Saturday, May 15, 2010

College Graduation

Today was the graduation ceremony for the 2010 graduates of Phoenix College. Among them, I suppose you could include myself. Although I graduated last semester, they don't offer a graduation ceremony for the fall graduates; so they postpone it until the end of the spring semester.

I did not, however, attend. Instead, I went there to see my friend Jenn graduate. And honestly, I don't feel like I missed out on much. There was a lady talking for like an hour and a half, a band playing, and the traditional reading of names. Not my sort of bag, baby.

Besides that fact, I already feel like an ASU student. Although I have only attended one semester so far, it's been such a long journey for me that I already feel like I've long-since moved on from the small-town life of Phoenix College and graduated into a full blown ASU community.

Perhaps I'll attend my graduation for ASU. However, I've got so much further to go. After my bachelor degree, I plan on getting my masters and eventually my PhD. After that, it's likely I still won't quit and will end up going to school for the rest of my life. A simple accomplishment like my associate's degree, which I hardly feel matters in the grand scheme of things, doesn't seem like much to celebrate.

Furthermore, time is just crawling by in my life. Every minute of every day feels like eternity. Every day seems like a distant memory. Every week feels like forever ago. And the concept of years is outside of my scope of understanding at this point. I talk about high school using terms like "back in the day" and "when I was young," though arguably, I haven't grown up a bit.

I often compare this to the feeling of being a child. I remember very well when I was four or five and everyday seemed like it presented an infinite number of possibilities. I feel as though perhaps when we are young, we are much more receptive to the world and so entrenched in our inner thoughts that we have no need for the conceptualization of time until its taught in schools.

This isn't necessarily a new phenomena for me though. My perspective of time has always been horribly skewed. Where by at few times in my life has it ever felt like time just "flew by."

Moving forward and finally reaching goals that seemed just yesterday so far away just seems to unreal to me. It is hard to think that I've accomplished so much and even more unreal to think of how much further I really have to go. College, to me, isn't just a passing phase. From the way I look at it, college is life. And to me, it seems like it will never end. And with that thought, I'm never horribly disappointed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friends: Growing and Shrinking

I can't honestly recall all the people I've met at college, but I can say it's been a lot. When I first started going to Phoenix College, I didn't know anybody. I hardly even knew anyone in my class and was kind of shy in my approach to getting new college friends. It had been quite a while since I was left to fend for myself and meet new people because for years prior, there was always at least a handful of my friends there. But here, I had to strike out completely on my own.

My first group of friends was this group of people who used to hang out by the coffee cart. In fact, the girl who ran the coffee cart was one of the first people I met. Surprisingly, at of nowhere, she said, "Hey what's up?" and from there, we became really good friends. Then, I met a whole bunch of other people ranging from a theater major to some Russian girl who would say "What the Heeeeell" which was really funny the way she would say it.

After my first semester, however, I began branching off in different directions. I ended up meeting a guy named Justin who was fuckin' crazy and weird as all fuck. He was obsessed with guns and war (much like Thunder was back in highschool), and he knew just about everyone it seemed. Through him, I met most of my most important friends today. I met Corina first. Then, I saw Travis but never really talked to him a lot cause he always looked angry. And then I met Amanda, and through her, Vinancia. And through her, her boyfriend Javi and their friend Jarrad. And then I found out that they all knew each other.

I eventually made extensive efforts to pull that group of people with another group I failed to mention, and it went over very successfully. However, after about a half a year of non-stop partying, it seems like most people have gone their separate ways and never recovered. Never-the-less, I will keep the party alive in my own heart and never stop having fun.

--Koi

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer Vacation

It's time for Summer Vacation! Since the early days of elementary school, Summer Vacation has been something to look forward to. Some people end up taking Summer classes (as I did once or twice), but in general, it's a time to recuperate and just relax. Lots of people get jobs over the Summer.... not me!

People often wonder, Where the hell do you get money? Well, it's simple really... I don't really know. Part of it comes from donating plasma (very lucrative activity). Some of it comes from helping people with projects like Jenn and Wesley building their house. Some of it comes from playing guitar at first fridays. But in general, I don't have any definite source of income. I'm constantly in a state of brokeness, at least until next Fall when I get more student loans.

But it's ok because for about a year now, I've been living at home again. And although it's really far from EVERYTHING therefore requiring me to have reliable transportation to get to and from my friends' houses, I don't have to pay any rent or anything like that. The main thing is, I don't want a real job!

I've had jobs. I've had plenty of jobs. I've worked at Traffic Research and Analysis (yawn!), Wal-Mart (OMG!!!! KILL ME!), Target (Seriously? Stop yelling at me! I'm not gonna work any faster!), Hot Topic (What the fuck is my job here? Am I really just supposed to fold shirts?) and CVS (I'm so freakin' tired of being a corporate slave!). I've seriously been there and done that, and I've even worked for a week at a Persian restaurant.

However, there is nothing more invigorating than being an entrepreneur, especially when you're not even entirely sure what your business is...
Are you a street musician?
Are you a construction worker?
Are you an opportunist?

Who knows! Who cares! As long as you have enough money to stay afloat until the next big chapter of your life happens by, who honestly gives a shit?

But over the Summer, I also have lots of different things planned, including researching the upcoming Arizona Congressmen and figuring out how to easily distribute that information. I'm also planning on working on Democratic Economics, which a project I'm doing for personal pleasure regarding the restructuring of businesses. And I plan on prepping for school next semester so I'm totally on top of everything and get 5 straight A's. HELL YEA!

More than anything, I hope that I can finally hang out with friends again. This semester has been such a huge dampener on my personal time. And although I still had plenty of time to party, sometimes, I had to spend a week or two at a time not seeing anyone.

Summer Vacation, here I come!

--Koi

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Momentary Distraction For The Chaos Of Way Too Much Work!

Here I am, momentarily distracting myself from the general monotony of the overwhelming oppressiveness of finals! I sincerely can't believe I have made it this far! From being horribly disorganized and overwhelmingly stressed out, having way too much to do and not enough time, I have somehow managed to squeeze by another semester. I may, for many reasons, end up getting poor grades for my Comparative Government class, but I will undoubtedly pass, as I did do the 5 page extra credit assignment, and so I may need to retake that course next semester if things don't look good on my final. However, as far as the rest of my classes are concerned, I'm fairly certain that I'm getting B's and A's in all of them! This is, of course, the usual trend. Getting C's is a very uncommon happening in my education, but with taking on 5 courses instead of my usual 4 as well as now being a junior, I have found that school has become a lot more challenging. (Who ever knew that writing 10 page papers can be so much work!?)

Over the past couple of days, I have gone through hell. From having 2 french finals, an american government final, and a comparative government final, on top of a five page paper, a 10 page paper, an 8-10 page paper, and 3 very difficult 4 page papers, I have been absolutely exhausted non-stop and ready to quit at every turn, but somehow, I manage to kick my own ass (figuratively?) and get going. And now, I have finished all except for the 10 page paper for my American Government class and the actual written final which should be multiple choice and no problem no problem.

As far as the 10 page paper goes, that's not part of my final, I was just never able to complete it. So I find it personally imperative that I turn it in TODAY (which means at around 230) because despite the fact that he is very easy to deal with as far as teachers go, I don't know how relaxed he will actually end up being on the deadline and how much penalty I will have for turning in a paper like a month late!!!

Never-the-less, I had a lot written out already, I took exactly what he told me to do and just went ahead and did it, which made it SO much easier. That was, by the way, to go on wikipedia and see what they had. It gave me the name of the Congressmen that sponsored the bill I'm writing about, which very quickly lead me to a lot of quotes from the proponents of the bill, and I also got a few very good articles from wiki that were all a click away. It also helped me to define what exactly the bill was and what it did.

Taking what I already had (I had saved on my computer two separate attempts at the paper), I cut out the fat and left a nice huge paragraph from each to combine, and then I went quickly away, typing up this paper in remarkable time. If the other papers I was doing were going this fast, I would have been able to sleep a little in the past couple days....

--Koi

Sunday, May 9, 2010

College Should Be Your First Option

Yesterday, while I was diligently working on my finals (unlike right now), some guy named Charley or something close to that came up to me out of nowhere. (I mean, literally, it was like 3 in the morning!) We began talking and he mentioned how he didn't even go to college and how he was just out bowling with one of his friends who was a physics major there.

I asked him, "Why aren't you in college?" and he said because he didn't have a GED.

I told him that he didn't need to have a GED, and that if he did, it would just be a simple test to get it. It was no excuse not to try and further his education. It so turns out that colleges that require a GED to get in often have a GED equivalence test that can be taken for a reasonable fee. At the community colleges here in Arizona, those tests cost $75 to take the first time and $15 to retake. So there really is no reason to not get yourself in college! (Maricopa Community College GED Equivalence)

He told me he worked at Wal-Mart and that he was thinking about going into the Army so that he could get his life going. I told him that the Army should be his second option; college should be his first. There is no reason not to give college a try before you consider the army because you can get scholarships and loans and all sorts of programs to help you out, and if you really can't make it in college, the army will clean up the mess left behind, take care of your debts, and pay for your college for when you get out! There's no real reason you shouldn't try your damnedest to make it in college before you consider the armed services.
old wal-mart employee
Disgruntled Old Wal-Mart Employee

And I told him, "Or you could look at it this way: what is going to happen if you spend the rest of your life at Wal-Mart?"

And he said, "I might get promoted and make a little more money."

And I said, "Right. But basically, absolutely nothing is going to happen. You're not going to go anywhere. You're going to continue living check-to-check. And you're never going to contribute anything useful to society. You will never be anything if you don't get educated."

I'm not sure if those were the exact words, but that was basically how it went.

My point is, don't give up on college until you're completely out of options. Education is the one asset that can not be taken away. Regardless of how much debt and struggling is acquired because of your going to college, you will walk out a richer man! You will have the one resource which does not depreciate in value, which can not be taken away, and which highly increases your capabilities to get a good job that could lead to other more lucrative capital.

Kids, stay in school. I'm fuckin' serious, here. Just stay in school. You'll thank me later.

--Koi