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).
(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.)