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The Inevitable Book

Blogathon Post #5: The Inevitable Book

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #5 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

There aren’t many things in life I’m sure of, and about my future, even fewer. I lack a developed sense of ambition or faith; when faced with the daunting unknown, I’m far more likely to cautiously inspect it and slowly sketch a map than confidently plunge ahead into uncharted territory. Until very recently, if you asked me, a college graduate, what I wanted to do with my life, I would have shrugged, listed a few half-baked ideas, and ultimately iterated that I just didn’t know.1Even now that I have some idea of a career I want to pursue, I’m still don’t have many powerful aspirations for other parts of my life. Like I said, ambition’s not my thing. But despite my general milquetoastiness about the future, there’s on thing that I’ve simply accepted as a matter of fact:

One day, I’ll write a book.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Even now that I have some idea of a career I want to pursue, I’m still don’t have many powerful aspirations for other parts of my life. Like I said, ambition’s not my thing.

Shortchanged

Five in the morning is in that span of time I typically think of as “oh fuck no it’s early,” yet this morning, against all odds, I started stirring around 5:10. Rachel had a flight to catch, and was going to be waking up and getting out of bed in five minutes, but for those five minutes, I was awake by myself, in the stillness of the morning.

I love summer mornings. Summer nights are hot and muggy, leading you to throw windows open and blankets off, but at five in the morning, the air breezing through your window is refreshingly brisk. The oppressive heat pauses, and the whole world takes a breath. Though the window’s open, there’s hardly any sound of traffic or human activity, just the songs of waking birds far in the distance.

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“In case you get the random urge to do laundry?”

A housemate of mine is coming down the stairs with something in her hand.

“Ah, you going back to the library?” I ask.

She looks at me funny.

Then I realize she’s not holding a backpack– she’s holding a pair of jeans.

Left Behind

I sat down at my desk this afternoon and noticed that something looked out of place.A new book on my shelfWell, that’s odd. I don’t remember having a copy of a fundamentalist Christian novel on my shelf. Let’s take a closer look…

Opening a copy of Left BehindThat’s funny, it doesn’t seem to close all the way. It feels kind of heavy, too… I wonder what’s going on here.

A hollowed-out book filled with salt-water taffyThe taffy!?! I’ve been had!

Well played, Mom and Dad. Well played indeed.

Tidbits

 

Stale Content Alert!

This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

There have been a number of minor thoughts buzzing around my head like gnats lately. They are bothersome and they take up otherwise useful space in my brain, so as an attempt to reclaim some territory, here are some minor thoughts from my head, in no particular order:

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Cartoon Spencer says: "Hello, classy people. The future is now."

Hello, Classy People

Cartoon Spencer says: "Hello, classy people. The future is now."

Drawn on my freaking AMAZING new graphics tablet.

Thank you, Mom and Dad.

Happy birthday, me!

Making Comics

On My Mind: Comics

What’s Spencer currently thinking about?

The Art of Comics

I was never a comic book kid. When I was growing up, I read the funnies in the newspaper, and for a short time, a little of Ranma ½. I would pore over anthologies of newspaper funnies, but without too much refinement of taste; at the time, I loved the beautiful Calvin and Hobbes just as much as I loved stale old Garfield. That was the extent of my exposure to comics, though. I never peeled open a Batman or a Superman story, and didn’t really give professional comics much thought.

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Bloggyblogging

Classes have started!

My schedule’s a pretty nice one– I’m taking Elementary Japanese, Encounters (the mandatory first-year humanities course), Social Problems (a sociology class), and Intro to Visual Arts Practices. I’m happy to point out that there are absolutely no math classes in this semester’s lineup. After Calculus II last semester, I’m rather burnt out on math. I’m not sure if I’m done for good, since that depends on both my future whims and the requirements of whatever major I settle on, but I’m done for right now, which is a relief. I’m also fairly lucky with regards to how the week pans out: three days a week, I only have two classes, and am out by noon! Of course, the tradeoff here is that on Wednesdays, all four of my classes meet… but I think I can manage that. All of these courses seem really interesting.

Today I had two classes: Japanese and Social Problems. Japanese was great, as always–Professor Takemoto is an animated and engaging professor, and he helped us brush the dust off, as it were, and start speaking the language again. He also distributed the packet of kanji characters we’ll be learning this semester, which contained quite a few beautiful characters containing strokes and radicals I’ve never seen before. We’re also, unexpectedly enough, reading a 2006 novel in class this semester. It’s an English novel, but it’s by a Japanese-American author, and it has a lot to do with Japanese culture. All in all, I’m looking forward to getting back into the Japanese groove.

Social Problems was interesting as well; the class is large, but there are a lot of people I know on the roster1Large by Whitman standards, that is. It’s about 30, 35 people. I love small schools.. We started by discussing what constituted a social problem, and whether or not cultural/demographic perspective had anything to do with what we classified as social problems. Our first text is entitled Gang Leader for a Day, and it follows a young sociologist as he integrates himself within and observes a Chicago crack gang. We’re also reading texts on the criminal justice system, inner-city poverty and crime, and juvenile crime. Looks like there’s a common theme here, but I don’t mind. All the texts sound fascinating. Also, oddly enough, the class isn’t going to meet this Thursday because the professor will be out of town, so I’ll have only one class that day. Awesome!

Other parts of campus life have been similarly easy and enjoyable to readopt, such as living in the dorms. My section met last night, and our new RAs introduced themselves. Although they might not have quite the charisma as last semester’s beloved Daichi, Hayley and Bailey seem to be a couple of pretty cool characters. Bailey also mentioned, as he spoke to us, that while sections usually get smaller at semester breaks, as students change their housing situations, 4-West actually got bigger–so big, in fact, that his room is actually in 4-East, the neighboring section. Like I mentioned before, I’m really proud to be part of a section that’s got such a strong family vibe.

I’ll write some more about school when something more interesting happens here.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Large by Whitman standards, that is. It’s about 30, 35 people. I love small schools.

Bewildered, Part II

 

Stale Content Alert!

This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

Recall.

Only this time, it’s the rough draft of a Core paper, not a philosophical essay.

Nevertheless, it’s pretty much the same situation all over again. My brain won’t come up with original thoughts, or when I think I have a great idea, it gets completely and totally locked in my head the moment I sit down and try to write it. I can think about it, but the words just won’t flow in the slightest. I end up trying to back up my ideas with multiple snippets of quotes or episodes, rather than honing in on selective episodes and picking them apart for detail like I know I should. I know I should be doing close reading, analyzing smaller parts of the text, using a “microscope rather than a panoramic lens,” so to speak, but my brain just won’t do it. I don’t know how, or at least I feel like I don’t.

My brain feels like it’s not working at all– or if it is, it’s deliberately working against me.

What has gone wrong with me? Why, all of a sudden, am I unable to think well– or express my thoughts through words?

And again, I doubt my being here; and again, I feel hopelessly lost and crushed.

Bewildered

 

Stale Content Alert!

This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

I’m going to sleep tonight feeling as crappy as can be.

I have incredibly severe doubts about myself right now. I’m doubting my own capabilities, my supposed talents, and really anything that I once thought made me special. (Yes, it’s true, this is that kind of blog post.)

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