(Link to the last one)
Again, kudos to Lewis Hom for giving me the initial idea to do these. Once a quarter seems to be pretty much just the right frequency to do these; perhaps even a little bit more often would be ideal, but twice a quarter might be a little bit too much. But it’s nice to have this opportunity to reflect upon some things, and I guess also to allow other people to catch up on your life a little bit (those of you who are actually reading, that is 9_9).
So, this quarter…well, where do I even -begin-? Fall quarter was pretty freaking awesome, and I think I went into this quarter with the attitude of continuing that awesomeness. Well, this quarter was awesome, but in some ways that were totally unexpected. I came out of the quarter as a happier, stronger, and more emotionally mature person…but I think I’m already starting to get ahead of myself there.
Okay, so first things first–classes. Here’s what I had:
MUSIC251 – Musical Perception, Cognitive Psychophysics, etc. (or some other really complicated name like that)
This one really intimidated me at first. I missed the first day of class due to being sick, but apparently we had an assignment to design some kind of experiment, and it was due on the second day. So I was like “EEhhhhh???” (or as Sakura Kinomoto would say, “Hoeee!???”) But, the professor of this class happened to be the RF of Kimball, whom I already was acquainted with. So, I asked him about it and it ended up being not that big of a deal anyways. And the class didn’t turn out to be that much work, to be honest. It certainly wasn’t a cakewalk, but it wasn’t quite that stressful either. And the two assignments that we -did- have to do were actually really neat–we basically had to come up with two research experiments relating to topics in the class, and implement at least one of them. I decided that I’d program computer programs for my experiments (you can see those here, here, and here), and it worked out great for multiple reasons: a) it was good practice to code more stuff, b) I already had most of the basic codebase I needed because I had finished programming KeyBlox mostly over winter break, c) I needed more projects to add to my coding projects site anyways, and d) I’m planning on applying as an RCC at Kimball next year, so it was a good chance to prove my technical expertise to Jonathan Berger. As for the rest of the class, it was really great–one of the few classes that wasn’t really too hard to pay attention to (despite being at 10AM). The things we covered were more “here’s some really neat cool stuff about music perception for you to think about” rather than “let’s learn about this concept and then test you on it”, so it was a very light-hearted carefree kind of learning; almost like how I imagine an introsem should be like (my introsems were NOT like this–or maybe they were but I was just too bored personally). That meant that unfortunately I didn’t really take as much concrete knowledge out of the class, but that’s okay because it was really interesting.
MUSIC150 – Musical Acoustics
This class ended being a lot more boring than I thought it would be. I guess it -was- interesting to look at how musical instruments produced sound, but somehow it just wasn’t taught in a very interesting manner (aside from the one guest lecturer who talked to us about brass instruments–he was really great). The lectures were basically rehashes of the readings, so from the first week or two I already knew that I could definitely afford to zone out completely. The material was braindumbingly easy as well–it was on the level of basic high school physics. Not only that, but the homework was ALSO braindumbingly easy (one chapter taught us how to take logs–so it asked us questions like, calculate the log of 5 on your calculator…), and took me like 30 minutes to finish. Which is good because we had homework due every class session. Unfortunately that also meant that I was pretty much forced to go to class every time (aside from a couple of times where I either dropped off the hw and left, or scanned it in and emailed it to our TA). And that, combined with the fact that I didn’t want to -bother- paying attention at all, made this prime time for getting letter-writing done. I also took the opportunity to fold paper stars sometimes. Of course, I also did these things in MUSIC251, but I actually tried to pay attention at the same time in 251 (folding stars is great for this because it’s rather mindless once you get it down), whereas in 150 I didn’t bother at all. This really felt like one of those math classes I took at De Anza or Foothill college (community colleges) while I was in high school, only even easier. Somehow I get the feeling that it wasn’t very easy for some of the other students though; and I find that to be really bizarre. I mean, there have definitely been classes like CS103 or CS109 where I can totally see how I would have a much easier time than other people, but I didn’t really understand how that would be possible for this class. It was so EASY! Most of the midterm and final were multiple choice! I finished the final in 45 minutes…
…ironically, this is probably the class I got the worst grade in xDDD. I got a B+ for some reason; probably because of weird slipups here and there on the homework, or maybe because I didn’t do that well on the final (there were definitely some questions that I didn’t know the answer to, but didn’t -care- to know the answer to because I didn’t think they were important to acoustics at all).
CS149 – Parallel Computing
This one was interesting. Taught by Aiken (yay) and this other dude (who had a somewhat sharp voice but somehow wasn’t as engaging), this one was a new course…it turned out to be fairly interesting, but I wish I had paid more attention. =( I did go to most of the lectures, besides like a 2 week streak where I was just too busy or tired with other stuff to go. But besides the first few lectures I wasn’t paying nearly as much attention as I should have been–I was distracted because I was trying to write letters or work on my laptop. The times when I folded paper stars were good though; I was able to pay a lot more attention then. Oh well. David Schneider was in this class with me, which was cool–we partnered up for the assignments again and blew through most of them in a good night’s worth of work (a majority of our time was spent on debugging or fixing stupid things; the actual algorithms weren’t that hard to implement). Still, this was probably the class that involved the most work (the psets were surprisingly difficult). The final was…kind of a mess; I think I would have probably done better if I had paid more attention in class. Erk. Then again, maybe it’s just because it’s a new class and they don’t really know how to test/teach the material well.
CS181 – Ethics of Computing, Public Policy somethingsomething
This is the class I took to fulfill my STS (science and technology in society) requirement, so it’s basically an IHUM-style class, or something like that. I paid attention for the first lecture…but even that was pretty hard for me to do. It wasn’t -that- bad, but I just didn’t feel motivated to bother paying attention (I know, I’m -really- bad at this whole class thing). So this was another write-letters-and-fold-stars class. I would have ditched a lot more, actually, but this quarter I decided to hold my ground and keep attending classes despite my laziness (i told myself that I needed the time to write letters anyways). And I knew some people in this class anyways (Michelle, Kotaro, Natalie, Colleen), so that was cool. We ended up forming a sort of group and sitting together for lecture, and then we grouped up when it was time to do the final project. The final project itself was actually really fun–we did ours on MMO virtual worlds, so we played some RO as a bit of “research” (totally legitimate, i swear… (actually it WAS pretty legitimate)), and you can see some of our exploits here. This class involved writing two papers–the first which was totally easy because I got to write on the ethics in Bioshock (so I actually wrote about interesting things that I thought about), but the second one was totally boring so it was painful to get through. Overall the class wasn’t much work at all; probably comparable to the amount that we got in MUSIC251.
Oh gosh, this is shaping up to be a =monster= post…1500+ words and I haven’t even started to talk about anything interesting yet! Okay, onwards…
So I tried to take better care of myself physically this quarter; partly after Juliann urged me to take care of my body better. So I actually did away with the whole non-existant-sleep-schedule thing that I was doing Fall quarter and slept somewhat regularly. I still stayed up pretty darn late from time to time, but I never really did it without having a good reason to do it (staying up late to do hw or talk to a friend, etc). I tried to eat a little bit more at meals as well, though I’m really not sure how well that ended up working out. I guess I mainly just tried not to be lazy about eating enough food. And I actually did go to pretty much all my classes this quarter, so that was “good” as well (though you have to realize I used classtime as a time to set aside for writing letters anyways…). But I ended up not getting sick this quarter, so that was definitely an improvement over last time where I probably got sick like 2-3 times or something.
Okay, what else…other activities have been continuing pretty much as normal…taiji is going well as always and I make it out to dinner pretty much every week now (yay!). I only went to wushu practice like once though; so that was kind of sad (I don’t even know what happened; I guess fridays turned out to be bad days for me). I made it out to anime club some more times but then stopped going again because I happened to be busy during those times again. Gahhh, bad. I’ll make a renewed effort to make it out to the showings again next quarter. Melody (my community service group) has been fine as well; though it’s really, really more of a social thing for me. Working with the kids isn’t -that- bad, but I don’t know if I -really- enjoy it that much. I don’t think it’s something I’ll do next year; I probably would rather have that time for other things. The popping thing that me and Mike Lee were doing is kind of…well, dead in the water at the moment. We were supposed to start meeting up with some of the Troposomatic guys during their informal practices to learn with them, but things ended up happening, this that and the other, and it never really worked out. Oh well.
Let’s see, what else? I supplied a bunch of content (sprites, music) for the iPhone game that me and Mike Lee are working on together (he used it as his final project for the iphone dev class he was in), so that was cool; I’m actually =really= proud of how both the sprites, they definitely look great especially considering this is really my first time doing pixel art ever! =D And the two songs I made are pretty kickass as well. So that was fun. Me and Mike Lee and Mike K. have been playing Heroes of Newerth, as we were Fall quarter, so that’s been fun. We’ve got some SC2 beta keys now though, so we’ve been starting to do that as well. Whoo~
On the tetris front, things have been going extremely well–I’m getting really really good at Keyblox, and I got M rank in TexMaster Sudden on keyboard! My next achievement is to get M rank in TAP Death mode using joystick, and I’m fairly sure I’ll be able to hit that sometime during the weeklong “Carnival of Death” event that I’ll be participating in [/end tetris speak]
I said last time around that it’d be nice if I could visit Kimball more often, and I certainly managed to accomplish that goal. Especially towards the latter part of the quarter, I was stopping by Kimball once a day (sometimes even more than that!). I developed a pretty standardized routine of first checking the lounge doors to see if I could sneak in that way; if not then I’d go around to the front and have someone let me in. Then I’d go up to the second floor, visit Janice, visit Tiffany, head up to the third floor, visit Amy, come back down towards the Branner side, visit Juliann, and then head back to Branner. So Kimball kind of became my second home for the quarter; it’s where most of my socializing took place.
I also spent a lot of late nights (sometimes way way way way too late) with Yang this quarter, so that was very nice. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Bonnie as much as I would have liked…I guess that’s my fault for not making it out to wushu practice, like ever. Oh well! At least we did meet each other for lunch/dinner a couple of times over the course of the quarter, so that was definitely nice.
And as far as keeping in touch with high school friends, I think I’m pretty happy with the job that I’ve been doing. There’s still a small group whom I keep close to me, and then there’s a whole bunch of other people who maybe I’ll poke at every once in awhile.
I’m starting to hear back from internship opportunities, which is good–still no actual -offers- yet, but I’ve been interviewing at some places, so hopefully I’ll end up somewhere where I can have a worthwhile experience this summer.
Okay now for the actual interesting stuff (yes, finally 9_9).
So, this quarter was really a period of change for me, emotionally, and it’s brought me a -lot- closer to coming to grips with the “rut” i’ve been in for years, concerning friendship issues and one-sided relationships and being unloved and being taken for granted and everything. I guess the main thing that has changed is that I’m more emotionally assertive and honest now (or I’m trying to be, at least–it’s difficult sometimes). It’s definitely helped that I have some very close friends that I can rely on now, who have been there for me this past quarter to help me deal with these things, and because of them I feel like for the first time I’m really learning how to depend on others for emotional support. And that’s something that I’ve really needed; especially ever since I started growing more distant from my mother. I’m also being less afraid to tell others when I’m unhappy, or when I want something from them. I have a really, really big tendency to pretend to be perfectly selfless and able to shrug anything off, and I think this goes back to the huge shell that I built around myself during my Senior year of high school. To be fair, it was certainly a useful shell because it helped me get through being DM (ok, maybe that’s debatable too), but I realized this quarter that I bottle things inside of myself way, way, way too easily; and it’s just not healthy for me. So, in keeping with my personality of being a total open book (this post is a prime example of that), I started to let people know when I was feeling this way.
And you know what? So far it has really, really, really been helping me. Now when I feel lonely or sad or depressed, I can actually go to someone and talk to them about the way I feel and the reasons behind why I have those feelings, rather than just act like I’m totally fine and then suffer in silence–sometimes even denying to myself that there is anything wrong. So I guess you could say I’m not afraid to be selfish sometimes anymore–after all, it’s only human nature to act that way. I’m still probably very much going to be more quiet and very much less assertive than -other people- might be–that’s something that’s just very deeply ingrained into who I am as a person–but I’m finding a better balance for myself.
I’ve also realized this quarter just how much of an introvert I am–I ran into multiple situations where I was surrounded by a lot of people and it really hit me hard just how mentally draining it was on me to deal with it. It’s hard for me to explain really, though if you happen be pretty introverted as well you may know what I’m getting at.
I think my girl side is also expressing herself a bit more in recent months–things like my body language and mannerisms have been affected more and more by the girl inside of me lately, and there was even a time where I started wondering what kind of clothes I would wear if I were a girl~ It’s really fascinating to me sometimes; to witness myself doing these things and have no real way to explain why I do them, other than that there is this ideal that I have about being this really cutesy adorable anime girl with pretty hair, and that ideal has a really big impact on my life and the way that I carry myself and show myself to others. Andrea has this pair of bear earmuffs with ears on them and they are ohmygawd so adorable, so I started borrowing them and wore them for a few weeks. I definitely got some weird stares, but I also got some smiles and laughs and compliments; and it just made me really happy that I was spreading a little bit of cuteness around the campus~…
Okay, so big picture–this quarter has really been a chance for me to grow as a person. I went through some very hard times, and even broke down and cried a few times (which was also something that was very, very meaningful to me; both because having someone to cry to means the world to me, and because I have been wanting to cry for the longest longest time and it has not been until now that I have been able to let things out), but I have come out of it having learned some valuable lessons.
So what does next quarter look like? I’m not sure how classes will be; I get the feeling they won’t be as fun as these were. I’m not really looking forward to any of them particularly actually; they’re all alright, but not extremely exciting. I am going to try to get into Social Dance though (at Bonnie -and- Juliann -and- Yang’s urging), so that might be a lot of fun, if the introvert in me is able to handle it. Janice, Juliann, -and- Bonnie are going to be abroad next quarter, so that’s really going to be a bummer to have to spend the next few months without seeing them, but at the same time Kelley will be back from Berlin finally, so I’m really looking forward to seeing her again =D
phew. Okay, so I think I’ve gone on for looooooong enough, but before I end I think I should probably do some shoutouts to some people who have made this past quarter fantastic for me:
Amyy! my 언니~ You know, I really did feel like you were sort of an older sister to me this quarter…so I want to thank you for being so warm and kind and hearing me out as I was dealing with some of my issues this quarter. And thanks for letting me hang out in your room so often–it really does make me happy to be able to just have company like that, so I value that time spent together even if we’re not actually doing anything terribly exciting.
Thanks for always coming to visit meeee!~ If it weren’t for you I’d really have to go and camp out in Kimball out of loneliness xD You’re a really good friend, and I’m sorry if it seems like I don’t appreciate you as much as some other people–but you actually do mean a lot to me and you have helped me this quarter too~ And it’s always nice to have a buddy to go grab late night with xDDD
Bonnieeee!!~~ *tear* I’m really sorry I didn’t stop by to visit more often (only like twice or something?), it was totally my fault. But, it was definitely very enjoyable to meet you for lunch and dinner those few times here and there =D I’m glad you said it seems like I am opening up more; I think when I’m with you I still sometimes get into the state of second-guessing myself and not necessarily saying everything that pops into my mind, so I will try to work on that in the future. =)
To be honest I don’t know how I ended up opening up to you, but thanks for being yet another person I can talk to about some of the things going on in my life, despite how little else you may know about me ^^;. And, hooray on finally getting SS2 to work >_>
Debbie! I only saw you like…once or twice this quarter T_T…but, you’re one of the only people who actually IMs me randomly, and it always makes me happy! ^^
I feel like I didn’t write you at all this quarter, so I totally apologize for that >_<…but, we did have some very nice conversations over phone; and it definitely makes me feel happy knowing that we are still close after all these years…I have definitely had friendships that I have not been able to sustain this long despite my best efforts, so it means a lot to me that I'm still able to feel like you're one of my "inside friends". I can't wait to see you again this week! ^^
Janice, your hair is amazing. <3~ I will definitely definitely miss it next quarter…but I think I might end up missing you more! (which is saying a LOT…) You're really fun to hang around; I think somehow you inspired me to start using "your -face- is ____", which is totally awesome. *hugs*
Ahhhh Juliann! How can I ever thank you enough? You truly changed my life this quarter and I don’t know where I would be without you. I must thank you for being there for me when I needed it most; and taking time out of your busy schedule to spend some time with me. I will do my best to continue growing this next quarter, and hopefully I will make you proud when you come back in the Fall and see me again. =) I hope you have an amazing time in France!
I love you~ I am sooo going to miss hugging you and pouring all of my love into you; it makes me smile everytime. You are the perfect size for hugging too! <3~
Kellleyyy~ I’m really glad you’re going to be back for Spring quarter; it totally gives me something to look forward to. =] I will definitely try and hang out with you more this quarter *shakes fist*…but thanks for actually still being available through IM this past quarter–it makes me happy to know that we can still stay in touch despite you being so far away. ^^
Thanks for taking me shoppingg!~ Yayyyyyy ^^ And, thanks for giving me something else to do during class/while I’m hanging out in someone else’s room, after I finished my own jar of paper stars =P
My route through Kimball started feeling more…ah…substantial once I started stopping by your room too ^^; Perhaps I will hang out some more next quarter~
“Meeting” you through formspring has been pretty awesome; it’s almost as if I’m writing letters to you, only it’s much less of a one-way thing because I’m responding to your questions, so I know you’re actually interested in the answers ^^; And the other way around too!
Yanggg!!~~ Even though it’s partly because we both suck at exercising self-restraint, the time you spend with me really means a lot to me and makes me feel cared for. And it’s a very nice feeling to have someone that knows so much about me (I guess partly because I’m narcissistic/egotistical xD). And I find it amazing how we can find so many different interesting things to learn about each other ^^
Okay okay, don’t feel bad if you weren’t included; I really really really need to get to bed now =X and this post is well over 4,000 words now xD