M.A. Year One: Second Semester – Reading List (SPRING 2019)

POLS 673 – The Future of Political Systems

A Thousand Plateaus – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari
Chapter 12: Treatise on Nomadology – The War Machine
Chapter 11: Of the Refrain
Chapter 13: Apparatus of Capture
Foams: Spheres III – Peter Sloterdijk
Manhunts: A Philosophical History – Grégoire Chamayou
Necropolitics – Achille Mbembe
Life: A Critical User’s Manual – Didier Fassin
The Original Accident – Paul Virilio
Ontopower: War, Powers, and the State of Perception – Brian Massumi
The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability – Jasbir Puar
Carceral Capitalism – Jackie Wang
Introduction to Civil War – Tiqqun

POLS 710 – Graduate Seminar on Political Theory (Films)

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
Hidden Figures (2016)
Mephisto (1981)
The Flowers of War (2011)

PHIL 720 – Graduate Seminar on Hume

A Treatise on Human Nature – David Hume
Book I
Book II
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals – David Hume
A Progress of Sentiments: Reflections on Hume’s Treatise – Annette Baier
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion – David Hume

Not required, but used for research:

In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History – Mitch Landrieu
No Name in the Street – James Baldwin
The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin
“The Rising Anxiety of White America” – Michele Norris

Reading Group:

The Critique of the Power of Judgment – Immanuel Kant

The Chestnut Casts His Flambeaux

The chestnut casts his flambeaux and the flowers
stream from the Hawthorn on the wind away,
The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers.
Pass me the can, lad; there’s an end of May.

There’s one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot,
One season ruined of your little store.
May will be fine next year as like as not:
Oh ay, but then we shall be twenty-four.

We for a certainty are not the first
Have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled
Their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed
Whatever brute and blackguard made the world.

It is in truth iniquity on high
To cheat our sentenced souls of aught they crave,
And mar the merriment as you and I
Fare on our long fool’s-errand to the grave.

Iniquity it is; but pass the can.
My lad, no pair of kings our mothers bore;
Our only portion is the estate of man:
We want the moon, but we shall get no more.

If here to-day the cloud of thunder lours
To-morrow it will hie on far behests;
The flesh will grieve on other bones than ours
Soon, and the soul will mourn in other breasts.

The troubles of our proud and angry dust
are from eternity and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.

– A. E. Housman

03.31.19 // update

I know I said I’d keep up with these updates, but to be quite honest, I’m getting a little bored. And if I’m getting bored, I’m sure you are too. So…here’s to the last monthly update (at least in this format) and my return to the drawing board. I appreciate all the folks who stuck around. 😉

During the month of March, I continued my “soul search” though not as intensely or as disparagingly as I did in February. I think I’ve made a little progress on that front. Here are some things I learned: 1) constant reflection adds to my anxiety 2) focus on the now, stop worrying about the future 3) don’t let the fear of failure determine your decisions. These are tips everyone’s heard before, though it’s strange how easy we forget or how they take on a new meaning at different points in our lives.

I went back to Maui for spring break, which was a nice break from O’ahu. I didn’t get much done in the way of academic work since I worked at that deli I mentioned sometime last year. Sadly, the Starbucks located across the street from this deli closed down. Not that I care that the global franchise has one less store (please), but I’m sad because this one was special. After work, we’d always go there to get coffee and hang out. The workers knew our names and we’ve grown quite attached to them. I love to see the familiarity that has built up between the members of this particular community and I often saw it here, at Starbucks. But, no more. In other news, I had to find somewhere else to get my coffee — because lemme tell you, ya girl needs her coffee like a fish needs her water. Perhaps it isn’t the healthiest relationship…but it’s still true doe. (*shrug) Anyway…I learned from one of the parking attendants, that it turns out, there’s a coffee truck (?) nearby. Just in case you’re confused, it’s literally like a food truck, except they serve coffee. And OMG, this place has some of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. It’s SO freaking GOOD. The “truck” is a bright cherry red volkswagen mini-van and they make their own syrups (the rosemary one’s my fave <3); I really don’t think you can get any more hipster, to be honest. They also serve their iced drinks in mason jars to reduce plastic use (*bonus points) and whenever you use the jar there they give you a dollar off your drink (I think…might wanna check that amount). Not only are the ladies who work here gorgeous, but they’re also really nice. And if the suspense hasn’t killed you by now, I’ll you what they’re called — “Aloha Kacoffeeaka.” Isn’t that adorably clever? Honestly, if I lived on Maui I’d get coffee from there everyday.

Shortly after my trip to Maui I went to Hilo to, you guessed it, be with my boyfriend. We ate at all my favorite places and drove out to Waimea, where my boyfriend bought me a rock (no, not that kind 😉 ) — bismuth. It’s an element – Bi, atomic number 83, and it is definitely one of the coolest things I own. I don’t do metaphysical meditations, but the lady who works there said that another woman, a customer, who has experience meditating with this element uses it to help her channel all the different chakras (because it’s multi-colored) and understand the structure of the universe (because the element itself occurs in a very “structured” way). I thought that was a nice sentiment. I’ve actually discovered a newfound appreciation for rocks, especially ones that more discernibly exhibit motion, when they’re in media res. They’re different aspects of the earth’s history, different points in time in different places occurring for different reasons, but that are all equally constitutive of and constituted by the earth. They remind me of snapshots of people doing things — jumping, swimming, singing, creating. It’s like if the earth was a child and it had a proud parent who was like, “And this is my kid here erupting lava and then cooling into basalt.” And thinking about the different processes that a particular rock had to undergo to become what it is at that moment and how very similar that is to people. Basically, I think rocks are really cool and the idea of them has given me a lot to think about.

I believe that’s all that happened during the month of March. I did finish a few books: No Name in the Street – James Baldwin, Iphigenia at Aulis – Euripides, Oresteia – Aeschylus, The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin (reread), and Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare. I wouldn’t expect a review on these anytime soon, if ever. Hopefully you can expect a slight revamping of this blog though.

Until then.
a

i.e., 6:37am bedroom views — wtf

02.28.19 // update

A few cool things happened during February.

I celebrated Chinese New Year with my family that lives on O’ahu. There were a few dishes that are traditionally made for this occasion, Chinese New Year mochi, and jasmine tea with candied fruit ( <— that was my favorite).

I saw this incredible talk given by one of the raddest guys I’ve ever met and watching him reminded me of why I decided to stay in academia. Subsequently, I bought one of his books (Every Twelve Seconds by Timothy Pachirat). I have not read it yet, but am definitely looking forward to it. Just for some context, Every Twelve Seconds is about Tim’s time working undercover at a slaughterhouse somewhere in America.

After his presentation, some of us went down to Waikīkī; the academics talked while I played in the sand. 🙂

I also went to Hilo to visit my boyfriend for our anniversary and Valentine’s Day. We stayed at this darling inn in Waimea, which I absolutely loved. I spent the afternoon outside in the sun on a hill (which is part of the property) reading Hume (A Treatise) — it was quite the idyllic scene. Later that night, I had a bath in their jetted bathtub; I think the only other time I’ve seen more bubbles was at a foam party. We had a wonderful time and look forward to staying there again.

Later this month, I went to Bluetree Café for the first time. It’s a vegan coffee and juice bar. I tried the Bluetree Latté; it was okay. I personally don’t like almond (or coconut milk) anywhere near my coffee regardless of whether it’s homemade, but I do like to try café specialties without any modifications just so I can get a kind of “unfiltered” impression of their products. It has a pretty cool vibe. I sat outside just because it was such a sunny day. I read some Sloterdijk (Foams) there and was surprisingly relatively productive. There’s also a slight view of the mountains a bit off in the distance, which is nice to look up to in between slouching over a book for a few hours.

We started reading Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment for my reading group, which has been nothing but frustrating. And I finally finished the Odyssey. I do have some thoughts; I’m too lazy to talk about them here. Maybe later. You’re also more than welcome to ask me if you’re really curious.

Unfortunately, I hit a bit of a depression and self-doubt slump this month. My feelings about school have been mixed lately; it’s partly because of the way the educational system is set up and mostly because I don’t like living in Honolulu. I was able to snap out of it relatively quickly I think.

Because I’m not so confident in myself anymore I need to learn how to deal with all of this uncertainty and second-guessing. I’m also secretly worried that I’m going to faint in public again, which naturally only contributes to my anxiety (which is also something I didn’t have before).

I still don’t feel like I’ve got my life together. I kind of think I should just stop mentioning it because that’s basically how every post has ended since last year. I’m sure you folks are tired of hearing about how I’m a mess, but I’m trying, blah blah blah.

As I mentioned last month, I kind of started doing yoga and eating less meat. But, I’m just not consistent about it, and I think that until I am, I haven’t really accomplished anything. Sadly, I don’t really meditate anymore. And I’ve also been watching A LOT of YouTube. I also haven’t made much time, if any, to go to the gym. Anyway, at this point, I really don’t know when I’m going to get my life together and I kind of gave up on trying. So, I suppose we can expect no improvements next month. Cheers.

Until then.
a

outsidebluetree_akatheonlypicitookinfeb-ripmylife.jpg

01.31.19 // update

Hiya 🙂 So, I decided to continue with these monthly updates because recently one night I read some of them from last year, and I felt grateful to have recorded what I did and what I thought and how I was feeling because otherwise, I don’t think I would have remembered. So, here’s to memories. 🙂

Let’s see…so I spent the New Year in Hilo, which I think I mentioned in my last update post. And I had new year mochi soup for the first time, which my boyfriend’s mom made. I am Japanese, but we don’t make mochi soup in our house for the new year; though, we do fry mochi in kinako, which is definitely one of my favorite parts about New Year’s Day. And my family makes our own mochi (and by make I mean, wash the rice, cook it in this special cooker thing that pounds it too (I think?), and then roll it in flour and round it out into like disc-shapes; I’ve only done it once, lol). We make like a bunch of tiny alters with these mochi rounds to put in our homes with a tangerine on top. I’m not sure why we do this exactly. I must have asked when I was younger, but I don’t remember. I think a standard response to that question would be something like: “to keep the bad spirits out” or “for good luck.” Some Japanese traditions have been incorporated into Hawai’i local culture so around this time (like late December), it’s common to see sales for the kind of rice used to make mochi, as well as bamboo leaves and tangerines being sold in stores like Foodland or KTA. Anyway, I wasn’t able to have mochi with my family but I did fry up mochi for my boyfriend. Naturally, he loves it. How could one not, with all that sugar? Lol.

Then I had to go back to Honolulu, which I’m not at all happy about. I really wish UH Hilo had a graduate program for philosophy or political science, because Honolulu is just…not where I want to be. But it’s fine. I just keep telling myself, “two more years.”

I’m taking three classes and sitting in two this semester. I’m not sure why I’m doing this to myself, seeing as how I had some trouble last semester managing everything. But I just really like learning. And it’s only been a month, but in some ways I feel like it’s already been worth it. Again, we’re doing a lot of reading; so far we’ve been working on Deleuze and Guattari, Hume, Kant, and Derrida. The only one out of that bunch that I’m getting along with is Hume; the rest are just mental.

This month I (re)tried/am (re)trying a few things: gym, yoga, meditating, eating less meat, less instagram, youtube, netflix. You probably won’t remember, but last year I wrote a little about structure and how if you have like a routine or if you put more effort into organizing your time, you’ll be able to get a lot more done. And while it may be easy to arrive at that conclusion, actually doing it is of course, much, much harder. I try to work out some kind schedule for myself, but there’s always something throwing me off — like an assignment, the weather, or I just won’t be feeling it. I’m not sure if it’s me or if it’s my thyroid situation, but I’m definitely determined to figure out something that works for me, that will allow me to be more productive because I feel better about myself when I am.

I’m not complaining, just stating an observation, but weather in Hawai’i (specifically Honolulu, since that’s where I currently am) hasn’t been the greatest lately. It’s been really windy and rainy; it’s almost like before a storm hits. Not saying a storm is expected, just describing the weather. I read a story on the New York Times earlier today about how there are 20 deaths that are believed to be tied somehow to the cold weather in the US (windchills in Midwest, which are now spreading east) — storms in Hawai’i, fires in California, and now this arctic chill in the Midwest, all within the past year. People are dying, losing their homes, getting hurt, and it’s just so incredibly frustrating. I won’t get too into it because that’s not what this post is for, but regardless of whether you believe in global warming or not, I think we can all agree that we at least need to come up with better plans that can be sustained for longer periods of time for how to deal with dangerous climate conditions because this situation is definitely not letting up, much less improving. ANYWAY…

It was also my birthday this month. I went back to Hilo to be with my most favorite person in the whole entire world. ❤ We spent the day at the beach, where I got to relax on my floatie while he pushed me around or just watched me so I wouldn’t float away, ya know. 😉 We had dinner that night at Hilo Bay Cafe, which was delicious. After that we took a stroll around Lili’uokalani Gardens. Then we drove away to find somewhere to play pool. We finally settled at this place called “Coqui’s Hideaway”; it was so nice when we got there because the place was empty. Btw, neither of us won because we both suck at life. Lol. Jk, but actually no, I’m not. I think I’m probably slightly better at pool than he is but I kept scratching on the last ball so… We probably would have kept playing but other people wanted to play and we didn’t want to hog the table, so we played darts instead. Now, darts, I DEFINITELY suck at. Winning for me is just getting the dart onto the board, because drunk or not, I just can’t seem to hit the board or if I do hit the board my dart doesn’t stick. Idk why that happens, but it doesn’t really happen to other people so I’m going to say that it’s probably me. Anyway, after all that, I think we just went home, maybe watched “The Good Place.”

I think that’s all I have to say about this month. Hopefully by the end of February I’ll have figured out some way to at least get a semblance of my shit getting together. Lol.

Until then.
a

01.19.19 aka bday @ ice ponds (for like 20 min, just for lunch)

M.A. Year One: First Semester — Reading List (FALL 2018)

POLS 610 – Political Theory and Analysis

The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics – Mark Lilla
What is Populism? – Jan-Werner Müller
Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference – Dipesh Chakrabarty
The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism – David M. Kotz
Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations – Amy Chua
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress – Steven Pinker
Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice – Martha Nussbaum

POLS 660 – Public Law and Judicial Systems (Introduction to Sociolegal Scholarship)

The Law is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons – Colin Dayan
Persons and Things: From the Body’s Point of View – Roberto Esposito
Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600-2000 – Kunal M. Parker
Tort, Custom, and Karma: Globalization and Legal Consciousness in Thailand – David M. Engel and Jaruwan Engel
Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law – Dean Spade
“On the Jewish Question” – Karl Marx
“On the Muslim Question” – Anne Norton
“Human Personality” – Simone Weil
“2013 LSA Presidential Address: The Unbearable Lightness of Rights: On Sociolegal Inquiry in the Global Era” – Michael McCann
“Alchemical Notes: Reconstructing Ideals from Deconstructed Rights” – Patricia Williams
“Rights as Excess: Understanding the Politics of Special Rights” – Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller and Neal Milner
Rights Enabled: The Disability Revolution, from the US, to Germany and Japan, to the United Nations – Katharina Heyer
The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America – Naomi Murakawa
Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land, and Racial Regimes of Ownership – Brenna Bhandar
Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: The Function of Avowal in Justice – Michel Foucault
Judge and Punish: The Penal State on Trial – Geoffroy de Lagasnerie and Lara Vergnaud
The Impossible Machine: A Genealogy of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission – Adam Sitze
Megele’s Skull: The Advent of a Forensic Aesthetics – Thomas Keenan and Eyal Weizmann
“Violence and the Word” – Robert Cover

PHIL 611 – Studies in Ethics

“Race, Culture, and Identity” – Anthony Appiah
“The Social Construction of Race” – Sally Haslanger
“Gender and Race: (What) Are They? (What) Do We Want Them To Be?” – Sally Haslanger
“Adaptive Preferences: merging political accounts and well-being accounts” – Rosa Terlazzo
“Introduction: Adaptive Preferences and Global Justice” – Serene Khader
“Disability and Adaptive Preference” – Elizabeth Barnes
“Being Helped and Being Grateful: Imperfect Duties, The Ethics of Possession, and The Unity of Morality” – Barbara Herman
“The Problem with Sexual Promises” – Hallie Liberto
“Does anyone have the right to sex?” – Amia Srinivasan
“Self-Respect and Protest” – Bernard R. Boxhill
“Reflections on the Cultural Commons” – Talbot Brewer
“Is the Requirement of Sexual Exclusivity Consistent with Romantic Love?” – Natasha McKeever
“The Moral Neglect of Negligence” – Seana Valentine Shiffrin
“A Right of Self-Termination?” – J. David Velleman
“Tempered Internalism and the Participatory Stance” – Kate Manne
“Hypocrisy and Moral Authority” – Jessica Isserow and Colin Klein
“Wiping the Slate Clean: The Heart of Forgiveness” – Lucy Allais
“Gratitude as a Virtue” – Christopher Heath Wellman
“Blood Quantum Land Laws and the Political Identity Dilemma” – Rose Cuison Villazor

Not required, but used for research:

Nicomachean Ethics – Aristotle
“The End of History?” – Francis Fukuyama
“The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” (Dialectic of Enlightenment) – Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno
Selected Writings – Karl Marx

Reading Group:

The Principles of Psychology Vol. 1 – William James
Chapter V: The Automaton-Theory
Chapter VI: The Mind-Stuff Theory
Chapter VII: The Methods and Snares of Psychology
Chapter VIII: The Relations of Minds to Other Things
Chapter IX: The Stream of Thought

Films:

Hannah Arendt (2013)
BlacKkKlansman (2018)

12.31.18 // update

Alrighty, so…it has been quite a year. I moved back home, went to Japan, got cancer, finished my first semester of grad school. Just when it seemed things couldn’t get more interesting…

As for this month, I was stressed TF out. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was working all day, every day for the first two weeks on my final papers. I’m not exaggerating. I was literally working allllll damn day on those things, and I barely finished. I did alright, in terms of grades. I wish I had done better; but you live and you learn, as they say. I just need to try harder next time, prepare more, manage my time better, etc.

After two weeks of agony, I was able to spend some time with my family on Maui for Christmas, which was really nice because we’re rarely all together at the same place, and the same time. Also, my family got a cat while I was away. Her name is Luna, and she’s a spoiled, feisty princess, but I love her.

I didn’t really plan anything special for this post. I know it’s the last day of the year, but I guess that doesn’t really mean anything to me. Maybe it should. I’m not sure.

I’m looking forward to going back to school, but naturally I’m also very afraid. Lol. I’m excited to learn more, but I’m anxious about whether I’ll be able to handle the workload. I also want to go back to the gym, and start doing yoga, meditating, etc. I took some reusable Starbucks cups from my mother’s house, so while I should just stop buying coffee (and save myself so much money), at least if I do buy coffee, I’ll have a reusable cup for it. And as I started to type this, I just remembered that I didn’t grab any reusable straws. Smh. Lol. I guess I’ll just have to drink straight from the cup for a little while, which is fine.

I’ll be ending the year in Hilo, with my boyfriend. Not sure if I’ll be continuing these monthly updates in 2019 or what exactly my blogging plans will be. I guess we’ll see by the end of January. For all of you who have been keeping up, thanks for sticking around.

Happy Holidays ❤

Until next time.
a

11.30.18 // update

For the most part, this month was great. I got to spend some time with my family. My mom bought me Reading Capital while she was here (I’m hoping it’ll be useful when thinking about/writing my thesis). We went to our favorite place at Ala Moana (clue as to where our favorite place might be can be found in my last update). Immediately after spending a day with them, I was off to Hilo to see my boyfriend. Time goes by so much faster when I’m with him, which is ironic because of course that’s when I want time to slow down the most. After I got back, I was feeling much better (about my anxiety, I mean). My body began functioning relatively normal again. I was less afraid to be on my own. I’m not so worried about crossing streets anymore.

The weekend after I got back from Hilo I spent the better part of a day with my cousin (who I haven’t seen often growing up); we got coffee jelly, then we went to the Honolulu Museum of Art in Mānoa, walked around the garden, had lunch there, came back into town and went to the other museum above Blaisdell. I saw my first Van Gogh and Monet, which was awe-inspiring as you can probably imagine. Then we drove around for a bit, ended up in Ward, found this indoor farmer’s market-like place, and had Cream ‘n Roll (it’s rolled up ice cream and it’s delicious).

After all of that, I had dinner with a friend who was visiting. We went to this Italian restaurant in Waikīkī, which was truly d i v i n e. I had mushroom risotto that was finished off in a huge wheel of parmesean cheese. Definitely one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. We walked around for a bit while smoking Cuban cigarillos. I learned about the vicuña and their wool at this fancy Italian clothing store. Then we finished the night with drinks at the Moana Surfrider and a walk back to the car on the beach. 

The next night, I went out with the same friend. We had dinner at this yakitori place where I had my first Korean beer (Hite). Sometime after dinner we played pool, ate at Zippy’s (apparently a tradition of his), and called it a night.

Later on that week, another friend visited (Hi, you 🙂 ). We caught up a bit, had dinner at another yakitori Korean restaurant, drank a few pitchers of strawberry soju, walked back to my apartment, and had a couple of beers and more soju. She talked about some creative ideas and plans she has for herself, which I’m really looking forward to. ❤

After all of those really fun and exciting things, I had to buckle down and get started on my term papers. As of today, I have a couple of paragraphs written, and I actually only have ideas for two out of the three papers I have to write. They’re all due in about two weeks. The minimum amount of pages I should have by then is 42 pages. I think I can do it, but it’s not going to be easy.

Obviously I can’t speak for everyone (so maybe other people have had different experiences), and maybe I’ve said this before, but grad school is no joke. And it’s starting to get on my nerves how some people don’t take what I’m doing seriously. I’m sure I’ve told you this before, but I have three classes. And let’s just say on average I’m expected to read about 500 pages a week. (I said in an earlier post 600 pages, which would be true if one were to take three courses from my department, which I’m not; but, regardless I think we can all agree that 500 is still a lot.) And I also said that we’re not reading easy, enjoyable books for our leisure. No, we’re reading difficult postmodern books about colonization, incarceration, immigration, neoliberalism, marginalization, hate, and then we have to come to class and perhaps be required to participate in the discussion. On top of all this, you do still have to eat (so maybe cook and clean, wash your dishes, and if you’re having to cook then you probably have to go out for groceries, which takes time; perhaps, it’s no wonder then how easy it is to just eat fast food [which we know isn’t good for our bodies]), sleep (it’s also no wonder that grad students and just busy people in general may be chronically tired/sleep-deprived), use the bathroom, shower, commute to school, keep your place clean, meet with your professors, attend department meetings, run other miscellaneous errands, etc., which all takes time. Time from relaxing, exploring, hanging out with people. I barely have enough time to keep up with my readings and take care of myself. And now, in addition to everything I just listed, we’re expected to write at least 42 pages of our own ideas based on the books that we read (or were supposed to read) during the semester. So, a few things: like I said, we still have to read and stay alive and all that, but now we also have to come up with our own ideas about what we want to write, then we have to do research (looking at the books we read), then we have to come up with our own conclusions, insights, questions about what we’ve read, and write them all down (hopefully well) in at least 42 pages in two weeks.

Just in case it sounds like I’m complaining about the work that I do, let me be clear: I’m not. I love what I do. It’s a kind of crazy amount of work, but I honestly wouldn’t rather be doing anything else. However, what I am complaining about is how other people who have absolutely no idea what it is exactly that I do and don’t make any effort to try and understand what I do, try to tell me that what I do is easy, it’s a joke, they could do it, or that I’m not even doing anything, which is all just incredibly insulting. I do try to ignore it, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get to me sometimes.

Well, sorry to end on a rant, but at least the semester’s almost over. Yay! 🙂 Hope you folks had a wonderful Thanksgiving. There were apples at mine, which I’ve never seen before, so that was kind of interesting. Looking forward to the next update (which I’ll hopefully be writing in a much less stressed state). 

Until then.
a

(Also, shoutout to all those people who go to grad school full-time and work or have kids, or work and have kids. You guys are just bionic super heroes. I don’t know how you do it. #therealMVP.) 

10.31.18 // update pt. 2

Alright so, (now that I have my laptop back) besides the fainting and anxiety…

I’m still adjusting to grad school life, still trying to figure things out. Honestly, all I do, everyday (or what I’m supposed to be doing, anyway) is read. I wake up and read, cook my lunch and read, get ready for bed and read. And the times when I need to stop reading or else I’ll puke (it’s like that feeling one gets after running for a while), I watch The Late Show on YouTube. I don’t know how I’d get through grad school without Stephen Colbert.

I also tried venturing out a little more during October. There’s this spot at the mall where there’s a bunch of tables for people to sit at located in a place lightly trafficked; so, it has just the right amount of noise for studying, I think. It’s not too quiet like the library, and it’s also not too boisterous like most other public places. It’s close and easy to get to from the bus stop and it’s also near my favorite store at the mall (Barnes & Noble, of course) as well as my second favorite store (La Palme D’Or). Sometimes I would walk toward another part of the mall, particularly the sort of open courtyard area where there’s a sculpture of a pumpkin, people lying on fake grass, and children running around when I was in the mood for a bit more sunlight and commotion.

Also, I’m not sure if I mentioned this in my September update, but I joined a reading group. We meet once a week for about an hour mostly at this unusual but charming coffeeshop and we try to discuss a chapter from William James’s The Principles of Psychology Vol. 1. The last chapter we worked on was Chapter VII: The Methods and Snares of Psychology. It’s fun; it’s probably the most enjoyable thing I do somewhat related to school.

I tried going to the gym more regularly (but then I had my incident, so unfortunately I haven’t been back to the gym since).

I was also reading a lot (The Odyssey, Selected Writings by Marx, Othello, Frankenstein) but again, I stopped doing a lot of things (not walk to school, not drink coffee —> as much coffee) because it seemed in my best interest to take things easy.

I’m feeling a bit lost because I think my life lacks structure — I don’t have any routines, plans; I just do things whenever I feel like it or whenever I have to, but I don’t actually have an organized schedule. And so, I don’t think I’m getting as much done as I could and I’m definitely not getting as much done as I would like. (This isn’t a reflection on October alone, but the semester overall.) Anyway, I feel like I’ve said this a lot this year but I really do have to get my shit together.

Well, on the bright side, a lot of really nice things happened so far this November so hopefully the next update won’t be so gloomy.

Until then.

a

“rainy day in October” loc. Sakamaki Hall

103018Sakamaki

10.31.18 // update

Hey. So fainted this month. That sucked. Not sure why. Kind of just happened. And I haven’t really been feeling so comfortable out of my apartment since then. I guess I’m a bit traumatized about the whole thing — like, I try to avoid crossing major streets as much as I can because I’m afraid I’ll faint in the middle of a crosswalk.

I went to the doctor today. She prescribed Gatorade, breakfast, and perhaps a therapist…? It seems I have anxiety. And it’s a very strange and interesting experience for me. Usually, when people are stressed out they’re told to “relax, calm down, chill out,” etc. But actually having a problem with stress and anxiety is different, you guys. There’s no amount of telling yourself “it’s going to be okay” and no amount of hearing “it’s okay” or “it’s going to be okay” in the world that will actually make you feel like it’s okay. It feels like there’s nothing you can do — your body just reacts the way it does; it feels dizzy, lightheaded, distracted, your throat closes up. You can’t focus on what’s happening outside your body because there’s too much going on within your body. And when there are people around, every single second feels like for-goddamn-ever, but you have to stay cool. If you don’t control your breathing and if you don’t remain alert, if you let go for only a moment, then you lose yourself. And it’s terrifying.

I think the general attitude to something like anxiety is, “you’re weak, you can’t handle, your life isn’t even that bad, why are you even stressed, you just need to get over it.” But it really isn’t this simple. I don’t want to be like this. I’m trying not to be like this. But I honestly cannot help it. So, I get why people are upset about the stigmatization of mental health.

I plan on trying to take things easy until I get myself sorted. Well…as easy as I can. I still have readings and essays coming up. Though, my family’s coming over this weekend, and I don’t have class on Tuesday. So there are a few nice things to look forward to. 🙂

I think I’ll sign off here…for now. I’m writing this on my phone because I’m an idiot and totally forgot to work on this post beforrreee I took my laptop in to get the display coat replaced. And typing this out on my phone isn’t the most pleasant experience. Anyway, I’ll probably post again soon with a part two to my October update, just so you can read about other things that happened in October besides the beginning of my eventual mental breakdown.

Until then.
a

P.S. Anyone else out there going through something like this, not that this will really help or make you feel better, but I just wanted to say that you’re not crazy and you’re not alone. ❤

Oh, also p.s.s. to everyone, Happy Halloween 🎃