Fall Quarter in Review (2010)

Link to the last one:

So, I guess I delayed this post until the end of Winter Break, so this’ll be both a quarter in review post and a Winter Break in review post.

So, this quarter was the first quarter of Senior year, and…well, it’s actually been a longer quarter than normal, because of staff training!

Staff training was…well, very tiring, but a great start to the year! I bonded with a lot of the staff members during staff training…but ironically enough, I felt like a good amount of the bonding was done outside of when we actually did outings and activities. I don’t remember it that well, but I’m sure I probably spent a good amount of time just hanging out in Ellen or Juliann’s room during our off time.

But staff training was probably…the hardest week to get through, physically and mentally. There was just a lot of stuff to do–I think it was basically just the fact that we had a lot of scheduled activities and outings and those ended up tiring me out a lot. Compared to that, finals week and dead week were a piece of cake!

I guess “mentally” might not have been the right word. More like it was tiring “socially”. I’ve become even more aware of my introversion this year (especially after certain situations last year where I got into “trouble” because of it), and during these staff trainings I sometimes just felt like I was totally exhausted, socially.

But I managed to get through it okay…and how couldn’t I? After all, I had the most wonderful people around with me! And that’s probably the de facto “theme” for this quarter–it was amazing, and full of love, and my entire quarter revolved around spending time with the amazing staff members who surrounded me.

As for classes, I had CS144, CS242, Social Dance 2, Japanese 1, and Sound Recording.
I…didn’t go to the CS classes, as usual…despite David being in 144 and Natalie being in 242. I did go a few times (sometimes as a girl (more on that later)), but for the most part just watched the lectures on SCPD. I’m still getting worse at paying attention to SCPD lectures…argh. Anyhow, neither of the 2 CS classes were particularly bad, except for a few isolated cases. They were pretty much your standard run-of-the-mill “solid” CS classes. CS144 wasn’t a partner class so I didn’t get to work with David, which was blah. But the assignments were okay. I tried to code more nicely this quarter, because I’m really starting to value code niceness as a programmer.

Sound Recording was a class that I went to each week (thank goodness it was only once a week, though it was 2 hours each time), but only because BenZhen was there (though she started ditching towards the end of the quarter, haha), and to get some letter-writing (sometimes some coding or other stuff) done. I ended up…not really learning much in that class at all. Which is partly due to the teaching style, but partly due to me just not bothering to try. I could have taken the final on the first day of class and done…well, not as good, but almost just as well. Oh well.

Social Dance was great fun, though not quite as fun as Social Dance 1. I guess it was fun in a different way…not fun because it was all new and exciting and because “my girl side was coming out to play”, but fun because we could just worry about dancing and not have to worry about people not really getting the basic step. There were still good dancers and bad dancers, but it was more about there being “fun” dancers and “not fun” dancers. There were a few “not fun” dancers, but it ended up being alright.

This quarter was also the first quarter I decided to start going to Jammix. After all, I was in Social Dance 2 now, so I felt more confident in my dancing abilities, and could dance to pretty much all of the music that they played (though…like a lot of other people, I’ve forgotten most of what we learned about salsa, chacha, and tango, so i sat most of those out). So that was fun. I had a lot of fun just playing around and “doing whatever” while dancing at Jammix–though only with the “fun dancers”, of course.

Then there was Japanese class, which now probably tops CS107 -and- Social Dance 1 as the best class I’ve ever taken at Stanford. Never have I gotten so involved in a class…now, I always went to Social Dance 1 and loved it, and even though I never went to CS107 I always watched all of the lectures and paid detailed attention–even rewatching parts, to glean every single bit of complicated behind-the-scenes knowledge about how C worked. But for Japanese class I went further–not only did I go to class every day, and not only did I study for each quiz and test, but I made my own Kanji flashcards that I would study (sometimes even in class) so I could learn all of the useful Kanji that they weren’t teaching us in class, and I even started going in to office hours every week, to get extra practice and to chat with our senseis. And in that way I met the first teachers at Stanford who I also thought of as friends (we’re friends on FB too =P).

So that does it for classes. And so far, we’ve got awesome staff friends, and Japanese as the central focuses (focii?) for this quarter. But there’s another one too! I became much more acquainted with my girl side this quarter. I won’t disclose all of the details here, but I was “my girl self” quite often this quarter, and it was a new experience that was both exciting, yet also satisfying in a way that just felt…right.

There’s also the fact that I was RCC, but quite honestly, being a staff member didn’t really change my experience this quarter that much aside from the important thing of making me a part of the staff community–one that I treasure very much.

Speaking of community, this quarter also marked a time where I began to feel closer to my sister-in-law. And moving forward to Winter break, I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out with her and my brother…and their cute dog Coco. =) And it’s great to finally have that semblance of family again…

As for what else I’ve done this break…well, I managed to see the people I wanted to see, and deliver all of my presents. By the way, I also spent my New Year’s Eve watching the Nanoha Movie, which was really really awesome =D. I also managed to get to level 500 twice in TGM2+’s “death mode”, and I did a lot of work on a new coding project I started, which is looking to be very promising. Speaking of which–I also completed the project I did for my internship, and there’s stuff to be said about that, but i won’t because I don’t want to put too much work stuff here.

As for what’s to come for next quarter? Well…for classes, I’ve got essentially the exact same lineup. I’ve got 2 CS classes, japanese, sound recording, and social dance. So…pretty much the exact same thing. I think I have a CS class where I get to work together with David this time though, so that’s fun. And also, Social Dance will be a lot more…interesting, as I’m retaking Social 1 as a follow. We’ll see if I follow through with that (I probably will, but it’ll also take a certain amount of courage).

And as for what happened to me as a person…well, this quarter I really, really, truly found love. Not love as a romantic relationship, but love as in I feel loved. And even though I still ran into “trouble” a few times over the course of the quarter, I’ve gotten much, much better at winning those battles, and getting help when I need it. I’m very lucky to have people who can offer me such amazing help around me.

But for next quarter…well, I still need to continue the trend of being good at realizing when I’m in trouble and asking other people for help. But at the same time, I need to focus on becoming “stronger”. This past quarter, and last Spring, I learned how to be “weak”–I learned how to stop holding in all of my troubles and sorrows and become vulnerable and ask other people for help. But this coming Winter, for 2011, I want to learn how to be strong again. Not strong as in pushing everything inside of myself, but strong as in being confident about expressing myself. Kristina calls it “being a big girl”–I want to be able to realize when something is bothering me, and then say so. In mundane terms, you could probably call it complaining more. Though of course, it’s important to strike a good balance–I still want to be the “soft” person that I always am, because that’s a very important characteristic of mine that makes me who I am, and I would never give that up, because it’s one of the most important parts of what makes me “Timm[ie]”.

I sometimes do long shoutouts at the end of these, but this post is already quite long, and it’s…well, quite late as I’m writing this (though I don’t have internet access at the moment so I’ll be posting this later). So I’ll do very short ones.

Andrea – For still being my friend, even if we’re separated by a silly distance.
BenZhen – For being the only reason for me to go to Sound Recording class.
Brenda – For helping me when I was in trouble.
Ellen – For being my mommy and for being the easiest person for me to hang out with, and for always letting me play with your hair~<3.
Janice – For being so incredibly good at helping me with my problems.
Juliann – For being my angel.
Patricia – For being my beloved nee-san.
Yang – For being my Japanese buddy.

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