minimum, i'm taking two additional classes purely through interest. a full load is usually considered 15 credits, and i'm taking 20. why am i doing this to myself? wouldn't i rather have a more relaxing spring quarter? well, who knos when i'll be in school again. i might as well take the opportunity while i'm still a full-time student to take some fun and unrequired courses (no matter how time-consuming they might turn out to be). it may sound weird, but i like learning and when it's about something i actually have an interest in, then school ceases to be a burden and it becomes rather fun.

but what i really wanted to say was that when the quarter started a couple days ago, i was pretty much overwhelmed with all the homework i saw in my future (the lit and history classes are reading-intensive) and really questioning whether or not i should just drop those two extraneous classes and focus on the two i had to take. i hadn't taken reading-intensive classes for over a year now, and i was out of the routine of taking the time to read what i had to read and what i could skim and get a fuller picture of from the lectures. one class i thot would be a breeze appeared to be a lot harder than i thot it was going to be. another class was pretty much a straight lecture with a big class size in which i nodded off a few times on monday (i'm not good with big lectures where all i do is listen to the prof and jot down notes).

but after today, i think i'm getting a better handle on how to manage my studying and my time. after my 6 hour day today (every monday, wednesday and friday), i thot to myself that i can definitely do this. it was reassuring. i'm getting back into the reading routines rather quickly, the class that was turning out harder than i thot was actually not as bad as i thot it was, and the big lecture today was much more interesting than the introductory one on monday (i'm proud to say i didn't fall asleep, tho it might have something to do with forcing myself to sit up front). spring quarter is usually at a point when i've been taking classes with some of the same people for the whole academic year, and so classes are more fun and comfortable, and that is definitely a positive thing. also, being older than most of the other people in the class and not caring too much about what some dumb freshman girl thinks about me, it's easier to express my opinions in class discussions, and i kno my friends kno that i like talking (just look at the length of this fucking post). plus, in the spring, the sun comes out, bringing the flowers (is this the last year i'll experience our cherry blossoms?) as well as the cute boys who are sometimes shirtless and sometimes throwing a football around.

i guess that brings me to talking about my classes. my first class is the last quarter of first-year japanese. i don't need to take this class, but i wanted to finish out the series and get a reasonable beginner's background in japanese should i ever choose to, y'kno, try to find work out there or study out there or something. i really liked my t.a. from last quarter, but there's no way i can fit her sections in my schedule, so i have another different t.a. initially, i had hoped that i would get the hot eastern european t.a. (who's either queer or maintains himself quite well as some straight european guys are apt to do), but instead, i got the other white guy. i was iffy before the first day, but after a couple of sections, i think it will be a fun class. he looks a little funny, cuz his head is just slightly too small for the rest of his body (just barely noticeable), but he's a nice guy who keeps the class atmosphere fairly lite. it's perfect for the spring. there aren't really any cute guys in my class (again... the blond drama boy that was in my lectures the past two quarters has finally eluded me), but there's a guy from south africa who dresses well, but i think he does himself up too much. you can tell he spends a lot of time in the morning getting ready, and a lot of money on various grooming ventures. he might be a fag, or else that just might be how they do things in south africa. i dunno, i've never been. well, there is another guy, i think he's a hapa. he was in both of the film classes i took last year, but he sits next to the is-he-gay-or-just-from-taiwan taiwanese guy with glasses and they jabber to each other thruout lecture and section. the rest are mostly pale anime fans. shudder. i don't think there's anyone in my lecture worth mentioning, but i was happy to discover that the girl i was class-friends (friends, but only within the bounds of the shared class) with last quarter in section is in my same lecture. i was changing sections, so i was a little worried about who would keep me sane in my japanese classes, but i shouldn't have been.

the next class is the literature class, and it's the third and last class in a year-long series. because the prof who usually teaches this class was trying out his new martial arts film class (which i took) last year, this lit class wasn't offered. thus, this year, the class is a combination of students whom i remember from last year and students with whom i've been taking classes this year. it's like a mush of the present and the past, and it makes for a strange feeling, since i haven't seen some of these people since exactly a year ago. this class should be pretty fun. i've taken a lot of classes with this same prof and his teaching methods are very compatible with how i learn. the subject is very much more interesting than the other classes, cuz it focuses on fictional or editorial prose, as opposed to the endless poetry and songs of the time periods preceding. this class is usually pretty dry when it comes to hot guys, but one guy i remember from last year, whom i nicknamed andy lau (uhm, because he looks like a younger, hotter korean andy lau) showed up for the first day of class. i was happy about that, but then he didn't show up yesterday or today, so that doesn't bode well. i mean, either he's decided not to take it, or he's gonna take it but never come to class. either way, he's not gonna be there. a lot of people from my classical class are also in this class, and we all sit on one the rite side of the classroom. in the middle-back is all the pale white guys with glasses, in the middle front is graduate students, and a major portion of the left side is all east asian girls (chinese, japanese, korean, we have them all). i didn't really have a point there; i just wanted to mention that cuz i thot it was interesting.

my third class of the day is the aforementioned classical class. there are 8 of us in this class (down 1 from last quarter, but i didn't really like her anyways) and we've all been taking this class for two quarters now. the work is sometimes time-consuming, but the topic is interesting and the class atmosphere is very easy-going (due to the fact that we've known each other for some months now and have nothing left to prove to each other). i don't think i have much to say about this class that i haven't already said before.

and my last class, the history class, the larger lecture, caps my day. well, before this class, i have a half-hour break, which i had initially disliked (i prefer all my classes all in a row so that when i'm done, i'm really done), but since my school days are so long now, it'll give me an opportunity to take a breather and get lunch. anyhow, like i said, i was uneasy about this class at first, despite having more than a passing interest in the subject matter, because of the large class size and my inability to stay awake in classes where interaction is minimal, but i think i'm okay with it. the prof lectures well and when we covered new material today, i didn't feel like sleeping at all. i also think she's a dyke. she strikes me as one. i'm not saying all middle-aged women have to be married by then, but it's the way she carries herself and dresses, and especially her glasses and her hair. for some reason they scream lesbian to me. not that it affects the class; just an observation. being a bigger class, there are more cute guys in this class. one looks like a freckled thinner version of ron livingston with lighter brown hair. he's the only one in the class who takes notes on his laptop, so he's laptop guy. then there's a guy who all year i've been seeing whenever i go thru smith hall, so i'm calling him smith guy. he's tall with buzz-cut blond hair and earnest brown eyes. he reminds me a lot of one of my high school crushes, not in the way he looks so much as in the kind of feeling i get from him. he's always with this asian girl tho. the last guy i've scoped out thus far is a tall asian guy who was wearing a red cut-off reminiscent of a basketball jersey, and so naturally, his nickname is yao ming. he's much cuter than his namesake tho. like i said, it's a large class, so i've more searching to do. there might be other hot boys in class to ogle (i can't be expected to be looking at my lesbian prof ALL the time...).

that's about all i had to say about school thus far. it's only been a few days, as it's still the first week, so things are bound to change. ever since i got to relax a bit on the beaches of hawaii, i've been so horribly optimistic about things (even my 5 hour plane ride back in the middle of the nite wasn't so bad), i think it would honestly sicken my pessimistic side, wherever he went. tho the springtime has usually always been fairly good to me.

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