Be open and free, but not reckless. Be friendly and happy but not expectant. Be confident and decided, but open. Be responsible, and think everything through before coming to a conclusion. Don’t be scared of new things or failure. Live in the present, but focus on growing from the past and working towards the future. Be independent, and be strong. Appreciate the sounds, smells, simplicity of life. But also appreciate the complexities as well. Most of all, don’t regret anything.
/15/ Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
/14/ It begins at the roots.
So there have been many recent campaigns surrounding the awareness of the small population of African American students within the UC system, as well as campaigns to increase those numbers. However, I highly doubt these attempts to make a change will do much if anything at all. I think the key concept they are missing is that the problem doesn’t lie within the UC system; it’s not so much that (I’m assuming) black students are specifically avoiding attending UCs as the totalpopulation of eligible black students is small itself. So as much as the UCs want to increase the numbers of African American students attending, there’s not much you can do if you are meeting tight constraints with the population you are working with.
If changes are to be made, efforts should be turned to encouraging students to want to attend college from a young age, encouraging a general embrace of education, basically working at the foundation. Because if you have an unstable foundation, you aren’t going to be able to build much on top of it. And it shouldn’t even be about the numbers. It should be about having students that are ready and prepared to take on the challenge.
Which makes me think about affirmative action. It’s such a complex institution, with many pros and cons. So simplistically put: is it a good or bad thing? I still don’t know the answer to that, but I think there is a need to make sure you aren’t being blinded by the desire for diversity. As important as diversity is, an education is nothing to the individual if they cannot keep up with their classmates. In my opinion, if a school wanted me to attend primarily because I would add diversity to the school’s student population, that’s a great opportunity for both myself and the school. However, if I was unprepared or less prepared than my peers, would that be fair to me to throw me into the school and hope that I survive? It’s such a subjective process because many students have such varying ability levels even within the same school. So the question should not really be “How do we encourage more African Americans to attend UCSD” so much as “How should we encourage more African Americans to attend college” and when that issue has progressed, perhaps talks of how to encourage a greater African American population to attend UCSD would be more appropriate. While you cannot underestimate the priceless value of racial diversity, I hope that one day we can get to a point where diversity won’t have to be stressed upon so much; it will just be the way things are.
Isn’t it ironic that my unlucky #13 post is about how lucky I am? I had the best weekend ever!
/12/ Reading for fun?
So tonight I basically did nothing, yet it felt like an amazingly thoughtful day. It started in the morning when I went to an interview for a social work internship. In American society, “success” is simplistically represented monetarily, more so than any other individual factor. The pressures of social status and the associated hierarchy is enormous, almost overwhelming in my opinion. I feel as if it’s harder to work towards a goal that is socially less respectable but one that you are truly passionate about, as opposed to a goal that is socially respectable but that you don’t care about (or may even dislike). Why is this? The more I study about political ideologies, the more I realize that capitalism is a major factor in the structural norms that impact our lives every day. It’s scary to deviate from the “safe,” the “expected,” and the socially easy path. But at the same time, it’s a path that I’ll have to walk eventually in my lifetime if I’m ever going to achieve peace of mind, so I may as well walk down it now.
I also had a great talk with a professor today. Ok honestly, I know I used to secretly ridicule those who talked to professors more than they really had to (I’m really against that whole brown-noser thing) but it’s actually a really great experience if you talk to the right professor. Academia is funny like that. If you’re not into it, you resent it; you scour at the work load and you label it as being pointless in “the scheme of life.” Yet when you start to really appreciate college for more than “getting a good job,” you achieve a new sense of nirvana every time you learn something new. Even if that information isn’t directly related to your life, you start to gain non-pecuniary benefits from your education you never did before. Too bad I am suddenly appreciating learning for the sake of learning basically upon my graduation, but whatever. In an ideal world, I would love to be in academia. I would love to just sit there and think all day about what I like, what I don’t like, what I think about a multiplicity of issues that I don’t know about now but would like to learn more about. Too bad that doesn’t pay the bills. Well, neither does social work… but I’ll think about that later.
/11/ Family dinners
It pains me to watch people have family dinners when they look like they’re in pain bring there.
/10/ Good luck
I’m officially on my iPhone. And now, you’ll never hear the end of it.
/9/ Back to basics
You know when you get so caught up in the errand you have to run tomorrow right after that first thing you have to do but you have to be sure you do both those things before that other thing? And if you don’t finish you get that “it’s the end of the world” feeling? Yeah, life’s been feeling a bit dramatic (off and on), and considering the world-wide events that have been taking place, I feel a bit undeserving of that feeling.
In any case, tonight I had a good talk with an old friend. I am so caught up in the big picture again (must be an American thing) that I’ve forgotten how fulfilling the simpler things in life are. Note to self: don’t forget that. I honestly believe it’s one of the keys to a happy life. Because when I used to focus only on the little things, I was never happier. Now if only I could return back to that…
/8/ Past, present and future
Tonight I watched this Nickelodeon channel that I receive through my wonderful DVR service that plays old (aka 1990s) shows from when I was a kid. I originally chose that channel to lessen the creepiness of sitting downstairs in the dimly lit living room while I attempted to do some work (didn’t really speed through it like I imagined in my head), but ended up watching Justice League Now! and Ren and Stimpy. I used to watch those shows at my grandma’s house with my brother (TV partially raised us) and I can say with certainty there are no programs like those playing anymore.
I feel like child programming today is very censored and very childlike. After watching Ren basically extort Stimpy for hairballs (with the price of hairballs — which were found to have miracle healing powers among other uses — expected to surpass that of gold), I initially thought, “I can’t believe kids watched this!” But then I thought some more, and realized that this new generation of kids are way too overprotected. I mean, honestly looking back at the television programming I watched, I don’t think it had that much effect on my values today. Values are learned from one’s family, friends, and culture, among many other things. That’s the key. Among many other things. I think we place too much emphasis on the effect television has on child development and thought processing. Because in the end, if kids grow up learning the right values, they can watch TV for pure entertainment value (which adults should be able to do. However, seeing as this is not the case, perhaps I’m overestimating the ability of kids).
On a side note, I seriously almost threw up during Ren and Stimpy (as well as had a crazy reminiscent flashback of watch that exact same episode when I was a kid). I also did not remember Ren having a Mexican accent.
I miss the old Nickelodeon programming. Who would’ve known that the color orange, gallons of slime, and an abundance of interesting shows featuring dysfunctional characters would have such an impact on popular culture appreciated by so many who grew up in the 90s? (Note: none of these images is mine.)
/7/ I’m back…
I’m back now. No really, I’m back. I promise I’ll be good about this. Along with many other goals for 2010, including but not limited to: learning how to cook better (not well, but at least learn how to make things other people besides myself find edible), being more positive and appreciative of what I have (a.k.a. stop being a whiney and materialistic), take more pictures, take advantage of more opportunities, and be more productive/less lazy/get organized (I feel that they are all intertwined in some way). So far, I’ve been good about all of them except that last one. I’m thinking about taking it off my list.
My hair is not lookin’ good these days. It has that I-just-got-electrocuted-but-I’m-still-alive kind of dryness about it.
I miss staying up until 6 or 7 am to watch the Hong Kong sunrises. Being in bed by 12 am is lame.
It didn’t really feel like Christmas this year since I spent most of it on the wannabe tropical island of Hong Kong (75 degrees in December + sun + not at home = not Christmas). But Merry belated Christmas.