7 November, 2010 – 3:57 pm | Filed under commentary, daily life, school | No Comments »
Must keep posting, must not let this blog slip again…
Life’s been really busy lately (as if the subject line didn’t get that across already). I don’t think school has ever been this intense for me, and I don’t think I have ever felt so consistently behind like this before.
Part of it is that I took last weekend off to go to the Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington DC. It was incredible, and I was so glad to have been a part of it. I carpooled down from Pittsburgh with my housemate Kim and our classmate Chelsey, but ended up spending the weekend with my friends from Atlanta (Ethan, Jennifer, Matt, Kevin, and Alan). We got there almost 2 hours prior to the official start time for the Rally, and the Mall was already quite full, but we managed to carve out a space for the six of us. General thoughts:
- everyone was super-friendly, positive, approachable, and chill
- LOVED the signs!
- a guy actually interviewed me about my sign, but he didn’t quite get what it meant (it said “yay, zealots. </sarcasm>”) – I think he actually thought I was calling everyone there a zealot, and I’m not sure if I explained it properly (it was the sarcasm/HTML bit that he just didn’t get) or convinced him that that was not at all what I was trying to do, but oh well.
- in general it felt like they were preaching to the choir, but it just felt so affirming to know that so many other Americans do feel the same way my friends and I do: embrace equality for everyone, stop needlessly persecuting all Muslims, try to bridge this horribly polarized divide that has caused such a rift among Americans…
- there was no one takeaway from it, but that’s okay: it definitely impacted how I viewed the following Election Day, in the sense that instead of just voting Democrat across the board because I felt that they’re the party that best represented my views, I stopped and considered every candidate individually (and did end up voting for one third-party candidate). I also think that just the act of collecting in one place (estimates range from 200,000 to 300,000, and I really wouldn’t doubt it!) was in and of itself a huge and meaningful gesture, that a huge chunk of Americans are tired of the bickering and just want to rise beyond it for the greater good for everybody.
However, the one big downside: it set me back several days in my schoolwork and research. I worked pretty feverishly for the first half of the week and really burned myself out by Thursday, and had to take a day off. It was pretty intense; I just could not shut my mind off Wednesday, and had to put on something comforting and familiar to try to relax. (That something was The Empire Strikes Back, and it did do the trick.)
I’m still working pretty hard on several semester-long projects: thesis work has actually taken a back seat to the work for my classes. For my Social Impact class I’m trying to do field research but still have no idea if I’m truly making any headway. At this point, I’ll just be happy if I make a B and get through it. Information+Interaction+Perception will be taking off soon–we’ve been collecting our data and organizing it in a few different ways to try to help guide us towards a final product, which will be coming together in the next few weeks. (I’m creating an information design piece on factory farming.)
Thesis is slowly coming along…I’ll be doing a few dry-run interviews with some of my Pittsburgh JET friends, then reaching out and contacting some of my survey participants for both interview and journal recruitment. We’ll see how it goes!
The 2nd week of December will be a madhouse. We have our final presentations for I+I+P at the start of the week, and our thesis poster session AND Social Impact show the same day at the end of the week. It’s crazy that it’s just a month off.
Orchestra’s also moving along–we have a concert in two weeks. I switched out my strings a couple of days ago, only to find that one had frayed to the point that it was actually only hanging on by a thread. I took photos to document it–it’s incredible that it hadn’t snapped a month ago.
On top of that, I’ve been working hard on something super-secret that will go down when I’m back home for winter break…that’s all I’ll say about that, but if all goes according to plan, it will be great. :)
There are already things about this site’s layout that I want to change. Bah, if only I had time!
I don’t want this to become a “this is what I’ve been doing lately”/”let me document my day” blog. But I’m just doing this to force myself to keep on writing. May the next entries be more content-rich!