Spring Quarter in Review (2011)

Link to the last one: http://ddrkirbyisq.xanga.com/744383190/winter-quarter-in-review-2010-2011/

Well…yeah. Another quarter. But…hardly just another quarter. Far from it in fact…this was one of the biggest quarters ever. I don’t know if I should say it was the best quarter ever, as Fall quarter involved awesome staff bonding time and Winter quarter…well, I love the Winter. But if it wasn’t better, then it was at least on par.

If last quarter’s theme was making a second home (for the second year in a row) at Okada, then this quarter’s theme was…well, I can’t really summarize it very succintly. But it was very fitting for a Spring quarter of Senior year. Despite the fact that I’m not graduating, this still felt like the quarter where everything just came together.

But first off, classes. This quarter’s lineup was CS155 (Security), CS315A (Parallel Stuff), 1st year Japanese (3rd quarter), Social Dance 2, History of Social Dance, and Music192C (Session Recording). CS155 was basically a “standard fare” CS class. I didn’t really go to class that much (I need my sleep!!!), but I did watch all the lectures like always…though, as is the trend, I’m paying less and less attention. It helped that I had Jesse as a partner, so we sort of offloaded work onto each other/helped each other when we were stuck. CS315A was a different sort of beast as the assignments were a lot more involved and took a lot longer, especially the last one which was a research project. I had David as a partner, which helped, but it still involved way more work than I would have liked, especially during -this- quarter–a quarter when I had a lot of other things I would rather be doing. Things aren’t like they were last year when I just bunches of extra time on my hands, so I was definitely feeling it when I had to spend late nights on CS315A stuff and was pounding my fists not because I was tired and sleepy and frustrated (okay, sometimes I was), but because I knew I was dropping other things in order to get it done, and that bothered me. But I ended up alright, and I’m sure bunches of other people were busy with thesise–er…theses? And other stuff like that. So it was okay.

Japanese was similar to last quarter, albeit with just…a little more stuff. Not really the same jump from Fall to Winter quarter, but still a slight jump. I started using Anki to memorize Kanji, which helped a lot, and I was actually still on top of most everything until the end of the quarter when I started to slip up. I actually didn’t study at all for the final or kanji final (okay I studied like 15 minutes for the kanji final maybe) but I ended up doing still good enough. No A+, unfortunately, but it’s okay. But I definitely need to work on my Japanese a little over the Summer, otherwise 2nd-year is totally going to catch me unprepared. And I want to do a good job for Kubo-sensei too!

MUSIC192C was uh…well, you know how 192B was less work than 192A? Well, 192C was literally no work at all. Literally. No lecture, I couldn’t make the seminar that the professor gave because I was busy for OHC at that time, and the only thing I submitted for a grade was some OHC entries that I was doing -already-. Yeah.

(update: just checked on axess and I got straight As, yay!)

Which brings us to Social Dance. Well, this quarter was me starting a more…a more -mature- phase of my Social Dance career. Near the beginning of the quarter, I was essentially plunging right in–I let myself be roped into History of Social Dance (I don’t regret it), and I was taking Social 2 for the second time, this time as…well, both a lead and follow, since I just decided to switch back and forth. And near the beginning of the quarter I was even going to dancebreak…and of course, this was also the quarter when I started going to Friday Night Waltz! This quarter has definitely been a big one for me as far as Social Dance goes, and I’ve already written about a lot of it in the past, so I won’t go on about it for -too- long, but yeah, I’ve definitely matured.

As a follow, I finally got that element of -style- that made following 10 times more fun for me–especially when I’m dancing with leads who don’t know many variations. And I see now the deep intricacies of following and I’ve begun to see the world of advanced following and what exactly it even -means- to be a really skilled follow. It’s not just executing the basic steps well (though in the beginning, yes, that’s definitely what separates the good ones from the “eh” ones), but it’s something more that I don’t quite have a handle on, and that I’ll only be able to get through experience and practice, since it’s so…so indescribable, and so abstract. It’s not concrete at all!

And as a lead, I’ve been constantly battling this battle against my sort of inferiority complex and my high standards for myself. I felt outclassed and outskilled, and so I definitely put that classic Timm[ie] drive towards fixing that and took real concrete steps towards becoming a better lead. It worked too! I’m still suffering from that syndrome at times, but I definitely feel a lot better, and…well, I think the follows that I dance with probably agree too. I still plateau from time to time, but I’m still making forward progress, and I’m proud of it. I think I’ll always have some sort of self-confidence issues just because of my personality, but it’s not a losing battle by any means.

And there was big dance! Unjammix! And regular jammixes…April Fools day at Friday Night Waltz…learning aerials with Swingtime…all sorts of dance events went on during the quarter. (you’ll have to forgive me if I’m accidentally lumping some Winter quarter stuff in with this) And I’m proud to say that I’ve stuck with it, perhaps more than some other people who I’ve seen. Heck, I even made it out to FNW during graduation weekend! So yes, I’m definitely going to be continuing along with Social Dancing…probably making it out to FNW during the Summer too!

As for my other hobbies…I’m still going along strong with OHC, though I haven’t done anything else music-wise, really. I didn’t really make much progress coding-wise, either…unfortunately, I did become more busy. Letter-writing, I feel like I’ve slowed down on, but definitely not stopped. I’m still going strong with birthday letters, but I feel like I haven’t been writing many other letters, besides to maybe Kiki and my sister. I wrote a lot of small notes to Kiki, and some emails as well–the small notes were good, since they didn’t take too long but I’m sure they made her smile anyways. =) Fanime! How could I forget about that? Fanime was rushed and too-busy, but still fun and I got some really nice loot.

Emotionally…I feel like I’ve been roughly the same as last year, though perhaps slightly farther along. I feel like I’m very, very, very settled down into my issues and lifestyle and so I’m very used to…maybe even “strong about” the way that I do things. I’ve acknowledged exquisitely how introverted I am and what that means about the way I live my life and the way I interact with other people. Pleasantly, I’ve also gotten better at asking others for help when I need it. I was even able to ask someone who I hadn’t opened up to before for help and didn’t have too much trouble getting things out. That doesn’t mean that everything is fixed though–I still have issues every once in a while, just like before, and that caused me trouble from time to time, especially near the end of the quarter. But I’m definitely ready to move forwards from that. I’m ready to start changing even more.

As for friends…I really felt like I narrowed things down this past quarter. I thought first and foremost of Kiki and my sister, and…to be honest, that was basically it. Yes, I still visited some other people, and still wrote some letters, and IMed people, and of course there was social dance to bring me together with the dancing group of people, but really, it was them two that I spent the most time with and time on. And that’s not a bad thing at all, as these are the two most meaningful relationships that I have.

And then before we all knew it, graduation was upon us and the school year ended in a flash. I’ve already posted how -that- all felt, so I won’t repeat that here. But despite the fact that I’m not graduating, and despite the fact that Kiki and my sister are still here this Summer, this -does- mark a new chapter in my life story. I’m not an undergrad anymore, and although that means nothing different as far as classes go, that means I’m going to be living up in Munger, which means a really, really nice room, but also no undergrad dorm to hang out in…unless I decide to go find a second home for the third year in a row (which might be a possibility). And I feel more grown up, that’s for sure. I’m still a college student, but I’m older. Definitely older, and ready for some changes. Not huge sweeping instantaneous changes, but I’m definitely ready for a new chapter.

How do things look for me going into the near future? Well, this Summer should be good, but I still have to get past that “adjustment bump” that always stands in the way of the enjoyment of every new quarter. I’ve got my internship at Google and I think there are various things that will determine how well that goes. First is the people, and second is the work. People meaning I want to be able to make actual friends there (sounds simple, but it’s really more difficult than you might think), and work meaning I want to feel good about the job I’m doing–something which hasn’t always happened in the past. I can do small, small things to help both of them–for people, there’s all the little things that help me meet people, and as for work…well, I can try to not be afraid to ask for help. That’s something I need to learn for life anyways, so I might as well extend it to the workplace.

I think that’s all I have to say about Spring quarter, really. Nothing huge happened, but it was just me enjoying my time with the parts of my life that have settled in and become mature–social dance, hanging out, and most importantly, spending time with Kiki and my sister.

I don’t always do this every quarter, but I think especially this quarter I should do special shoutouts to everyone. So, in no real particular order, here we go with the shoutouts!

Okano-sensei, Yasumoto-sensei, Miao-sensei:
今学期日本語を教えてくださってありがとうございました。オフィスアワーに毎週行って、いろいろな面白いことについて話して、たくさん日本語を習いました。全部は先生たちのおかげでした。本当に楽しかったですね。来年も先生たちに会いたくて、日本語がもっと、もっと上手になりたいです。だから、頑張リます!

Yang:
We didn’t get to be in the same section this year, which was sad, but I’m glad we still got to connect with each other that one night. I always like having those kinds of conversations with you–they make me stop and think and reflect (not that I don’t always do that already) and it’s interesting to try and explain myself to someone who knows me but doesn’t understand the intricacies of my ways of thinking.

Juliann:
Well, what can I say? This quarter marked a period of time when we were so in tune with each other that we hardly needed to speak in order to understand each other’s thoughts and feelings. I’ll never forget the time when we just sat together crying our hearts out and melting together from the emotion of it all, or all the times we looked straight into each other’s eyes, peering deep into each other’s souls, or the one and only time I danced with you. You’re indispensable, irreplaceable to me, and what’s more–I know that I’m just the same to you. You’ve helped me a lot over the past years, and it brings me a special sort of happiness to know that I play a special role in your life that no one else can have–just because I’m me, and you need me. And the confidence that I have in our relationship is a source of security for me…I’m warmed deeply by the fact that I don’t need to hold on to dear life to the threads that tie us together because they are magical threads–angelic, transcendent threads. I know you’ll be in a faraway place next year, but I hope I can still help you–if not directly, then through the shooting stars that I will be sending across the ocean to you…and if not through those, then through our link as twin angels.

Andrea:
I’m glad we still got to hang out this quarter, and I hope you’re proud of me that I’m not eternally depressed and lonely like I was last year. I’ve come a long way and it makes me happy to know that someone has been there to watch over me and get my back through it all. Oh, and thanks a million for trimming my bangs, hahaha xD

Yii Wen:
What a unique person in my life…no one has ever played the same role as you have, ever. Someone who encourages me, teases me, laughs with me, makes me turn red…I’ve never had any other friend who really brings out this side in me before, and it’s been really enjoyable to be…how shall I say it…to be brought back out into the foreground instead of hiding back behind covers. Yes…your beautiful hair has probably provided me with hours of happiness, but you’ve changed my life in other ways than that too. Despite both being seniors, you really do feel like an older sister, and everything feels so much more mature when I’m in your world. I hope I can continue to learn from your example~

Russ, Derek, Ech, Kotaro, Tiphanie, Alex K, Ray, Sean:
Fanime this year felt like it caught everyone at a bad time (no event schedule on the brochures, even!?), but it was still fun…thanks for being my Fanime buddies! I definitely wouldn’t have had as much fun without you guys. And, thanks Kotaro for encouraging me through my Touhou plays. ^^;

Newton:
We gotta play more SSBM soon. Also I’m gonna have Super Spring Break Meetup videos up soon, hopefully. Keep it up with the sticking!

Isabelle:
I’m glad I became friends with you and opened up to you–it was one of the pleasant surprises of the quarter, though I guess it wasn’t quite all that surprising after all. Hope to see you next year, and thanks for all of those crazy dances where it’s completely ambiguous who’s leading xD

Alex Q:
Thanks for leading me through aerials (yes!) and being my partner for some really fun dances…WuSchottische, Rock-Paper-Scissors Polka, waltzing around with swords and fans, and all sorts of other ridiculousness.

Ellen:
Ellen!~ Sorry I didn’t hang out in your room very often this quarter–I was over at Okada a lot of the time =(. Hopefully your hair doesn’t miss my attention too much…anyways, take care and hope you have good times in your future! Look forward to letters from me sometime too~

Kat, Janice, Brenda:
I know I didn’t stop by quite as often this quarter, but it was still fun to just come and say hi every once in a while~ You guys definitely made a big difference in what it felt like to live in Kimball this year compared to two years ago when I didn’t feel like I quite belonged or fit in. We didn’t have any epic adventures or epiphanies together, but all those little things and short times spent together mattered a lot to me, so thank you!~

Amy:
Hey there! I know we only ever chatted once during the quarter, but it was still really great to catch up and hear from a kind soul that I still have fond memories with from last year =)

Kelley:
Kelley! You’re finally done! I know you’re really happy to finally be at the end of this road, so congrats =). I know we don’t hang out on a regular basis or anything, but I still appreciated your friendship and I knew you cared about me anyways. Take care of yourself!

Michelle, Jackie:
Hooray for random IM chats about random things! I’m happy to still have at least a couple of IM buddies since it seems so hard to chat with people online nowadays–at least, compared to how things used to be.

BenZhen:
BenZhen~ I’m sorry I didn’t help you out as much this quarter. I’m kind of unsure what to do with you sometimes, to be honest. But I hope you continue to be strong, and reflect critically upon yourself like you always do. I hope to be able to shoot you some more stars in the future~

Arie, Tiffany, Junichi:
Yay for Okada people! Even though we weren’t always chatting to each other and it’s not like we saw each other daily at meals or anything, you guys still played a role in my half-integration into Okada and I appreciate how I was able to feel so at home there because of it.

Jane, Gerentt, Lewis, Sophia, Kat, Danya:
Yeah Social Dance! Thanks for the great times and dances this quarter–Lewis you totally made me swoon at multiple points and Gerentt, it’s always nice getting to chat with you. And Jane, it’s awesome getting to play follow to a girl lead! Danya you were the best accelerating waltz partner ever, and Sophia and Kat you guys totally made History of Dance more fun! Here’s to more great times in the future…

And I’m sure there are others of you who I missed–sorry!

But yes, as I reach the end of my senior year of college, I can’t help but try and reflect and draw parallels and remark on contrasts between me and my high school self. After all, senior year of high school was also a busy time, and one when I was more mature than my junior year self–I had a stronger sense of self and was very accustomed to my own way of doing things. And yes, moreover, we should turn the clock back and look upon marching band, that one activity that encompassed my life back then, and see how things measure up.

You see, back then, band gave my life a new sort of meaning–it was something I sunk endless hours into, and even more energy into–both mental and emotional (and physical too). And at Stanford? Well…there really isn’t anything that parallels that. Rather, it’s been a bunch of things that are like little miniature versions of it. Social Dance…being on Kimball staff…anime conventions…all of these things hold that same sort of passion, unity, and meaning that marching band did, but to a lesser extent.

So does that mean college didn’t live up to the epic awesomeness that was high school? Can we finally put that 4-years-old question to rest and say that yes, nothing really beat high school? Well, no, not at all. Because college -was- more meaningful. It was more meaningful at home, and at heart. Yes, I didn’t have an activity that was nearly as passionate and all-encompassing, but college more than made up for it in the most important activity of all–life. High school gave me tastes of that too, but nothing, -nothing- in comparison to what I’ve gone through in the past few years. The experiences I’ve had aren’t as “epic” as that time during the wee hours of the morning when I walked to school and did basics out on that trusty FHS field and marched the field show by myself…but they’ve been more meaningful. I’ve learned to cry again, I’ve learned to look into someone’s eyes, I’ve learned to love and to not love and to love purely, I’ve learned to crumple up into a ball and show my weakness, I’ve learned to be sassy and snarky…

Yes. I waited a hell of a long time, but having those mediocre–at times despairing–periods of time a year or two back have finally all paid off.

It’s been awesome.

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2 thoughts on “Spring Quarter in Review (2011)

  1. math4origami

    For me, high school was all about Gunn Robotics Team (FIRST robotics), which took crazy amounts of time every day, and then going to competitions for a few times. I would also say that college also hasn’t had anything that required the same commitment, time, or gave the same reward as that, yet. I think it could be that in high school you don’t need to worry about as many things, and you can just put all your time into one project. I think in college, you have to worry about many other commitments and can’t devote yourself to a single project as much. Probably in grad school you’ll have more time, maybe. But, then again, all the other stuff, with the classes and dancing and stuff, I think it has all been more rewarding than the high school counterparts. I feel (some of) the college projects I’ve worked on have been really awesome, and I felt was time well spent. On the other hand, I didn’t feel that as much with high school classes. *Sigh* Now I’m feeling old.

  2. DDRKirbyISQ

    @math4origami – Haha, old? Nah. We’re not old. Or maybe that’s just me–I’ve never really felt old because I hung out with older people in high school, and because my brother’s 9 years older…plus just because of my tendency to want to exhibit a “weak” persona (though it used to be the opposite near the end of high school). Interestingly enough, when I turned 20 I was like meh, I’m still really young, but when my brother turned 30 I was like holy shit we’re old, hahaha.I think in college you still have the opportunity to commit yourself to things at least -almost- as much. Maybe not -quite- as much, but just think of things like taiko that suck up basically all of your time and prevent you from doing anything else. Actually I hear that there were some marching band people who came to Stanford and joined taiko because for them it was the closest thing to MB that existed at Stanford (stanford band = uhhhhhhhlololol).When you speak about classes, college classes for me have mostly been less work (!), more freedom (yay ditching class), a little less paying attention (but then again, I didn’t pay that much attention in high school either, depending on the class), and definitely less goofing off, which means less socializing and bonding with classmates. High school classes were more meaningful. In terms of actual learning, they’ve both been…well, not that great, haha.But even though you don’t get to socialize with your peers during classes in the same way, you get to LIVE with them instead. And for better or for worse (worse because it shows just how lacking we are in our ability to retain meaningful relationships without “circumstantial support”), being able to have the company of your friends within walking distance changes everything.

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