Apr 13, 2015

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A Drive By Update

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last posted!

Actually, I can believe it, but I still feel bad.

Since November: I haven’t shaved my legs are or my armpits – which has been really nice.

I’ve started vlogging semi regularly, though there isn’t much of that yet.

I’ve been streaming and recording games with Adam which has been a lot of fun.

And I started (and am almost done with now) the spring semester which includes Calculus 2, Physics 40, and Chemistry 1A

math1B physics40 chem1a

I’m having a tough time of things, but don’t really have the time or energy or words to really verbalize it.

So, this will just a a short drive by kind of update.

<3 <3 <3

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Nov 11, 2014

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Birthday Thoughts for Cat

In honor of Cat’s birthday yesterday, Sunday, I wanted to share a little about how she’s made me a better person, and gush a little about how great she is.

Two years ago this month, one of my favorite cousins and pretty good friend, Cat, found her way back home to the bay area after many many moons away. It wasn’t very long before proximity turned existing mutual admiration and enjoyment into a grand friendship that grows stronger with every midnight cup of hot chocolate or cute puppy picture shared. Besides for enhancing my life by being a constant source of understanding, support, and laughter, she has, without intent, bettered my emotional and social footprint on this world.

 

I fundamentally believe that people are always changing; every day, every minute, we are receiving feedback that affects how we perceive, how we think, and how we act. Some days we change more than others, but generally that change goes unnoticed until viewed from the distance of time. This decade of my life has held a lot of changes, but the last two years, besides for this headlong jump into my education, I’ve most significantly felt the impact of my shifting perceptions.

 

Two years ago I started to become more directly exposed to Cat’s gentle scent of activism in the form of critiques, musings, and efforts to be inclusive and thoughtful in her language. Now, I have always thought myself socially conscious and have been surrounded by varying aspects through the people in my life, but never before to the level at which this challenged me.

 

I say challenged because even though I had always been open to ways in which I could be more inclusive and progressive, Cat would notice and talk about issues I had never before thought to think about. I thought myself a humanist, or an equalist, assuming that of course it was better to only think of all the people as a whole, not realizing how necessary it actually was to focus on women, or the differently abled, or people of color, or any oppressed or disadvantaged by society. As a white, generally healthy, cisgendered person, the impact of the issues weren’t fully in my field of vision, not to claim that they are even fully now, but you generally know what you live, and I have fortunately lived a pretty charmed life.

 

These challenges were mostly presented in the entertainment industry, in games, movies, shows etcetera. In a way, initially, I was angry about being challenged. Her critiques of some of my favorite things, though not untrue, felt hurtful and souring. I would be annoyed while watching Doctor Who with her, or would dread the end of a movie viewed together. I was stuck in this mindset that these things she saw as “problematic” where simply the stories that the writer wanted to tell, and I felt like simply because I enjoyed the thing was reason enough for it to be fine the way it was.

 

Cat never pushed me or actively tried to get me to change, she loved me the way I was, and I knew she thought I was a wonderful human being no matter what; she just simply was – unapologetic and unflinching in her quest for global betterness.

 

Through this, I was suddenly painfully aware of the lack of people of color in my favorite television shows, or the way in which a character I viewed as a badass chick was actually a tired trope. I was angry with Cat because it was her pointing these things out that caused me to feel uncomfortable about what I loved.

 

It didn’t take me long though before I realized that my anger was in fact misplaced and that I could in no way blame her for removing a little of the wool that had been systematically pulled over my eyes for the last 25 years. I even got to a point where I realized I could still enjoy the things I had loved and that I could also be critical of their failings; the two were not mutually exclusive.

 

And as feminism is currently having this big moment, both in and out of the entertainment industry, I’m struck with how thankful I am for being in a place where I can really appreciate it and understand what I have to fight for.

 

So on this, the (yester)day of her 32nd Birthday, I want to share my unending appreciation for what she has opened me to, and of who she is, because I think she’s pretty fucking cool.

<3

 

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Oct 29, 2014

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Updates!

This update is a long time coming. I’ve been busy, between school, two part time jobs, and trying to keep my sanity; but I’ve been really wanting to let you know how everything is going.

Academics

This summer I took Pre-calculus and C++ and achieved B’s in both. I was sad to lose my 4.0 grade average, but knew that it had to come eventually.

The precalc was challenging, but I’m proud of how well I did for a compressed summer course and in comparison to the class average. I did very well with the C++ course, and would have gotten an A in the class, but due horrendous traffic, I was over an hour late to my final exam (which was weighted with the midterm to be worth over half the course grade).

I had a very brief break, and then started in on the fall semester.

I’m currently taking Calculus, Chemistry, Engineering Drafting/Design, and Advanced AutoCAD.

Calculus, is a bit of a mixed bag. I do great on the homework and understand and participate in class, but the tests are long, difficult and don’t allow calculators. The teacher is young, and new to teaching though. His only teaching gig before SRJC was a privet catholic women’s college in Montana. I think that he’s starting to realize that he may need to expect a little less from his junior college students. Although I did poorly (for me) on the last test, I actually did a little better than some other students who are the smarties in the class.

I’m really enjoying Chemisty, but it’s like learning a whole new language. I’m also doing fairly well and get “good job!” written on my tests.

Engineering is also going pretty good. I just got my midterm back and scored a 42 our of 40. Its taught by an adjunct teacher who works at Medtronics so he has a lot of good industry knowledge.

I’m also excelling in my Advanced AutoCAD course. Though this wasn’t required for my major or transfer, I elected to take it because I did so well in the previous AutoCAD course and there are good opportunities for drafting work. I’m hoping to maybe get a part time work from home job once the class is over. I think I can get a good recommendation from my teacher as well considering he stopped by my desk last week and said “You’re pretty good at this, aren’t you?”.

This semester I joined the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program which has a lot of great opportunities from things like campus visits to information on internships.

I even just submitted my registration for an Undergraduate Women in Physics conference for this winter. I’m also hoping to be selected for a summer research internship at UC Berkeley. I have to write some essays and get recommendations from teachers to apply by the end of the year.

All in all I’m still in love with being a student and am so passionate about where I’m heading.

Financial

I managed to score a couple of scholarships that for the Fall semester paid out about $600. I also got my fall distribution of my Stafford student loans, though is a little less than last year because of the total limit of what I can take out.

We knew it would have to be like that, gradually less and less for each year I plan to borrow, hoping that scholarships I would receive would make up the difference, but I’m also driving back and forth to school 4 days a week  now, about 1600 miles a month.

I’ve started looking for some kind of rental closer to school, but so far nothing has been a financially sound option to give up my current situation.

I also haven’t yet received any of my grant (free) money yet because I had to submit a special conditions form, that I didn’t get noticed needed additional paperwork until last week. When I submitted said paperwork on Monday I found out that it would be another 4 to 6 weeks for processing. This takes me through the end of the semester basically with about half the money I had last year.

I’m hopeful that I can keep things floating until my grant money comes through, or I receive aid for the spring semester.

I’m looking forward to applying for the next round of scholarships, I should be eligible for quite a few.

 

<3 <3 <3

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Jun 17, 2014

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Whaaaat!?

I somehow was awarded another scholarship!

sailor moon animated GIF

I’m blown away but super excited and proud of myself.

Today was the first day of the summer semester and I’m really glad to be back at it.

My brief break was both over too quickly, and not quickly enough.

 

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Jun 8, 2014

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Scholarship!

Just a quick update, I received a letter from my school yesterday letting me know I’ve been awarded an engineering scholarship in the amount of $650!

money animated GIF

I just have to write a thank you letter and attend an annual scholarship reception in August.

I’m so excited that I was chosen, and I look forward to becoming eligible for even more scholarships as I advance in my schooling.

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