I've realized that one thing I consistently enjoy is meeting new people, getting to know interesting new people. These aren't necessarily people like me, but they're people who can carry a conversation, who are interested and passionate about something, and who share at least a few of my (bizarre) interests. This is probably why I've cultivated so many different groups of friends, both at LC, at Sunset, in Forest Grove, and then made sub-groups for each of those.
This is why I've felt a bit restless socially. College was at its best when I was meeting new people, which were my sophomore and junior years. Now, being back in the Grove, things are pretty much at a standstill. I've no real desire to get involved with this community, seeing as how I'm leaving in less than a year and there never were many people like me here anyway, and I wouldn't know how to start. Likewise, LC is pretty tapped out for me.
The long and short of it is that I'm excited for grad school, so I can go back to meeting people and making new friends.
Women, I tell you. I don't think I made a single good decision regarding women before the age of 18.
I don't think I can continue to be a cynical person anymore. I've gotta give it up.
I've spent the last few months feeling intermittently pissed off and depressed about my current situation.
I was talking to my mom about it today in the kitchen, and she's repeated to me over and over that feeling sorry for myself is unproductive. She also points out that I'm doing better than so many other people, academically as well as financially, that I should try to be proud of what I've done.
I've finally heard her. I just don't have it in me to keep up this bitterness. A lot has still managed to work out for me: writing for the Oregon Encyclopedia, this publication, and ideas for yet another scholarly article...I can't stay pissed.
I've been reading a lot for grad school. I'm trying to read the books of professors I might want to study with, so I've got a massive stack in my room that I'm trying to work through. They're mostly Cold War histories.
I've realized how out of control my personal library is, so I'm trying to cull some books I don't want anymore while adding more bookshelves and storage in the room. My goal is to alphabetize everything by the end of the summer.
I keep finding myself angling for more history stuff to work on. I want to attend more conferences, find any research positions that I can, and stay busy. Having all of these books to read is a nice addition to that.
Oh yeah, and I have a social life too.
I've got my schedule kinda normalized right now, which is a relief after having everything up in the air for a couple weeks. I was in a panic for a while because McMenamin's wanted me to work full-time as a dishwasher, but I've managed to get my hours down to part-time; it looks like I'll be working 3 or 4 nights a week (hopefully 3, but 4 is something I can manage). Other than that, I'm working part-time for the State Historic Preservation Office in Salem, though a lot of my work occurs here, and I'm doing a research project for a Hood River land use watchdog group. They want a history written of their group's activities and how they formed, and I was recommended to them through the LC history department.
It's a busy summer schedule, but it works.
I had a paper accepted to a history conference in Missouri.
It's not the biggest conference ever, but still, this is a solid victory. I needed this.
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Lived in an apartment.
2. Did you keep your new year resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
They're pretty much the same thing every year: take it easier on myself. Every year, I think I get a little bit better.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Alaska is practically a different country.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
More support from the institution that gets my money.
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 28th-Go to Alaska
August 8th-Get home. Promptly meet my girlfriend.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I pulled off my grad school applications and kept my grades high even though some unexpected shit happened.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not doing the honors thesis.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Arkham Horror has gotten a lot of use as a board game.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My parents always do an excellent job and merit celebration.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Why would you ever write this down?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Living expenses and my various hobbies.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Working in Alaska was exciting, if nerve-wracking at first.
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
"I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Met)"
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or Sadder: Happier.
ii. Thinner or fatter? The same.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer (couldn't save as much money when I lived away)
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Gaming, see people.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home with my parents.
22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
It's such a strong term, but yes.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Mad Men, Venture Bros...
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
"House of Leaves" or "Gulag Archipelago."
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Music bootleg blogs.
28. What did you want and get?
I got almost everything I wanted because I worked to get all of it. Who can complain?
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Hurt Locker or Moon
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Grabbed a couple beers at Humpy's and headed out to Kennecott the next day. I was 21.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If people had advised me on fellowships early on/if I was guaranteed a job right now for the summer/if school was free.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Pretty much the same as the prior year.
34. What kept you sane?
Friends, my girlfriend.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Fancy? Scarlett Johansson. I miss Michael Jackson a lot.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Health Care was a bother.
37. Who did you miss?
I seem to have this problem of missing all the people I once knew and liked, even if we've grown apart. I live too much in memory.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
Everybody I knew in Platt West is kinda tied to win here.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
I've kinda figured out what makes relationships more successful for me. Thank you, string of failed relationships!
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Standing next to me in this lonely crowd,
Is a man who swears he's not to blame.
All day long I hear him shout so loud,
Crying out that he was framed.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.
This school has really burned my ass in the last couple weeks.
A week and a half ago, I got an e-mail from a fellowship I applied to saying that two professors had never sent in recommendations. It had been due two weeks before and I'd cleared it with them long before it was sent in. I checked with both of them and they'd both simply forgotten to do it. Both of them were history professors.
Now, I've gotten word from the department of problems with my honors thesis prospectus. It lacks sufficient secondary source research, which is a perfectly legitimate criticism, but my advisor, who I've met with extensively, never brought this up. Nor did he address with me the shortness of my prospectus; mine is apparently much shorter than everybody else's, and he never mentioned this. Ever. They want more research from me at a time in the semester when I really don't have spare time to read four or five more books, given that final essays are due in three and a half weeks along with my grad school applications.
The History Department kinda threw me under a bus here. And I'm not very happy. Odds are, I'll step down from Honors Thesis, because the prospect of all of this additional research leaves me to question what else I can cut to make room for it. I won't risk my grades for an honors thesis that won't help my grad school apps, and I won't risk my grad school apps at all.
I've already got enough reasons to be angry at this school. Burning myself out on writing this thesis and destroying my senior year is not a reason I'd like to add to the list.
Why do Americans give a shit about Guy Fawkes Day? Fucking V for Vendetta.