Captions


Shit, this is the funniest subtitle I've seen in ages. I laughed, out loud. 

My Room


Stupid shit aside, I really do love my room. It's where all the things I like are: my computer, my books, my candles, my red panda stuffed toy, my food, and so on so forth. It's where I feel the most comfortable in the USA. It helps that today is an exceptionally sunny day, and my room get lots of mid-day sun.

On Thursday I submitted and presented the case study that I did with my group members for my core class, ITSF 4090, for which I am extremely glad, because it allows me to spend the rest of the remaining days of the term (4 days, plus today!) working on 3 different papers. Their progress report is roughly follows:

ITSF 4613 - Peace and Human Rights Ed. 70%
A&HH 4070 - History of American Ed. 70%
W4170x - History of the First Crusade 80%

So, just a few more days till I can finally relax and feel free!

First Finals Week

Typing really quickly, I just typed "Fucker of Chartres" when I really meant to type "Fulcher of Chartres", and am now immensely amused by my typo. Finals week indeed.

My Sad Rejection Song

My sad rejection song (which I must have listened to at least 10 times yesterday), is Kasey Chamber's Not Pretty Enough. True story. Then again I'm also rather nutty.

Lexapro

I went without any of my regular meds this past weekend in NJ, because on Thursday evening, I rushed out and clean forgot to bring my meds (along with a warmer jacket). As a result over the last day, plus today, I'm feeling totally fried. I think my brain is shooting WTF signals all over my body because it's shocked by the lack of SSRIs. As a result I thought I was having mini/quasi-fainting spells and was going to have a spectacular fall and eat dirt soon. I should probably have been more panicked when things started happening, but I feel so tired and zonked from all my school work that my capacity to feel anxious seems to have flown clean out of the window. Funny coping mechanisms. 

This also means of course, that it is super hard for me to concentrate on anything. Because I occasionally feel like I'm being zapped. Also I feel bloody tired.

This weekend was an eventful one. On Friday, my Uncle brought me all over the areas as I tried to get my DMV testing done. We ended up having to go to the Social Security office in Trenton (sketchy) and the back to the DMV area, where I promptly failed the written test, because I didn't know crap like 1 and 1/2 ounces of whiskey being equivalent to 12 ounces of beer (who the fuck uses ounces anyway? Oh wait - THE AMERICANS). Saturday I watched my Aunt potter around getting reading for the early Thanksgiving dinner, went grocery shopping for her, and ended off my day by going on a date for yummy pizza in Hopewell, and watching Interstellar. Sunday I woke up really late and tired (PLUS with extra brain zaps), and then came the Thanksgiving dinner where all the family friends came over. Today I am back in the city, and somehow attended and survived class without seeming too muddle-headed.

I have just taken the Lexapro. I really should have taken it earlier in the day, when I got back around the afternoon, but thought I could tough it out till tomorrow since I'd already missed my regular medcine-consuming time (the morning). Now however I am feeling spaced out as and trying hard to think coherently.

I think I've learnt my lesson to be more careful about this kind of thing.

Relationships

I think I've been so deprived of intimate relations with a male for so long that I've started falling in love with (almost!) every other male I meet. I imagine possibilities, of laughing together, holding hands, and snuggling up with a movie. What a sad, sad outcome.

Then again, this is the longest I've been single since I was 19. This month makes it 1 year and 3 months since I've been in any relationship. Not sure whether to go 'boo' or be relieved at the drama-free-ness of it all. But for today it'll be a 'boo'. 

Bull

Blah, I don't think I believe in the nonsense I'm writing for this paper >.<

Meh

After a shitty and depressive last week, and a plodding but OK weekend, I feel completely grounded down and tired today. Every damn thing is tedious. I have to finish my readings for tomorrow's History of American Education Class (ok, but not exactly exciting reading), do a reading response for that, while jugging a theory paper due on Wednesday for my Peace Education and Human Rights class (that makes me feel like I'm squeezing blood of a rock while simultaneously pounding my head against a brick wall). Meanwhile I just finished eating dinner and cleaned up - steamed mince pork and egg - that took forever to cook because apparently the voltage on my Singapore-bought rice cooker is not happy with the voltage of my US-based power outlet. I just feel incredibly ground down by everything, and I'm still unsure of what exactly I'm doing/my potential place as an ostensibly contributing member of society.

Then again, I noticed today that one of my classmates in my Crusades class had changed his facebook profile picture from one of him and his fiancee to a nondescript one, and in class I noticed his wedding band was gone. I guess there are always other people dealing with far, far more shit.

The Main Issue

I think the reason I get so upset about this whole Educational/Development thing is because I really really really loathe rhetoric, politics and people arguing about unrealistic things. I like straight facts, practicality, unemotional things (because after all, we're talking about real lives! In the same time frame we're talking about these things!). I find myself profoundly frustrated about this whole affair, and all I want to do is withdraw into the relative calmness of History where we're not talking about real suffering and current problems. PAH.

Life Questions

I woke up this morning, and felt depressed. I have not felt this depressed in a long time, and not even when Joaquin broke up with me, because that was a certain sort of sadness but not one that felt critical to my entire being (I exaggerate, I hope). See, since I've entered TC I've always questioned whether I'm in the right place. I'm happy here alright, but is it the best place for me? It boils down again to me wondering whether I made the right decision: to pursue History or to pursue Education? The reason I didn't chose History was because I felt the path was harder and it might be harder for me to find a job. Practical, economic, scaredy-cat reasons. So I turned to Education instead, thinking of it as a route where I could apply my passion and love, and do the most for the world around me.

Now however as I struggle with my readings for TC and wonder if there's a point to all of this, I wonder how happy I'd really be doing research for NGOs, when I'd much rather be scrabbling around a dusty archive and creating the knowledge that people will study. I am afraid, and scared that I will not be happy. That I am paying all this money, and putting in all this effort, only to end up unhappy at the end. That I will not be following my dream, that I will sorely regret it, that I will not live up to my fullest potential.

So for most of today I just lay in bed. Zoning out. Occasionally drifting in and out of sleep. Neglecting all the goddamned work I have to do. I feel like tearing out of frustration, because the solution could be so easy, for it all lies within me. Yet, I am unable to yank an answer out. And all I can do is pray for wisdom and comfort.

All from my Crusades professor asking me in passing, after class had ended, How Was I Finding TC?

"I don't know, I wonder if I have made the wrong choice."

Class Readings and Questions

Yesterday I met Arjun in Princeton (after not having seen him for a good handful of years). After we had lunch and tea, I crossed the road to the Princeton public library to try and finish my readings for my class on the First Crusade. On the ground level at the back of the library I found a table with just one other person sitting at it, asked for permission to sit down, and dragged out my readings - Canon 2 of the Council of Clermont (1095) and the Goal of the Eastern Crusade: "To liberate Jerusalem" or "To liberate the Church of God"? and Pope Urban II's Council of Piacenza to name a few. I felt lethargic and zoned out after hanging out with Arjun, plus we had drank some pretty unsatisfactory Thai Iced Tea that now made me feel sick. The writer's argument was subtle, and I kept reading the same lines over and over again, trying to wrap my mind about what exactly he was trying to say. Around me I could see people napping, and I wanted to join in too. I read the same lines over and over.

While pouring over my reading, I heard a strange whisper sound come from my right. As I turned to look, my mind registered the noise, "Are you in college here?" I realised it was the guy sitting to my right, who had been tapping away on his macbook and making small noises here and there as he worked. We ended up having a great chat (with stage whispers and lowered tones) for quite some time and he told me he was working on a business proposal for a wearable medical monitor akin to those fitness bands that are in vogue now. He seemed decent, intelligent and nice. Then he asked, "Would you be interested in having dinner with an old man?" His face had flushed as the question left his mouth.

For you see, he had mentioned his age earlier. He was 62 (but he didn't look it). He was divorced, and had two sons. The oldest one was 29, and the youngest 22. I calculated in my mind: he was 38 when I was born. He was older than my parents. He could technically be my grandfather. But we'd had a genuinely nice conversation, and he did not give off creepy vibes at all. So I smiled and said yes, That Would Be Nice, and we exchanged numbers. Then he left, and I tried to refocus my racing heart on my reading.

The whole encounter made (and is still making!) me think about what it was about him that I found nice, and what things it implied about me. That I was tired of young oafs and all they entailed? That the idea of a quiet, simple courtship sounded appealing and non threatening, never mind that he could be my grandfather? That I didn't mind hitching my wagon onto someone who would most definitely die years before my time, if it meant some normalcy? Goodness knows. I know I'm thinking too much about things, but I find it curious that I am in such a situation.

Life, is indeed terribly surprising.

As a side note, he texted soon after he left, asking me out for tea. I told him (in truth) that I was woefully busy with work this weekend, and probably would not be able to meet up. Who knows if anything else will happen?

Too Much Sleep

I'm doing it again, I'm sleeping waaaaay too much. Too much to the point that it gets bad because I feel all lethargic and half awake. Problem is when I wake up for the first time, usually around 8am, I think about what I need to do for the day - and it's usually not terribly exciting at all - and so I lie there and zone out. Then I fall back to sleep and wake up again at either 10:30am or 11am and I feel funny all over because I've gone and slept too much, and now I don't feel refreshed at all. Gosh.

---

I'm back at the Helfriches' again, for the second week in a row. There's something comforting about this place as I suppose as even though it's not my home, it is a home I'm familiar with. There are people and cats around, so I don't feel lonely, and there's lots of space for me to stretch out around. This week I even brought over boxes of tea that I ordered online from Stash Tea, enabling me to enjoy a proper morning cuppa (no more tastes-of-paper-tea bag-tea!). I should be content, I should be happy, but I cannot help but feel that something is missing.

Last night I skyped my Mama. About a week ago, my Dad bought her an ipad, probably to cheer her up after her knee replacement operation. Since then she's been trying to get it to work. Yesterday night on my parent's prompting, I called her. What was alarming and unusual however, was that after she asked if I was OK, she started crying. I could hear her voice crack and hear her choke up, and that made me feel more sad than anything on earth. It made me want to shout "SCREW THIS" and hop on a plane back to Singapore, and snuggle up to her again. After all, it isn't like I've figured out exactly what I'm doing here.

Unlike my undergrad where I knew I was meant to be, doing masters is a whole different kettle of fish. I feel less certain about what I'm doing, and more scared about what this means for my future working life. I keep thinking about what I've chosen, and if its close enough to what I want to achieve in life. But then of course I've led to the question of what it IS I want to achieve in life. Ideally it's a career where I can both do policy/academic research, and still teach a few classes, which sounds an awful lot like academia. And I want to work in a terribly specific field too - using past historical conflicts as a basis to teach students/THE WORLD about peace and avoidance of war. Aye aye aye. Am I barking up the wrong tree?

In other news, I have a dehydrated headache now.


 

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