2/1/17

Valor lies just halfway between rashness and cowardice.

Photo by Janko Ferlic
Thoughts:
It's been a few weeks since classes started and it's actually not that bad this semester because it seems like I have a lot more time. And that is because I have a more or less similar schedule Mondays through Thursdays. On those days, I have a 9:10 AM class and another class starting around 12 PM, with an hour and a half-ish break in between those classes. And that break usually includes eating lunch from one of the food trucks (which isn't that great on my budget), doing homework, napping, driving back to the campus, or trying to get through my online anthropology class. After classes are over, it's either more homework (aka actually trying to get through anthropology), work, going to some sort of club meeting, napping, or procrastinating. And then I make it back home, sweet home, somehow surviving Utah's kind of weird winter (it's very snowy this year yet still warm in some aspects, complete with lots of bad air >-<.) Fridays, as usual, are my day off but I always somehow end up on campus again because of more club meetings and some kind of socializing event with my friends afterwards, which mainly includes getting boba.

Classes:
ANTH 1020: Human Origins: Evolution and Diversity: An interesting class so far. I've been thinking about anthropology in new ways that I didn't think of before because frankly, I wasn't interested in the subject. But this class is forcing me to think of all the different variances of anthropology, especially in physical anthropology. And honestly, the only reason why I'm taking this class is because I need it for one of my general education requirements. Also, since the class is online, it's interesting to see the lectures in a video format instead of a PDF format that I'm used to by now.

BUS 1050: Foundations of Business: This is an important class that I need for my business minor, but it's also a slightly uncomfortable class to be in because the teacher continually emphasizes his white male privilege. An example would be, "He or she gets too long, let's just assume that it has a male identity and just call him a he" (or something along those lines.) (Funny thing is, he always goes back to saying he or she the next day). But, I'm not dropping out because it's too late for that, and in order to grow I need to be around others who have a different mindset from mine, so... It is interesting to see how he incorporates the fine arts into business, in the hopes of making us a more well rounded person who sees the humanity in others, and hopefully avoid the route of corporate scandal.

ENGL 5810: Writers in the Schools: By now it has become obvious that I like volunteering with people younger than me because they're fun to be around. It's also a good trial as to who I might become whenever or if I decide to become a parent. This time I'm teaching and in a way help cultivate a love of creative writing to seventh and eighth graders at a nearby middle school (or at least try to do that). It' also a bit weird because I'm only with four specific students all semester, so I'm really taking on the role of mentor. And honestly, it's a bit relieving because I don't have to focus on ten students at a time and worry about whether or not I'm displaying favoritism.

ENGL 5830: Studies in Asian American Literature: This is one of my favorite classes this semester because it's actually taught by an Asian American professor with a bit of a social justice lens (it's also an Ethnic studies course). It's nice to know that I'm not alone in feeling like other, like a [explicit word that I decide to censor this time] token minority. Though it's hard because it looks like most of the class is white (that's Utah for you), so trying to get them to see how white culture is dominant and how trying to fit in and in a way pretend to be white is continually tiring, gets well tiring. It's also nice to read more books about Asian Americans that doesn't focus predominately on the immigrant experience. Instead, I think it's trying to focus on the diversity among Asian Americans and how race continually defines our experience in life.

VIET 2020: Intermediate Vietnamese II: Ahh! I'm so close to finishing the language part of my B.A. (Bachelor of Arts). This semester is a bit weird though because the original teacher who taught my other three Vietnamese courses decided to only teach the 1020 students this semester (I think because of his other work schedule getting in the way). So, his wife is now teaching my class. She was supposed to also have taught my class last semester too but she didn't because who knows. It's interesting because she doesn't speak Vietnamese the proper way like her husband does, instead she says it in a Northern accent. And for me coming from a family who's predominately Southern, it's a bit hard to understand her accent. However, I'm trying and that's all that matters.

Other events that has happened this semester:
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates came to talk at my college for our annual MLK Jr. week. Unfortunately, I was unable to see him live because I forgot to grab myself a ticket. Fortunately enough, my university always live stream big talks like this one, so I was able to still see him talk. In this particular keynote, he points out the fact that the United States was built on the violence of black people and how it still enacts that violence, albeit in different ways, today. And how systemic racism is. He doesn't offer a solution as to how to stop it, but I think he's already offering a solution. Education. Just educate people about it and then hopefully they're inspired enough to help stop it within the systems. Which will take a while, but it's a worthy cause to fight against, in my opinion.  Also, educate people because you actually want to, not because you're forced to.
  • Women's March, Salt Lake City version. An interesting event that I'm glad that I got to attend, more of my thoughts on it later in a different blog post.
  • Getting free tickets to go see a Sundance film from one of the lovely college advisers who's also into social justice all because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. The film was God's Own Country, and the very basic gist of it is  two gay farmers who don't die in the end. It's a sweet film and kind of sad in some parts but you should definitely watch it, if you get the chance (just be aware that there are a few sex scenes and a lot of moaning.)

Note: The quote in today's title is from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
And now the weather:
I Don't Know My Name by Grace VanderWaal

Oh I don't know my name because I'm really, really tired from staying up at four in the morning trying to finish this essay. (Even though I haven't gotten any essays assigned just yet.)
~ Stacy N.

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