the temple bell stops but the sound keeps coming
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July 2009
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I have no idea what to do with my life.

I mean, I do not know what to do in the next 10 minutes. I do not know what I want to do for my job over the summer. For my classes next semester. For my study abroad possibilities the semester after that. For my thesis. For my career.

I declared my major, and I've been having non-stop anxiety attacks about it ever since. I love English, but it is the helpless, impotent love of someone who doesn't believe it will ever amount to anything. My mother majored in English and got absolutely no where with it--never found a job she loved, or even liked, I think--even though she is a capable and quick-witted employee. I am neither of those things. I couldn't even hold down a summer job mixing smoothies, for fuck's sake. I'm practically unemployable as it is, why am I adding to the disaster that is my future resume?

And sometimes I hate my major, very specifically, because despite the fact that Barnard and Columbia are supposedly all buddy-buddy now, my major's department flouts all hints of bureaucratic progress in favor of being hugely backwards bitches and insisting I have to take 6 of my required 10 major-fulfilling courses on the Barnard side of the street, even though 90% of the 1800s-related courses are taught at Columbia. I'm going to try to kill two birds with one resentful stone on this issue and take enough courses to fill my entire Junior Colloquium requirement in one semester (this involves taking extra substitute courses, thus increasing my Barnard course count), leaving me with a semester to study abroad, worry-free (in an academic sense, at least).

I want to go to the UK so badly it has become a palpable ache in my chest. I have to study abroad there or else I will never, ever forgive myself. The question is where. There are about 30 options for me to choose from in England and Scotland, and none of them jump out at me in any particular way. I like the idea of Edinburgh, but it seems sort of weird to go there for the spring semester when it will be dark and freezing until probably a week before I leave.

I find it sort of ironic that my deepest fantasies right now involve fleeing NYC, the setting of all my previous deepest fantasies. I still love the idea of New York, and really, I love Barnard and Columbia most of the time. It's just that somewhere in the merger of the two is this trap of having no desire to crawl out of bed after a week of classes and taking flak from all sides for not taking advantage of the city more.

That is not to say that I have much of a desire to crawl out of bed during the week either. Burnout isn't great, guys. I really need to go to sleep, but all of this keeps swirling around in my head until I end up running to my delicious network to find something to quiet my thoughts for a few minutes at a time.

Looking over this post, I think it might be mostly incoherent. Time to pass out from exhaustion. I'm probably going to regret posting this later, but it's probably better to have it all out and set down somewhere than just mulling around in my head. Good night/morning to all.

Mood sullenMood sullen
Music Wild Honey - U2
Tags: angst, barnard, nyc
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RL rant in the next few paragraphs, FList. Run while you can.

So, I found out last Tuesday that my oldest friend's mother had died, and instead of feeling grieved in any measurable, healthy way, I promptly stopped sleeping. This went on in a pretty intense and stubborn manner until the funeral this Monday, which I skipped classes for, during which I had a good cry and after which I hugged my parents and came back to school and slept for eight deep hours, and then had one blissful day of relative normalcy before Wednesday, when my body decided to expel all of its repressed confusion and grief in the form of a violent stomach virus, and then, after 24 hours of sickness and delirium (when I should have been in class, making up what I missed on Monday), I woke up feeling mostly better except that I was suddenly, once again, apparently unable to sleep.

I hate this. I hate this so much. I hate that death happens to good people, to people I love, and that my body is such a psychosomatic bitchface, and that I can't help but selfishly despair over the fact that this all happened a week before midterm season, and how I am in no way prepared to deal with all this except to loose my directionless fear and rage into the wilds of the Intranets in the early morning when I should be dead to the world and am instead far, far too alive to it.

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Thing 1: I got to college and on my second day of classes my brand new laptop died. I suppose this was partially my fault. I fell asleep with it on my lap, awoke to it in a pile of dirty clothes beside my bed, and then found later that day that the laptop's battery socket was so loose it couldn't recognize my adapter when I plugged it in. But this is not what I told the lovely people at HP when I sent it in, so they had me send it to them, where they will fix it for free (because I am still under warranty, because I'd only had the laptop for two weeks).

So, what this amounts to is me having an extended nervous breakdown as I keep reaching for a laptop that is not there, and needing to do work and not having a laptop to do it on, and etc etc etc. [ profile] loweryourwand has been very gracious and has let me use her laptop, but I don't like the fact that I'm basically on it all the time, yet it is hers and she has regular need of it.

Thing 2: I have this insane schedule that I think I'm going to have to prune even though, by God, I don't want to, because all of my classes are awesome (except Astronomy, which sucks, but it is a requirement, so I am stuck with it regardless of my personal opinions). Probably what will go is the complit class (Big Brother: The Poetics of Power). Already gone is Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Greece. What will be left is:

1) Enchanted Imagination, which is an English seminar that focuses on the continuity of Romantic/Victorian fantasy into our modern equivalent (hahaha, watch me die happy).
2) Astronomy, which I hate, and its lab, which will suck even worse, hoorah! I will valiantly struggle through.
3) Victorian Poetry with the professor who taught Romantic Poetry last semester, and who I have a GIGANTIC ACADEMIC CRUSH on. Talk Tennyson to me, baby!
4) Literary Criticism, which is a requirement for English majors, and is taught by my current adviser, who is a dear, although he is currently frustrating me rather a lot with his fluid office hours which make it impossible for me to talk about my current schedule.

The issue comes from having so many English classes which emphasize survey and participation. Basically, all of my classes want me to read a ton and also write about it or present on it. And I am slow and lazy and do not know how to deal with the workload I'm looking at with Big Brother still on my plate. HOWEVER, I really feel like I'm limiting myself overmuch by focusing so closely on English, and on a specific kind of English at that.

And to complicate my feelings, I can't tell how much of this academic angst is being unnecessarily inflamed by my general panic over my laptop and if things will seem any more manageable when I am not a nervous wreck 24/7. This is why I'd really like to talk to my adviser, and why I am so very frustrated that he cannot seem to keep his hours straight. I am in desperate need of advising! >:(

Thing 3: In other news, I'm going to NYCC and I am very excited! I am also sort of panicking that it's going to take a whole weekend that I will need for the crazy amount of work that I'm doing, but I am trying to focus on the positive, which is Torchwood previews and free stuff.

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I wish I was in a better mood when I finally got around to making a school post, but haha, we make due with what we've got.

My classes this semester are AMAZING. I'm taking this totally incomprehensible class on "Language and Culture" which is fascinating even as half of every lecture goes over my head. I've got Astronomy, which I'm taking to fill my lab requirement, but is turning out to be interesting and fun nonetheless. There's also Psychology of Learning which is only there to fill out my schedule, but is again, interesting, and the professor knows how to engage her audience. AND THEN THERE ARE MY 4000-LEVEL ENGLISH CLASSES.

I'm taking a class on Romantic Poetry with this man, I'm totally in heart. He's such a consummate poetry professor, half dork and half unbelievably melodic speaking voice. He's got a reputation for making poetry fun for people who do not consider it fun in the least. So obviously, he sends me into paroxysms of joy. So great. So awesome. So much love. I thought I was going to have to twiddle my thumbs until Byron and Shelley, BUT NO. HE EVEN MAKES ME LOVE BLAKE. BATSHIT INSANE, OVERLY CHRISTIAN/MYSTIC BLAKE.

THEN. OMG THEN. LITERATURE OF THE FIN-DE-SI√ąCLE. It is a Victorian Literature class only on the 1890s. THE SYLLABUS, GUYS. It's got Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, etc etc etc. If you haven't noticed, there is A LOT OF GAY in A LOT OF NINETEENTH CENTURY LITERATURE. I CAN'T DEAL. AND EVEN MORE, THE TEACHER IS AWESOME. I think I scared her with my little sophomore enthusiasm. I figure eventually I'll tell her I wrote my freshman research paper on Victorian homoeroticism in Heart of Darkness and then all will become clear, but for now I am just this silly little girl in this class half-full of graduate students and I DON'T CARE.

And even more than that, I continue to live in the pockets of all my friends here, which has given me so much joy. Even more so because this is the most I've let myself get close to people in such a long time and I'm not being hated! There's so much love in my life right now its sort of stupid and sappy.

ETA: Of course, OF COURSE, I was PMSing. God. Ignore, ignore! I'm really happy! I am not one of those people who is still on LJ because she likes to verbally masturbate about how emo she is! Really! Blame it on my raging hormones! )

Mood determinedMood determined
Music Jikan yo Tomare - Azu ft. Seamo - Itazura na Kiss
Tags: angst, barnard, rl, school
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1. Otakon this year was... )

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm starting to recognize that I am not a mainstream anime fan anymore. I'm not even normal in my sub-culture of choice. How facepalm inducing is that? Why can't I just be a Narutard like everyone else? (HahaHA.)

2. I sort of acquired a new laptop. I like it because the keyboard is more defined and it has a webcam, but it has VISTA AND I AM GOING INSANE I SWEAR TO GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS OPERATING SYSTEM? Actually, it really isn't so bad all the time, there is just one particular problem that is driving me up the wall:

For some reason when I run Firefox, it works fine for a while, but then I'll randomly close a tab and suddenly the whole program will close like its been Ctrl-Alt-Deleted. Arg. Need Firefox. Do not want. I think it has to do with this computer's version of Norton, which I can't seem to get a handle on. Seriously, it is cramping my style. I'm wondering if reinstalling Firefox will help at all, but I am not technologically saavy in any way, so if that helps I'll never know what caused the problem in the first place to avoid triggering it again.

I'd ask my FList for advice but I think the vast majority of you are Apple users, you smart, smart people. *sighs self-deprecatingly*

Mood annoyedMood annoyed
Music Entropy Reigns (In the Celestial City) - Kelley Polar
Tags: angst, anime, computer troubles, otakon
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Hullo Intranets! Lots of things happened in the three weeks since I last checked in (obviously)! In an effort to not bore you with the details, I'll cut every topic so that you can pick and choose from the tl;dr at your leisure!

1. I got fired! )

2. We had family visiting! )
3. I almost had a boyfriend! )

In summary, my real life these past few weeks has been made of failure, and I took it the way I always take it, which is by escaping from it by acquiring a new fandom. Which brings me to points 4 and 5. Please be warned that from here on out, there be SPOILERS.

4. I watched Doctor Who! )
5. I watched Torchwood! )
6. I read Victory of Eagles! )
7. I watched the Avatar finale! )
8. I watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog! )


9. I watched (and hated!) Mamma Mia! )

So anyway, if you have learned anything from this epic post, it is that you should avoid the majority of Mamma Mia! at all possible costs. And that I am most certainly not dead. Now I am going to go help get ready for my mother's annual birthday party/family reunion/picnic in the park which is taking place tomorrow. The theme this year is "Sunday In The Park With George" which we have cheerfully corrupted into parasols, polka dots, and picnic food. What can I say, it makes my mother happy.

Mood windedMood winded
Music Color & Light - Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters/Sunday in the Park with George
Tags: abba, angst, avatar, books, doctor who, dr horrible, mamma mia!, movies, musicals, rant, rl, temeraire, torchwood
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I hate the fact that I did not even last a full week before being home forced me into one of my maudlin moods. I mostly avoided this at college--my roommate was way more emotional than I was. I got to be to steadfast one for once in my life.

And now I am home and putting Rufus Wainwright's "Pretty Things" on repeat. Way to fall off the wagon, Elizabeth.

Mood melancholyMood melancholy
Tags: angst, music
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The damned papers are damned, but also done.

I had been planning to do a post detailing the epic list of activities I engaged in during my weekend of obstinate procrastination, but I can't find any levity right now. I don't think I've ever put so little effort into a paper before. I've never been so wholly disappointed with myself. I've justified what I did eight ways to Sunday, but in the end, I just ran away from a responsibility.

I've learned a valuable lesson all over again: I am my own worst critic. No matter how much I wanted to avoid confronting this paper and the judgment of the teacher behind it, whatever he says to me will not be worse than what I'm saying to myself right now.

I am not allowed to do this again.

Mood disappointedMood disappointed
Music Mama Mia! - ABBA
Tags: angst, rl, school
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Signs that my priorities are not on straight.

3 1/2 pages of a 9 page paper due at midnight written.
None written of short response essay that I forgot about due at 4.
Realized it was Hikago day at 12:30AM.
Realized it was Cinco di Mayo at 12:30PM.*

But I got a paper back that was a solid A, which pretty much hasn't happened ever this semester. I'm gonna take that as a sign that I don't actually deserve a smiting from the Powers That Be and go back to work.

Back to work!

*My roommate is Latin-American, which makes this a slightly bigger offense than usual.

Mood frazzledMood frazzled
Music Addicted - Kelly Clarkson
Tags: angst, rl, school
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I hate the fact that I have writer's block in the eleventh hour, with a goddamn outline right in front of my face. I just want to write this piece of shit and be done with it, but instead of contemplating the aesthetic of poverty in Ireland, my brain is broadcasting nothing but grey television snow. I HATE MY GODDAMN SHIT-ASS LIFE RIGHT NOW.

I need to stop panicking and complaining and just keep writing. I know this. Off I go.

ETA: Things going along slightly better now at 4 in the morning. Am now merely annoyed that I am working with an 80-some-odd page zerox copy (held together by a binder clip, no less) that makes it very cumbersome to skim for relevant quotes.

ETA2: It occurs to me that I should clarify: the paper I'm writing is not for the English class with the passive-aggressive teacher. She just contributed to the writer's block.

Mood panickedMood panicked
Music Brain Problem Situation - They Might Be Giants
Tags: angst, barnard, rl, school
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