zen_monk: (Default)
 Been doing all right so far at the ophthalmologist clinic, and hopefully it won't take me too long to get trained up to speed so that I can do more for patients, even though that idea makes me really nervous. Handling insurance was nerve-wracking enough, but doing part of the medical procedure makes me want to just resign myself to a life of dish-washing instead :P The staff is really nice, though! And today at my eye exam, they told me that they want me to work more days there, so my current 16 hours a week would go up to 24 or even 32. At being slightly above minimum wage, this sounds way awesome for me. 

I'm also trying to actually do coursera online courses, starting with an Intro to Logic course offered by Stanford University so I can brush up on my logic knowledge, and a Ruby course offered by John Hopkins where hopefully I can get a better handle on what coding and programming actually without having to just use guidelines all the time. Also signed up for a History of Philosophy course, focusing on when the transition between Modern and Postmodern happens. It'd be nice to get back into reading dead old people, like Kant, but also getting some online lectures about Marx and Rousseau would be really great to do, too. 

Soon, i'll get back on track to becoming an academic again.

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 June is here and it'll be about two weeks left until Spring Quarter finishes and I am done with my undergraduate degrees. After being in school for 5+ years, actually heading into the adult life without that kind of structure is.... daunting. 

Inundated with all the job search advice, from sending resumes to HR departments in Silicon Valley to internships to "just what is that degree for?" and it's just like I dunno people I'm just going to fill out forms and applications while I chill in the meantime! Granted it would be almost ten years since I've finished high school which... oh man, I'm going to have to expect people treating me like a 25 year old. I don't feel like I act like one, but at some point i have to think about how people are going to look at me and I still get random people being surprised that I'm actually older than 16. 

(I get no respect around here!, says I in my best Rodney Dangerfield)

I have to think about getting letters of rec while thinking to myself that I haven't done work that would qualify for one. I have to think about whether to go home or try to put up stakes in the Bay Area or at least around here and be somewhat close to the university. Internships to go to and I also have relatives from HK showing me links on how to get jobs in China and, specifically, Hong Kong where suddenly there's an interest in my degrees and what I'll put to the table and allll thaaat jaaazz. 

But right now, it's the thought about having to finish all these essays that are due so very soon that is daunting to me. Post-graduate life will be a cakewalk in comparison. 

In other news: 

Nostalgia TV included: Finishing Star Trek Voyager, Deep Space 9, The Next Generation, and about half of the Original Series! Soon to embark on Star Trek: Enterprise to fulfill all my nerdly deeds. 

I watched almost all of Saint Seiya (Sanctuary Arc and half of filler episodes). Which was compelled by watching all of the new Saint Seiya: Omega series. And Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas. 

Started and almost finishing Mobile Suit Gundam, and that'll be the stepping point into Universal Century. 

Also finished: 

Heartcatch Pretty Cure, for my mahou shojo needs. 

Steven Universe (caught up all episodes) 

Princess Tutu (so excellent, i'm going to cry. Right up there with Utena quality)

Fresh Off the Boat (quality went downhill) 

All of Parks and Recreation. All of Galavant, and finally finished Agent Carter. 

bleh so many things that i would rather re-watch or do instead of writing essays. 
zen_monk: (Default)
 Misery wad bot known until doing laundry became late night laundry, the clothes were too wet from washer and are still wet after two drying a, and a new black sweater leeched out blue dye. 

And tomorrow is early work morning following a political protest.
zen_monk: hiimdaisy persona 4 web video (let's get drunk)
 I like this passage a lot: 

The delusion that many who enter into management with high hopes is precisely that they, the individual, can change things, that they will not repeat what their managers had done, that things will be different this time; but watch someone step up into management and it’s usually not very long before the grey petrification of power starts to subsume them. It is here that structure is palpable – you can practically see it taking people over, hear its deadened/ deadening judgements speaking through them.

For this reason, it is a mistake to rush to impose the individual ethical responsibility that the corporate structure deflects. This is the temptation of the ethical which, as Žižek has argued, the capitalist system is using in order to protect itself in the wake of the credit crisis – the blame will be put on supposedly pathological individuals, those ‘abusing the system’, rather than on the system itself. But the evasion is actually a two step procedure – since structure will often be invoked (either implicitly or openly) precisely at the point when there is the possibility of individuals who belong to the corporate structure being punished. At this point, suddenly, the causes of abuse or atrocity are so systemic, so diffuse, that no individual can be held responsible.
zen_monk: (Default)
 Mark Fischer's Capitalist Realism is a very on-the-point essay which was helpfully stated in three points: 

1) "Ultimately, there are three reasons that I prefer the term capitalist realism to postmodernism. In the 1980s, when Jameson first advanced his thesis about postmodernism, there were still, in name at least, political alternatives to capitalism. What we are dealing with now, however, is a deeper, far more pervasive, sense of exhaustion, of cultural and political sterility. In the 80s, ‘Really Existing Socialism’ still persisted, albeit in its final phase of collapse. In Britain, the fault lines of class antagonism were fully exposed in an event like the Miners’ Strike of 1984-1985, and the defeat of the miners was an important moment in the development of capitalist realism, at least as significant in its symbolic dimension as in its practical effects."

2) "Secondly, postmodernism involved some relationship to modernism. Jameson’s work on postmodernism began with an interrogation of the idea, cherished by the likes of Adorno, that modernism possessed revolutionary potentials by virtue of its formal innovations alone. What Jameson saw happening instead was the incorporation of modernist motifs into popular culture (suddenly, for example, Surrealist techniques would appear in advertising). At the same time as particular modernist forms were absorbed and commodified, modernism’s credos – its supposed belief in elitism and its monological, top-down model of culture – were challenged and rejected in the name of ‘difference’, ‘diversity’ and ‘multiplicity’. Capitalist realism no longer stages this kind of confrontation with modernism. On the contrary, it takes the vanquishing of modernism for granted: modernism is now something that can periodically return, but only as a frozen aesthetic style, never as an ideal for living."

3). "Thirdly, a whole generation has passed since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. In the 1960s and 1970s, capitalism had to face the
problem of how to contain and absorb energies from outside. It now, in fact, has the opposite problem; having all-too successfully incorporated externality, how can it function without an outside it can colonize and appropriate? For most people under twenty in Europe and North America, the lack of alternatives to capitalism is no longer even an issue. Capitalism seamlessly occupies the horizons of the thinkable... What we are dealing with now is not the incorporation of materials that previously seemed to possess subversive potentials, but instead, their precorporation: the pre-emptive formatting and shaping of desires, aspirations and hopes by capitalist culture. Witness, for instance, the establishment of settled ‘alternative’ or ‘independent’ cultural zones, which endlessly repeat older gestures of rebellion and contestation as if for the first time. ‘Alternative’ and ‘independent’ don’t designate something outside mainstream culture; rather, they are styles, in fact the dominant styles, within the mainstream."

And instead of buying the book and adding to the steady growing amount of money spent on overpriced textbooks, here's a handy link to the pdf of that entire book: 

zen_monk: (Default)
 Ah, the old feeling of finishing up a twenty-ish page essay and another 6 page one before I leave for home tomorrow for spring break. 

Mmm boy, the experienced bones of a well-heeled community college student has prepared me to not blog a blood vessel in real university. 
zen_monk: (Default)
 At a dangerous point in this quarter where instead of working on my various final papers' theses, I started looking for internships in the summer and beyond, or the idea of internships. 

Really wanted to stay in the Bay Area, or at least remain in Santa Cruz, and it's pretty overwhelming in that my resume is probably only good for getting in restaurant and customer service jobs, and it's hard to take advantage on the Silicon Valley boom when I'm a meager humanities double major.

Been loooking at publishing houses and bookmarking potential companies to apply for. Also journalistic places; started looking at NPR and PBS for internships, and what I saw looks promising. Maybe should get into other news corporations since office and journalistic experience also looks valuable. 

ahh, all the musings about life after college. Should've focused on what I can do now. Like writing abstracts. 
zen_monk: Daffy sulking off (Daffy Stalks off sulking)
 Hello "Heart of Darkness" my old friend. 

Guess I'm back in high school again.

Because the syllabus says to read you deeply

despite that your prose makes my eyes sleepy.

And the visions for the postcolonial vein

still remains

that Belgians fucked up... the Congo. 
zen_monk: (Default)
 I gotta say, this quarter has made me writer some pretty creative paper prompts that get turned in late.

Sherlock Holmes and the history of criminal profiling during Victorian England: includes racial profiling. 

Connection between the history and practice of philosophy, and the conflation of the rational mind and racism; also includes how racist perceptions of people influenced diagnosis and misdiagnosis. 

The Metaphysical Novel/Artwork as articulated by Simone de Beauvoir and Martin Heidegger: case study, Waltz with Bashir animated documentary. 

But of course, it's the class that was the most opaque and abstract (American Pragmatism, wtf) where the assignments got me an A for the overall grade, and that class was so hard to understand. What is this, why are the things I'm enjoying so hard to earn a good grade threshold, do you know how hard it is to read John Dewey and Richard Rorty? Completely unreadable, why is one of them a Kantian? In fact, why is Kant and Heidegger easier to read than a bunch of Americans? 

We need to write in Latin again, philosophy. 

zen_monk: Shocked Daffy (Daffy Shocked)
 For the past couple of nights, I've been staying up until 7 in the morning to bang out a rough draft of a research proposal/paper for someone to peer evaluate it, and then turn that in on noon of the 16th. 

Its about how the history of psychiatry and psychological are based on racism and colonial thought in order to evaluate what constitutes the rational mind, and how perceptions of the Other persists even now to unfairly judge and misdiagnosis black folks and minority ethnic communities (BME makes a lovely acronym, thank you Indo-British psychiatrist for introducing that term to me in your collection of essays). 

....and then I got a 5 page paper to turn in about how Sherlock Holmes books are one of the first to utilize racial profiling in fiction, and is representative of how English science categorizes people based on pseudo biology and anthropology. (but Sherlock Holmes is....so short to read, i love it. The only college reading I've finished completely in the whole quarter). 

In happier news, my dad surprised me by asking if I want an impromptu trip to Hong Kong this weekend to visit my grandparents for grandpa's birthday (I think............82 years old). It's so sudden, because my grandpa just wanted to collect the whole Leung clan and have a party with him, and my dad is very into family enough to go along with that plan. I'm actually the only one who'd be accompanying him on the plane ride; two folks remember the horrors of plane travel, and my dear lil' brother who has to suffer through college applications cannot. (that sucker better finish the Common App. Harvard, ho!) [Despite him wanting to go to UC Berkeley and possibly shack up with me as I wander through the Bay area confused and uncertain like a lot of other 20-something year olds]

So I might have made a list of what food I want to eat in Hong Kong while taking a break from re-reading my source texts. 

zen_monk: (Default)
 All of my roommates left on Tuesday, and they're lucky ducks seeing as I still had my afternoon class today (as in Wednesday) and I wasn't sure whether my senior seminar would still hold on wednesday night, and so I placed my greyhound bus on thursday morning back down to SB. And it's cancelled, so  I guess it's one more night where i have the apartment to myself. It's kinda nice knowing that it's just me here. Not so nice when they still left their dishes in the sink as though they forgot. And I think they did, but it peeved that I had to wash them so it won't get filthy over the holiday weekend. 

Today, I squared away my winter quarter class registration- mainly that i was hoping that a class counted as part of my require major and it did because otherwise I would probably have to take a summer session to make up for it- and also pulled an all-nighter to finish up a Kant essay and how he thought about art.

(Feel free to talk to me about what Kant thought about aesthetics and what is standard of taste for him. Because I think I'm an expert). 

I think being completely exhausted actually made me ask good and relevant questions during lecture... 

I spent the evening (because I napped during the afternoon for some semblance of sanity) watching Big Hero 6 which was completely awesome, and totally satisfying to watch. 

And I'm currently whiling away the night packing and watching Dragon Age: Inquisition let's play videos (and unfortunately the guy's dalish mage inquisitor is butt awful ugly, but i got used to him), and now I'm thinking of getting that game for console, seeing as i have no pc anything to accommodate its minimum requirements. 

I kinda miss the cartoony look that DA2 had and, to an extent, what DA: O had. 
zen_monk: (Put the Monkey Down!)
 Starting on Thursday night, protests at UCSC have led to students occupying and taking over the Humanities 1 building, kicking out administration and other staff workers, and filling it with students with the intent to remain there for a whole week in order to disrupt classroom operations. 

People were in there to set up some sleeping arrangements on office floors and establishing a student leadership base in one of the meeting rooms in order to organize plans and other Occupy strategies. Posters were put up and the back doors were barricaded, and people were writing phone numbers to a specified lawyer's office in case the police came in to break it up.

Also a lot of music and chanting.

Several of my friends were there to protest and occupy the building. Cornel West was on-campus to give out a speech when a student called out to him to come to the occupied building. 

And I did see him in person as he came to the building to make a speech and encouraged morale. (Should've gotten close to him to shake his hand). 

zen_monk: (Default)
 Today there was a protest rally in UCSC for students who are opposing the tuition increase (an increase of 5 percent per year within the next five years) that will result in about 4000 more than the usual tuition average. 

And then tomorrow, student organizations have pooled money for some buses to go to San Francisco at around 5 am to protest at the UC Board of Regents against the tuition hikes, presumably in solidarity with UC Berkeley students as well. 

A couple of friends I know are going, and have invited me. I already used up my absences for one of my classes, so I declined. 

But still.... it's definitely a big UC event that I could probably be missing out on. 
zen_monk: (Default)
Researching interesting and stimulating presentation for senior seminar on misconceptions of depression and bipolar disorder in the media, such as apparently a lot of social media articles and "social media depression," as well as I guess I should be checking out "Silver Linings Playbook" for a token twofer.


...binge-watching "Orange is the New Black?" 


zen_monk: (Default)
 Did all my midterms, hopefully of varying success on the side of "B+ to A-" range, and have voted before the polls close. Now it's drawing a straight line to complete an arrow instead of the time-honored "fill in the bubble of your candidate" type of voting age. 

In other personal news, I have reconnected again with guy who works in an app start-up company, and have written an example article for him to show to his boss in case of an interview. Holding out some hope for this one, since for all I know this could be a big break coming up after graduation. 

Or a boondoggle, but hey it's not something I'll lose the most.

I'm starting to get more overwhelmed with the reading, and while I thought that post-midterms mean that I can somewhat move away from the old readings, sometimes I can't help but feel that I'm only catching on by the coattails and not really on a good leg on the race. 

Marathoned all of Sleepy Hollow within the span of two days, which I guess doesn't help my schoolwork situation, but there's something fascinating and cathartic in seeing a show blatantly paint the founding forefathers with a glorifying paintbrush while inserting attributes like how they're not only freemasons, but warlocks and zombies and maybe a demon or maybe an alchemist. 

I also got up to season 6 of Deep Space Nine, and a lot of very dramatic events have happened by then, including very meaningful character development which, in comparison to season one, has been more welcome in comparison to, for example, even TNG or VOY. And of course, some things stay frustratingly the same or is very indicative of the time, but in a lot of ways, DS9 was ahead of its time in themes, especially since it's hard to really properly talk about things like terrorism or occupation or freedom fighting. Reminds me of pre-24 era of tv. Or maybe a lot like it, actually. 

Harrumph, i hadn't thought about it before, but now that I did think about it, it would be fairly annoying to be around fandom once DA: Inquisition comes out. I anticipate only getting it once I have a proper gaming pc or if I decide to damn all my previous save files for my Hawke and Warden and just go for the PS4 which I do want to get for FFXIV, but I bet it will be probably more than half a year before I get either of those. I can't really keep myself out of the cultural osmosis that is the DA fandom to ignore once aggressive interpretation and headcanon-ing and compilation of meta rolls around.

Guess I'll cope by preoccupying myself with learning how to draw, having bought an illustrating program for cheap. Well, I always thought about taking up an artistic hobby, even if it means being the best in drawing geometric shapes with a mouse. 

zen_monk: (Default)
 Places to consider studying Grad School in:
  1. Hong Kong, particularly CUHK. Maybe
  2. England
  3. Within UC system. There are places and people! Like, UCLA or UCSB or uh. Yeah. 
  4. ..stay in UCSC.
  5. California state schools. maybe San Jose state or SFSU. I wanna keep in the Bay area. Even though I'm pretty sure people like CalPoly.
  6. Washington state?
  7. Canada???
  8. Germany!? 
  9. man i got nothing
Maybe gap year? Maybe find work and just save and then think about grad school? But life as academic or further study also pretty appealing? 

zen_monk: (Default)
 It's been about two weeks since I've been at home from Santa Cruz. 

Summer Session meant reading a lot of existential/nihilism reading for five weeks and then another five weeks talking all about translation theory. In comparison to a normal quarter (where one consist of 10 weeks for one class), I gotta say that I really think my summer teachers know how to pace themselves to teach the core concepts of the material in comparison to typical lags and rush that happens in order to catch up to the syllabus. 

I really gotta recommend contemporary Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo, who helps clarify the role of technology in the world and how we are participants format our reality through them as opposed to the old way of thinking technology as being tools for our manipulation of the world. I guess that means I would recommend Heidegger since that who he's based off of, but he's pretty heavy to read, and it also makes the reader confront the issue of studying a man who joined the Nazi party back in the 1930s in order to lead a new philosophy.... only to then be shafted himself after a couple years but he has since been referred throughout that party's ideology. 

But Translation Theory turned out to be a very enjoyable class, since group work actually got to be enjoyable and the class itself having no shortage of engaging classmates. I also respected the teacher for bringing out neo-colonialist readings where we get to read more Latin American and South American intellectuals who have written about the nature of translation and culture in the mindset of the colonized peoples and also through the colonizers. 

Though I guess I can't say that I was the kind of good student as I was during the first five weeks at my philosophy class, hehe. 

zen_monk: (Default)
 Finished my first school year at big pants university, and final grades are a good solid straight B's. Totally kinda expected it, though I did thought that I could get an A- in that one Lit class, but oh well. 

And after one week of summer break, SUMMER SESSION. 

Two five week courses for upper division classes that would normally span a whole 10 week quarter. Living on-campus for that, tho, and my dorm room is a vast improvement over what I suffered a year through. High ceiling, sharing one roommate, and a lot more floor space. Had to share a bathroom with a whole corridor of people, in a fairly unsafe-feeling public restroom thing with curtain showers. Still, it's actually pretty nice. 

Roommate is also a lovely person, sharing nearly all of my fannish glee and critique, and really what more could you ask of a roommate if she can talk about fandom and shipping really eloquently while being a Bio major struggling over Orgo-Chem for five weeks. 

Speaking of fannish things, I have successfully completed Mass Effect 1 and 2, playing as paragon Fem!Shep, the most dashing of Asian-preset ladies, and doing more playthroughs as Paragade Shep and ManShep just for getting those relationship stuff. Playing ME2, tho, has made me understand a bit more of the whole DA2 character wheel choice thing, and also feeling the distinction between being either a Paragon/Renegade leader and the Friendship/Rivalry path in DA2. I had assumed that in DA2 doing the Friendship path is part of the leadership choices, because you are aware of how your friends and cohorts react to them, but that's really a different kind of network of influence when in ME you look at a more long-term/short-term goal that expand away from your friends. 

Though, one is a space epic, and the other is a fantasy game that looks at a more insular community. 

zen_monk: (Default)
 Probably the worst weekend ever as a Santa Barbarian far away from home. 

No one I know is among them, but both my parents work at UCSB and I have a lot of friends who had lived/are living in IV, so... I'm dwelling in what-ifs. 
zen_monk: (Default)
 More like more essays to turn in that are a huge chunk of the grade percentage! 

Easter was pretty swell. Both my roommates bailed to campus to celebrate 4/20 whilst I munched on peeps and cheap chocolate while marathoning shows. 

Doing the Mass Effect thing and first game is pretty fun! Got to romance space wife Liara, which I guess is the only current same-sex love interest for FemShep anyway, sadly :T Maybe I'll shake that up for ME2. It's interesting how the Paragon/Renegade thing is utilized in ME when my immediate comparison (which i think most people were doing at the time) was Dragon Age II with the Friendship/Rivalry scale. The former seems to make more sense to me, in terms of how Shepherd does things and wants her reputation to be seen as, though the latter is definitely more social and personal vis a vis your companions and certain people in Kirkwall which doesn't necessarily mean overall reputation like how Shepherd is.

My DOINK! assignments look really interesting. They go outside of my normal comfort zone in terms of whom I'm writing on, but it's going to be a great challenge because most of them are things that I haven't really thought too much before or put onto paper. I'm hoping I'll get it done without having to rush or complicate things with my own reading and schoolwork (in which there's a lot. Cuz I'm going to be reading people like Hume and Locke by then, and Franz Fanon). 

Also going to Fanime in San Jose! Hear's hoping that I get money by then!? 

March 2017



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