Over break

Thanksgiving break has passed by quickly.  Here’s a quick list of things I’ve done these past few days that I haven’t done in a while:

  • saw a movie in the theater (Ninja Assassin!)
  • got a haircut
  • stayed up til sunrise playing a game (Borderlands co-op at Gabe’s…so fun, but…oops haha)
  • went to sleep around 12am (the previous bullet partially contributed to this)
  • got out of bed around 5am for Black Friday…and the only things I bought at the mall were an original-sized Jamba Juice (Mango-a-go-go!) and chicken teriyaki for lunch.
  • read a book (“The Ghost King”, over ~5hrs at Borders during Black Friday morning instead of shopping)
  • ate spicy tofu at Fort Lee
  • felt a sense of deja vu about
  • felt it was good to be home after such a long period
  • remembered why it was good to be away from home for long periods

Sigh.

and of course i regretted things i did and didn’t do over the past college years.

I don’t remember what I wanted to write about, so I’ll leave it at this for now.

intentions

I can’t help but feel that things have gone wrong.  Now, despite the fact that the previous sentence might be one of the biggest understatements I’ve ever written or spoken aloud, I still feel strangely calm.  One might think I’d be agitated, annoyed or angry but right now I feel mostly numb.  The other part, for any who want to know, is more or less a mix of disappointment, shame and disgust.  It’s possible that I’m missing a few emotions here and there but I don’t really care.

Many parts of this situation bother me right now.  For one, it’s Thanksgiving (if that’s supposed to mean something) and I imagine the prevailing opinion (among somewhat well-off Americans) is that this day should be one of thankfulness and a time for family to gather.  One of the biggest problems right now is that I am a senior in college without a good plan.  There’s more, such as how while sitting here in the dark I can hear muffled voices arguing; that I’m supposed to wake up in around five hours to take part in something Black Friday related; and more.

One of the issues at hand here is how I don’t think I’m going to graduate “in time”, a.k.a. this coming May.  I am 12 credits short of graduating (or at least, if the next few months/next semester go well, I will be), and originally intended to just take 12 credits worth of classes this coming summer to remedy that situation.  But this mildly thought-out plan didn’t go over so well with a parent.  It now seems like I’m even more of a failure than they expected before, or at least, that one of their hidden fears is now slowly materializing.  I didn’t expect so much dismay, because graduating a semester later did not seem unreasonable to me, but I guess I’m adding another line to my list of bad calls.  What the reason behind such dismay is, exactly–a matter of pride, a matter of “face”–I don’t know, but I imagine I could’ve gotten the same reaction if I told her I just failed out of college.  Seems like I keep dropping the ball on all these expectations…didn’t make top-notch colleges (for reasons that seem apparent to me), don’t have my future mapped out, and now probably not graduating on time?  Haha…I just get the feeling this is all messed up almost to a comical degree.  Just a few minutes earlier I realized that the word “awry” is a combination of “aw” with my initials.  The irony or degree of coincidence is astounding.

I don’t know what is in the future.  I feel that I haven’t been “normal” my entire life and why should things start working out now?  Granted, my conception of “normal” is probably skewed, and to some degree I don’t know if I want the “normalcy” that’s been lacking, but…the comfort of familiarity is still attractive.  I hear stories of people doing unconventional things and their lives working out fine, or at least, as well as can be inferred from the view of a page in some magazine.  I don’t see myself in a conventional job, but then, I don’t see myself anywhere.  It’s only been these last few months where I’ve been picking up more ideas of the things I like and don’t like.  I don’t want to end up living in places like New Brunswick or Newark.  I don’t want to be surrounded by close-minded people, ignorant people, people who hate because they fear because they don’t understand.  I want to raise a family in a way I believe is right, and instill in children (mine or others) values of the sort I would be proud to uphold.  I want a reason to live for something more than myself, something or someone to be dedicated to.  I want to help fix problems one at a time.  I want to help solve my friends’ problems.  I want to be useful.  I want to be loved.  In that way, I think I’m like most people.  But is what I’m going through a common situation?

I feel the pull of sleep as I consider what next to write.  My great fear of the moment is that I will wake up and have lost the motivation to change and do something different–my plan is to head to the mall for just a bit and then head somewhere isolated to plan.  So many times I’ve had motivation spurred on by strong emotion, usually anger, but as the anger faded so too did the motivation.  In this case, I don’t believe I can afford to delay any longer.

I spoke of “things going wrong” earlier–and a failure to follow through has been one of them.  When I bother to think about it, I think my list of failures grows.  I had several points I wanted to make in this entry but as drowsiness envelops me, I forget them.

There is indeed so much I have to be thankful for.  But that’s just about one of the few things I’m certain about.  Everything else is up in the air.

I am tired.  I’m going to sleep now and will continue to think later.  Appreciating the moments.

bonding before break

just watched 2fast 2furious, was entertaining.

felt quite good to be finished with our presentation earlier today. i think despite some shaky meetings it all came together pretty well.

afterward, nice to hang out a bit with a friend, finally get takeout from Neilson, at the same time getting to talk & bond a bit. finding that we think the same with regards to a bunch of things, and along with that, just…alike in a certain way i haven’t quite put my finger on yet. it has something to do with the way we think and approach life, and is some attribute that i’ve rarely seen in others…very few people i can talk with in the same way.

definitely enjoyed our conversation, and the few hours that breezed by accentuated that. it’s meeting the few interesting people like this who make life all that much more fulfilling, who in a way help alleviate the wackiness of the majority of others.

it’s yet another thing to be thankful for.

group meeting

this group meeting is wack haha.

ppl are late, which is ok, but some ppl already can’t make it…and our presentation’s tomorrow. and we still haven’t yet rehearsed or all looked at the final version of our presentation, because we’re supposed to be finalizing stuff now.

ohhh man grrr.

…and the 2-hr nap i just took is helping me stay awake. or maybe just adrenaline from lifting my head to check nextbus and seeing i had 5 minutes to toss stuff in a bag and run out the door.

yay college -____-

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[edit]

well, things turned out a bit better–people eventually showed up and more importantly, work got done. right now i’m back at the apartment trying to finalize the powerpoint and overall presentation. this is kind of annoying partly because i’m tired, sore, really tired, and just want to go to sleep.

okk have to stop creatively procrastinating. comeonnn let’s finish this.

darn nextbus

it’s 7:45am. i got up like around 15min or so ago (a feat accomplished due to some combo of luck, sleeping non-horizontally, and a few alarms). so tired. really annoyed by weekend buses. according to nextbus there was one single H bus that came about 3 min ago. now there’s none. which is strange b/c i didn’t think there were any H buses on the weekend. darn nextbus.

grr carnival. i guess i’ll try to get some work done while i wait til about 8am. then i’m just going to walk to college ave/EBCHC. no waiting ridiculous times for buses.

OH and i checked my email and saw notification from Rutgers, apparently a financial hold of $10 has been placed on my account by Parking Services. this doesn’t sound right so i tried to go find out what it was, but the application we’re supposed to use doesn’t “open” until 8am on Saturdays, and the number they said to call, the Dept. of Transportation Services, doesn’t open til “the next business day”. stupid Rutgers…what financial hold?? that bugs me, but i’ll check it out as soon as i can.

what a start to the day. can’t wait til its over.

sighhh. yawnnnn.

smoky french fries

on an entirely separate note, i just found out that earlier tonight my roommate was attempting to fry some french fries or something, so he put them on a pan and turned up the heat.

Due to a combination of lack of oil on the pan and lack of proper ventilation–he hadn’t turned on the exhaust fan or opened any windows–smoke soon filled the apartment and our fire alarm went off –”

hahaha my other apartment-mates were cracking up pretty badly about it.

taboo fun

after badminton today, chilled w/Preston & Julie and went to visit Betty at the Quads. We ended up playing a really fun and partly intense game of Taboo (we kept switching teams) for a few hours, until we finally called an end to it around 2am.

haha classic moments include: me and Preston on a team, me with the word “cuddle”, me describing it to silence, then me looking up at Preston (who was rearranging the Taboo cards)…me thinking, “no. he didn’t.” and then saying, “Preston, WE’RE ON THE SAME TEAM GUESS GOOO” hahahaha. it’s partly funny b/c i kinda expected it.

another ridiculous moment was when Julie and I were on a team (during the last, super-intense hours-long game), i had “barney” but couldn’t use “dinosaur” or “purple’, so maneuvered until we had “purple dinosaur”…and then Julie guessed brontosaurus. at which point i was sputtering, Preston and Betty were cracking up…and then time ran out. at which point i stood up and banged my head against the lounge window. hahaha…definitely funny in retrospect.

definitely a really fun night. too bad i have to (1) do work in preparation for our Diversity group meeting tmrw afternoon; and (2) get up early for the ROAR carnival. That’s going to be…rough.

good times haha.

RUviable?

I’ve been considering the future of the Rutgers Badminton Club (RUBAD) on and off for a while now. Just in the last few minutes I’ve been doing some actual planning (as in, writing stuff down, sending messages/texts/emails/etc) with regards to the next semester/year.

I’d known that a good chunk of our club’s leadership would be graduating, but I didn’t realize just how big of an impact that would be until I looked at it on paper: of the 10 or so officers we had at the start of the year, counting Chris, 4 of us will be graduating, one will be unavailable due to study abroad (naturally it’d be the Treasurer, one of our most important officers), one is unavailable in general (that’d be Chris), and that leaves us…with 4 remaining officers, three of whom I just texted to check their status for next semester & year (the 4th I’ll ask in person.) Of those 4, one has been more or less unavailable this entire semester due to academic priorities; two rarely come to practice; and the last is enthusiastic about badminton and does some stuff. To sum it up, the people we have now, as they are now, are not yet enough to keep the club going the way I’d prefer. I should say, I haven’t yet seen the initiative, leadership and commitment that I think is needed to keep RU Badminton going.

Haha maybe I should describe the other board members who’ll be graduating/won’t be around, to illustrate part of the reason we haven’t been as productive this year. Of the 4 officers who’ll be graduating, two are very enthusiastic about badminton but not as enthusiastic about the club; one somewhat tries to help out but is erratic in terms of duties/behavior and requires some amount of hand-holding/overseeing; and the final one tries to do a lot for the club…on and off. The officer who’ll be studying abroad has been pretty good about her duties but might not have even participated in one practice this semester (usually for understandable reasons). And that about describes the officers of our club. We had a few club members who used to help out, but they’ve been inconspicuously absent this semester.

So, responses to the text messages I sent an hour or so ago have been slowly coming in. Actually, at this point, only one of the officers I’ve texted has responded (positively), but that doesn’t really mean anything since the others might be in class or otherwise legitimately occupied. The other response I’ve received has been from one of our more committed club members, who confirmed that she’s interested in an eboard position, which I’m definitely glad to hear. There’s potential there, I think.

I mentioned something about leadership in my last entry, and the subject rears its head in this post too. Hmm more than just rearing its head–leadership is the underlying topic of this whole post. I wondered–have been wondering–about my own leadership with regards to RU Badminton. I have no doubt that I could have done so much more for the club this year and probably last year, but what held me back was a strange lack of motivation that struck at certain times. There would be moments where I’d be in a flurry of motion doing things for the club, sitting down and focusing like I’d rarely do for class to work out one thing or another. Then there would also be those times when I’d be so reluctant to do something that needed to be done. This semester, I think I’ve been constrained just because I don’t have as much of an interest in the club, which is bad because I’m supposed to be the driving force behind the club. At least, that’s what I imagine to be part of my job description. If I don’t do my job, no one will, and more importantly, NOTHING will get done. A friend recently told me though, that that’s not the right mindset to have–the “if I don’t do it no one will” mindset, and I guess I agree with her. But the fact that I sometimes feel like that…I dunno. There have been times where I think I shouldn’t be in charge of the club, or in charge of anything, for that matter…which is kind of strange, because I think I like leading/managing things. The paradox comes in when sometimes I wish I could just take part in a well-organized activity and not need to worry about this or that–like for badminton, there’ve been times I wish I could just go to practices, learn, and not need to worry about the things behind the scenes. At the same time I’m participating in anything, though, I can’t help but notice the things that I believe could be done better–things that I would do if I had a say in things–and so the conflict for me is whether I want to be able to improve something (yet have to deal with the stupid things that come along with the territory), or to just sit back and participate, and have to keep seeing things be done at a level below where they could be.

In terms of trying to bring about change in the club…I realize that I don’t really know how to create an atmosphere of comradery, which I think is extremely important in getting people attracted to and commited to any organization. I think that the comradery within Verse|One has a large part to do with why I enjoy it so much–there’s the feeling of inclusion, of family. I wish I could bring that to the Badminton Club, but I think I’m just not sure how to start it. RUBAD is comprised of a variety of students from a variety of majors and backgrounds–one might say that RUBAD is a microcosm of the diversity of Rutgers as a whole–and that presents an interesting challenge when determining how to form a community out of our group. I’d venture to say that communities are formed on the basis of common needs or in this case, common interests. So we have badminton as a common interest, but part of what keeps this community from forming is the fact that not everyone would like have this sense of “community”–I’m pretty sure some RUBAD members don’t mind that they just come to play, leave, do their own thing. Well…it’s a work in progress, I guess.

Hmm. I’m not sure how it came about, but I have an eye for detail. That attention that I have to the small things is I think a large part of why I’m successful in a lot of the things I do, be it badminton or dance. This eye for detail is what notices the “could be betters” of a swing of a racquet, the “should be dones” of someone’s dance routine. The problem is that I don’t fully take advantage of this trait of mine. I imagine that in conjunction with other personality traits, this attention to detail could be a greater asset to me than it is now, buuuut it’s just the matter of…finding something to work towards; of finding finding that motivationt that I’ve been looking for since entering college.

By now, I’ve gotten responses from each of the 3 board members I’ve texted. Looks like they’re all still interested in continuing (one admits that he’ll still be busy but should be able to stay with us), which I find that I appreciate, since after all, they’re hardly bound to me/RUBAD by anything, so I assume that they have at least a bit more interest than your average RUBAD member. They could’ve just informed me that, regretfully, they won’t be continuing. Maybe it’s just because they haven’t had to do much…hahaha. I really shouldn’t make guesses as to what keeps our officers committed–if I’m really curious, I’ll just ask in person.

But, badminton. Rutgers Badminton. Will the club remain viable after the 4 seniors graduate? Haha…well, it’s my job to make sure that it does. It’s my job–or more importantly, my duty–to make sure that the club won’t be lacking in leadership (…relatively…) once I leave. Hence all these texts these last two hours, the planning, even this entry, which helps me wrap my mind around a few things.

I haven’t been the best leader, but if nothing else I’m going to try hard to make sure that RU Badminton won’t (temporarily) die out after I leave.

one of those quotes

i’d never heard it before, but during CCF Wednesday night when the speaker mentioned it, i found myself rolling the words around in my head, first to make sense of it and then to test it, seeing if the words made sense to my intuition before my reason could get to it.

“hurt people hurt people.”

feels profound to me.

dislikes

i noticed that sometimes i don’t have a solid grasp of the things i dislike, but i just (re)realized, one of the things that strongly bugs me is shoddy leadership, in the form of almost hypocrisy–that is, saying one thing and doing another. it could be that this annoyance also has to do with what i perceive as bad leadership in general.

the example coming to mind when i write this has to do with our dance practices. it’s interesting to note the different teaching styles of our various coordinators/teachers, even more so because of the leadership classes i’ve taken, how one coordinator will be less patient than others, etc. Especially during the course of a practice, the leadership styles of our coordinators stand out, to me at least–some are very strict, which I agree is occasionally necessary, but I definitely disagree with the ways that some of them try to get us to fall in line. Yelling at people might get them to follow in the short term, but certainly doesn’t engender goodwill, even if it’s for “our own good”.

Haha…it’s just one of those things that I notice while it’s happening and kinda mentally shake my head. Because what can I do? I’m certainly not going to go out of my way to try and change that, for a lot of reasons, the greatest one perhaps being that certain people resent others trying to explain a different way to do things, even if that different way should help them, even if that explanation is done in a completely non-condescending manner.

I guess it has its worth to me in that it stresses the kinds of things that I’ll remember not to do.