Check-In

This week, I’ve really thought about it. I’ve really really thought about it.

If i were to disappear one day, who would really notice?

How many friends have actually checked in on me recently?

I’m being very serious even though it is a common question I think many people ask. I just realized that not a single friend has really texted me this week or last week or the week before that asking me if we could get lunch or anything like that. I mean yea, we make these promises in passing saying “Yea we should catch up” and have never followed up with it unless I initiated it.

And many times, it seems like I am the one giving more into the friendship than the other person. I mean, I am always there for a friend. I’ve had so many people come to me because they know that I’m a good listener, that I can keep a secret, that I wouldn’t tell anyone, that I try my best not to judge anyone… but I’d love to have that kind of person in my life.

I used to, you know.

I used to have someone who I went to all the time. He was just such a great listener and friend. He never judged me for anything that I did, which was super interesting, because I’ve told him alot about myself.

But then, he just disappeared. Out of my life. Just like that.

I think that’s where my trust issues stem from. Well, that and childhood.

I used to tell my middle sister alot of things, I confided her in everything… And then she fell in love with my best friend, and she ended up telling him everything. Everything. Anything that happened in the house, he was the first to know. Anything I talked to her about, she started texting him. I think she still does, which is why I don’t trust her at all.

I definitely trust my younger sister though She’s an angel.  But I can tell that my middle sister has tried to influence her ever since I left for college.

Ugh I hate crying or getting teary-eyed in public. Everytime  I write these kinds of posts, I feel like such a sap.

I’m in the library doing work, and I felt like I had so much on my mind, so here I am taking some time to myself just writing about stuff, and I’m getting so emotional, over what though? And I keep looking up to make sure that no one is watching me stare at my laptop through watery eyes.

But I lowkey do wish that someone would notice and just come up to me with concerned eyes and ask me, “Are you okay?” And actually be genuine about it. It would remind me that people are not just wrapped up in their own worlds of assignments and papers and actually have time for other people.

Ughhh here I go getting watery-eyed again. And… yup, I looked up and the guys sitting in front of me could care less as they intently type away at their assignments. But then again, they’re not obligated to give a crap about others, and that’s okay by society.

I think I need to talk to someone professional. The only thing keeping me from doing that is that I feel like it would be a dead end. I mean, what will the person tell me?

“Yea, it sounds you have a pretty sucky life. How do you feel now?”

I’ve already gone through the training to be a counselor, and as nice as it is talking to someone about these problems, I also feel like people can only do so much for you. I mean, that’s their job – to listen to you and your problems. Which is nice, it’s just that I wish I could tell a friend who could possibly help me out maybe? Maybe give advice?

I mean yea, a professional could probably give me advice, but it’d probably be along the lines of “Get more sleep, relax, meditate… have you thought about Buddhism?”

Idk, maybe not the Buddhism part, but I’m just a bit skeptical. It may just be due to my upbringing and the fact that there’s this running idea in my culture that your problems are your own, and you need to deal with them.

Today, I read this quote about the happiest people on earth:

The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer like they do — Anonymous.

To some extent, I do believe this is true, but now this makes me question why I want to become a doctor in the first place? Why did I think working for the United Nations would be ideal? Because I know that people are suffering much worse than I am and I want to feel good about myself?

But then that brings into question why I am part of this group I’m in currently at my college where I work to bring my community together. Well, I do that because I know that we are stronger as a campus united together than just as small, separate groups. I feel like there are marginalized groups that want to have their voices heard. I believe that we all have hidden pockets of gold that if we put our minds together, will end up creating some of the greatest inventions and discoveries known to man.

Hmm…

Well, this has taken a different turn from what I thought I was going to talk about, but it has helped as usual.

Better than a professional? I have no idea.

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Well It was Nice Meeting you

I wasn’t invited to a birthday party by someone who I thought was my best friend.

Last semester, I had helped her plan the entire event and yet I couldn’t even get an FB event, as if I had done something to her.

I tell her that I have to move out because the apartment was too expensive for me (given that the price changed on the first day of rent due to a couple tenants who felt like they should pay lower), and she throws a pity party FOR HERSELF.

F*cking baked a brownie cake with her boyfriend and friends who decided to do me dirty…

What a freaking joke.

I feel like just saying happy birthday today just to make her feel bad for not even inviting the one person who sat down and actually helped to plan the whole thing.

Maybe I should, Idk.

I tried talking with a friend earlier about this like an hour ago, and he said that she probably didn’t mean to directly hurt me. I do understand that, but the fact that after explaining everything, she felt like I could still live in that place just wasn’t feasible.

This is a financial problem. You can’t fix that unless you plan to pay the difference!

you know, the different price that your “friends” decided to put on me on the first day of the lease which happened to be inconveniently the day before the first day of classes!

And then after that, try and say that you didn’t know that all the micro-aggressions directed towards me just wasn’t something you saw as a “problem” and said that’s just “how they joke around” (!!!!!!). All those times that I told you the problem, you said you could see it, but you felt like we could talk it out and it’d be okay?????

This is so similar to all the micro-aggression from blatant racism in America! You think we can just talk that out one out too and the problem will go away???

I don’t know, if you’re a friend, you’d understand that I need to leave, I need to move out for my mental health. I can’t afford it, therefore I need to leave. And the fact that you defended your friends and said that they were in the right tells me just how close we were.

Oh and the fact that you let those other people in the apartment break up a friendship just so that they could feel financially comfortable (AND THEY’RE BOTH IN ROTC, SO I’M WONDERING WHAT FINANCIAL BURDEN THERE WAS! Not to be rude to those who fight for our freedom, but I also contemplated doing the exact same program, and I know for a fact that they have full scholarships) ….

I hope I haven’t offended anyone, but these are just my current feelings of distress, anger, a little bit of sadness, confusion, and somewhat relief (that I don’t have to play any sort of fake friendship games here).

This is just emotional vomit really, so please excuse my feelings.

But I just wish I had made better choices in friends during my years here. I mean I have made my fair share of great friends, and I feel like at this point, she may have been the last friend that needed to be filtered out.

Bombed

I bombed today in Latin. Atleast, I did not do as well as I had done on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, I was on m A-game. He called on me first, and I knew the translation. I could tell him about it, and even at the end of it, he said, “Good.” I was satisfied.

And usually there’s a method to how he calls people. If he calls you one day, he’ll probably not all you the next time we meet. So I was relaxed, and didn’t even think about really going over the translation again. I just wrote down my translation and that was it.

Well, boy was I wrong. I was super overconfident, and I flustered.

I received this biggest shock of my life today when he came in and the first name he called was mine. I looked up with wide eyes, and even others had wide eyes. Every eye was on me, and they kind of had the same expression as me. They were surprised that he called me again, and called me FIRST. AGAIN.

Well crap.

Before the professor gets to class, we (well, my classmates, and I just listen) talk about how we don’t want to be called today because we didn’t finish the translations, or that he has a method to how he calls people. Or we say how he calls on people who seem like they don’t know the translation or are really good at it. We just don’t want to believe that the method is purely random.

So before class, I always review my translation so I’m not completely lost in class, but I look at it more closely if I knew that I was going to be called that day. Well, I should have looked closer.

So I did well for the first half of the translation (except I forgot the meaning of word “haud” and thought it was “but” instead of “not”. Honest mistake. Okay. Fine.

But the next sentence, wow it went so downhill that I couldn’t keep up.

I was just so unprepared. I remembered this part because I remembered having trouble with it while I was translating, but I couldn’t remember all of this stuff. Honestly, I think my nerves also got to me.

And then for the rest of the class, he was mainly talking about other stuff. People were asking him questions to buy themselves time and to make sure that no more people were chosen. And they were damn good at it. If I had not gotten chosen to translate first, I would have thought that those people asking questions were angels sent from God. But because I had already been chosen, I just wanted to translate the dang passage and get it over with. We have a test on Wednesday, so I just wanted to finish translating everything and be done with today. But literally after me were 3 other people, and then we were done. These students were professionals! They had bought themselves about 30/50 minutes of class. I was highly impressed.

We didn’t even get to today’s intended translations…

I should have reviewed :/

Oh well, now I have an interview, so I should prep for that.

Capture Me

I don’t know what has been going on with me for the past 2-3 weeks but… I feel like I am backtracking with my social skills. I am so awkward and shy, not that this differs from how I have always been…

I know that I am a sky and reserved person. I have come to terms with that fact about myself. I used to think it was due to my low self esteem, but I have learned that it truly is who I am. I remember my mom always telling me that I used to be a really quiet baby. I never cried for attention or talked much. I always kept to myself.

Through my time in college, I have learned that not many people share this characteristic. In fact, it is super rare for people to be like this. Most people are social and know how to interact with people regularly. People are somewhat  talkative. It’s in our nature. We’re social animals.

But I may just be super slow to all of this.

Take, for instance, yesterday. I took part in this photoshoot for people of color at my school. I had learned about it 5 minutes before, and I happened to be in the same building, so I thought, “Sure, I’ll stop by.”

I’ve done photo campaigns before, and they were really chill, really relaxed. And it usually took about 10 minutes or so.

But this was the first time that I had actually done a photo shoot with people in the black community. I didn’t expect there to be a difference. Heck, I didn’t even realize the difference until today. But there was one, a very big one.

I came in, and I immediately felt judged for whatever reason. Everyone would see who came in, look them up and down, and continue with their activity. I found that a bit odd, but whatever.

So I had not really thought about a pose to do, but I thought it would just be super casual. I do some smiling shots and laughing shots and be done. Nope. First, I asked for the opinion of the photographer if the color looked okay (we were able to choose are background color, and I had chosen yellow. I went with yellow because I’m always a happy, smiley person). I didn’t want it to look like I was doing 5th grade school pictures or something. She looked at me and then looked at the color, and she said, “Uhh yea, it’s whatever you want.” Then another person came and asked if something was wrong, and she told them, “She wants to make sure the color matched with her outfit.”

Uhh what?

That’s not what I said.

I just wanted to make sure that the color looked okay, not necessarily if it went with my outfit…

Oh well. After she said that, I felt a bit self-conscious. Well great, now they think I’m self-absorbed.

So we are doing the shoot, and I am smiling casually, laughing casually, and I thought it was going well. But every time she snapped a photo, she would say, “Okay, think of something happy and cheerful.” And while I’m trying to think of something, she would snap the photo. She was going so fast, and I just wasn’t ready.

To be honest, I wasn’t ready to begin with. I was pushed to go next because the other girl was helping her friend out with something. So that left no time for me to even think.

Anyways, I am trying to, and while I am thinking about it, she’s snapping pictures. She’d look at them and say, “Okay, do you want me to put you into poses?” I was just thinking, “What?” I thought this was super casual.

So I am trying to stay happy and stay cheerful. I’m laughing into the camera, looking away, looking at her, talking with people off the camera… And then she says, “Okay, can someone make her laugh or something?” And now all eyes are on me, and I’m just standing there awkwardly.

I didn’t know what to say or how to react. I didn’t know what she wanted, and now I felt embarrassed. Now I just wanted to leave.

So people are coming and talking to me and trying to make me laugh, but I am just smiling and laughing, same as I was before, because that is just who I am naturally.  But apparently it just wasn’t good enough or something. She would look at me and say, “Uhm… just… do whatever you want to do. Be yourself.”

Well, isn’t that what I was doing?

Then, she proceeded to tell me certain poses to do. She told me to act like I was yawning or stretching, and I thought that felt super weird. She told me to take off my jean jacket, which I thought looked better on, especially since now I had pit stains from all the nervousness.

When I came in to do the photo shoot, I thought that the photo was to capture the real me. All of me. Awkward, laughing, shy, smiling me. That’s why I chose yellow. I wanted to portray that.

But I don’t think she was getting it. I don’t think she got it.

So time passed by, and she said, “How about we switch backgrounds, and switch photographers?” And she said this loud enough for everyone to hear, so I felt really bad after that, but I knew I had done nothing wrong.

So I switch to someone else, who was super chill. She was actually a good friend of mine, and I knew she was good with cameras. She made me feel at ease again. I felt like I could be myself with her, and it was nice. She let me do whatever – just smile, talk with people, laugh around… the same things as what I had been doing with the prior photographer. She said I was super photogenic and that she loved the pictures she took.

I was glad we had switched photographers. She caught that. She caught me.

It’s funny though, because when the first photographer was photographing another girl, the other girl was only doing one pose, and it was fine. She was saying, “nice, great!”, but all she did was stand still and look off into the distance. Why did she want more from me?

I felt so much better afterwards. Even though it was a rocky start, it ended well.

Figuras Tectas

Title is Latin for “hidden figures” 😉

I just came from watching a screening of the movie, Hidden Figures and… I feel so inspired by these women.

Okay first off, there was this lady sitting right in front of me who would not just sit stiff. AND she overreacted to everything that happened in the movie. She found every single thing funny, and when things were actually funny, she wouldn’t laugh. She danced to every single song and… it was just alot. I was so distracted by her. Even a girl behind me commented on the fact that not everything in the movie was funny…

But BESIDES that, the movie was absolute art.

I loved that it was based on a true story, the idea that these women are finally being recognized  for all the work they did for NASA (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson). It’s crazy just how much we go through history knowing some of the big-shot names, the huge supervisors of it all, yet the people working behind the magic are not recognized. For example, Rosalind Franklin is hardly ever mentioned in biology textbooks (though, I believe people are working to change that) because she was a woman just working in a lab. But her x-ray picture of DNA helped to ultimately find its true structure. But is she the one credited for it? Nope. Watson and Crick, the people who stole the x-ray picture off of her desk, were the ones who ended up getting the Nobel Prizes for the discovery. In that time, women were not allowed to receive Nobel Peace Prizes. Unfortunately, Franklin was not recognized until after she had died.

I did not even know about her until 9th grade of high school. All that time, I was told “Watson and Crick”, “Watson and Crick discovered DNA!” “Watson and Crick found the helical structure!”

Since the beginning of time, women have been over-worked and under-appreciated for the work they do. This movie just brought up so many more feelings within me about the idea of science and women in science, especially colored women.

These women did some incredible things for NASA. Without Katherine Johnson’s phenomenal mathematical skills, NASA would not have been able to put the first American man into space. Without Dorothy Vaughan, women probably would not fight for the right to demand a higher job title and higher status. Without Mary Jackson, colored women would probably not think it possible to become an aeronautical engineer, or an engineer at that. These women changed America’s (and the world’s) idea of the STEM field. America used to look through a black-and-white lens, but these women put color into it.

Over the past few weeks, I really thought about the idea of being a physics major. After taking physics last semester and being in my second semester, I realized just how much I love the science. It’s the only class that I actually have opened the textbook and actually enjoyed reading it. That has NEVER happened for me in a STEM class. I remember how back in high school, I was actually really good at physics. I was one of the few people in my class (only 3 of us) who passed the AP Physics exam.

Last week, I was walking down the physics hallway, and they showed a picture of their graduates. Their classes are TINY. Their graduating class is about 25 students (compared to my bio graduating class of over , and, to no surprise, they were all white males.

I was a little surprised at how small the department was, because the professors all seem like geniuses in the field, and they are all super enthusiastic about it. I would think that there would be more. NOPE.

I have also always been fascinated by the idea of an engineer, the idea of space, the idea of being able to take someone and send them out of the earth. I thought (and still think) aeronautical engineers are the coolest people on the planet. I remember going to the Aerospace museum in DC over Thanksgiving break 2015 and I was like a fat kid in a candy store.

The place was amazing!

They had airplanes hanging from the sky, biographies of the world’s most renown flights, they even had an entire exhibit dedicated to Amelia Earhart.

Now, no one really knows this, but Amelia Earhart is one of my favorite people in world history. I don’t know what it was, but her disappearance was the most fascinating thing to me. How did she just disappear and no one know where she was? When I was young, I used to come up with alternative ideas as to what may have happened to her. I thought that maybe she decided to reside at a nearby island.

I have always thought, “What if I became a physics major?”

First off, I would be highly under-estimated, like the women in the movie. None of the men thought that these women were worth much. They al prejudged their intelligence only to realize just how important and needed they are in the field.

Anyways, it’s still an idea.

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, a black female physicist who is breaking boundaries all over the place in STEM research, is my role model right now (besides Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie, of course), and she has me thinking, “Why don’t I just change my major?” she was the 76th black female in the US to get a PhD in Physics. I thought that was crazy. Where are the women? Why are the numbers so small?

Ridiculously Late.

Today, I wake up to sunlight shining in my room. I had a dream about… something. I’ve forgotten. But I wake up form that dream, and it was as if I knew something had happened.

I immediately look at my alarm clock and it reads… 11:15am.

WOAH what???

I jump out of my bed and am yelling to the skies while I try and put on clothes while doing my hair. I was in such a panic. I have never… EVER woken up so late for classes before. Not even when I was in high school. Not even middle school. Heck, not even elementary school!

I’ve always heard of people oversleeping their classes, but that was never me. I always woke up either a few minutes later than when I was suppose to or maybe I would wake up at the time that the class started.

But today, I have classes from 9:05am-12:05pm, and I woke up at freaking 11:15am!

I had missed my physics class (which is the most important one for the day) and my sociology class (and that was my third class in a row that I am missing). I also missed half of Latin, the class that I had stayed up all night studying and preparing for. So of course I was not going to miss that one.

I threw on clothes, tried to look decent, and I ran out of the door. I had texted my friend that I had just woke up, and she said, “Lol.” No, no “lol.” This wasn’t funny for me. I had missed most of my classes. My mom is not paying for me to go to this school just to miss my classes.

I started thinking to myself how I could have woken up so late.

I mean yea I had stayed up super late last night (and I should not have. I should have went to bed by 2am, but I guess peer pressure). I didn’t really go to sleep until about 5am. But I’ve done that before in the past, and I still managed to wake up for classes.

And then I thought… This is the first time that I didn’t have a roommate.

So long story short, my roommate moved out over February break. We had gotten into a huge fight, and she decided to leave. Thank God! I was actually looking for housing when she came in, argued, then left. It was just great!

So now I have this whole room to myself, which is super nice. I turned her bed into something like a long lounge chair where I can sit and work, and it has served me very well. I covered it with my gray blanked and put my red armchair there as well. It’s perfect.

One this about the room is that… it gets kind of lonely.

I have had about 5 roommates up to now (counting the summers), and I am so used to having someone in the room that it feels weird when I don’t. And many of my friends are doing their own thing now, with their own friend groups. So I literally am just in my room studying or wasting time. It gets lonely, but sometimes I really do need the time to myself.

But one thing I hadn’t realized is that in the past, I would wake up to my roommates waking up. As a result, I would never sleep in so late. Even when I was late, I wasn’t extremely late.

Today, I realized that I did not have anyone to come and check on if I was awake or not. Friends in physics didn’t even text asking me where I was. And I didn’t have anyone in sociology checking on me, even if I shared that class with people.

I don’t know, I just thought that someone would have texted me asking me if I would be in class or not. It was as if nothing changed if I was there or not.

I’ve been struggling with this, feeling like I am not really a part of anyone’s life or significant. I know I shouldn’t define myself based on others, but it can be hard because that’s how the world works.

Because what if I were to just leave? Would anyone notice? Would anyone check where I went? What if I got kidnapped? Would life just go on?

I may be thinking too much into it, but I’ve just been kind of lonely recently.

And it seems like all the friends I did make are kind of keeping their distance now, and it makes me sad. I’m sure it was because of the past relationship I was in. It didn’t end well and, well, it somewhat divided the friend group. And many of them went to the other side.

But anyways, I should not have been that late today. I really have no excuse for it.

I ran to Latin, and thank God it was a calm day. I was kind of upset that he didn’t even go over the passages that I had stayed up translating last night, but whatever. Atleast I had made it to ONE of my classes today.

Now I have 2 prelims tomorrow (Biochem and Physics) and I really need to study.

Getting Better

It is almost like I dread going to my Latin class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And it’s not that the topics are particularly boring, but it’s the fact that he picks people at random to scan and translate.

In school, this has always been my greatest fear: getting picked on by the teacher.

The last time I was in Latin class, I did not do so well. As I said in my last long blog post, I was picked on by the substitute teacher and couldn’t say a single thing. So this time around, in fear of the substitute teacher giving my name to the teacher, I made sure to scan and translate all the lines.

All the poems are actually very interesting. It’s just that if you mix this homework with Physics, Genetics, and Biochemistry, it is very easy for Latin to become a second thought.

So today, I just had the feeling that he would pick on me at some point. I actually thought I would be the first one picked because I thought that the substitute had talked about me. He didn’t mention anything about last class, so I guess not.

So we are scanning and translating lines, and everytime that we go to the next poem, he turns and looks at his paper of attendance. I am always praying in my seat hoping that he will not pick me.

So there came about 5 minutes before the end of class. He wanted to finish one more poem. I looked at it and felt like I knew most of what it was saying, but I had forgotten words (the sleep deprivation is actually real. My short-term memory is getting worse). He looks at the page, and… call it a gut feeling or God Himself, but I had the strong feeling that he was about to choose me.

And he did.

When he first said my name, I almost didn’t believe it, since he hadn’t called my name in about two weeks.

So I began.

I was trying to hit every elision in the poem because it always bothered me when I heard other people miss it. It came to the last line of the poem and there were 3 elisions one after the other. I promise you, I read over that line atleast 3 times because it was so hard. Once I was finally done, the class kind of chuckled, but I chuckled along with them and so did the professor. It was more on the laughter at how hard I had tried with that last elision. Atleast I got it in the end. The professor was smiling, so that was always good.

So I started to translate, and that’s kind of where I stumbled. I had translated the poem earlier, but I had forgotten some key words. So there were pauses and times where I had to ask him for help. I would say about two times to be exact. I am going to say that nerves probably got to me. Not only am I sleep-deprived and my short term memory is taking a toll, but nervousness definitely does not help. I was trying with all my might to remember what was being said in the poem, but it wasn’t working.

But I got the first and last lines of the poem correct (thank God), so I began and ended on a good note. I guess that’s all that matters?

Next week is the test, and I am a little nervous. I will probably  need to translate and scan all the poems that we have done over this weekend. No partying for me :/

I was planning on going to this Caribbean night thing tonight, but I have too much on my mind right now.

I have to finish applying to this job position that I am hoping to get next year, I am thinking about studying abroad, so I need to do that, I need to finish application for a summer program, Ih ave to finish financial aid documents, I have to help my sister out with hers, I have to to more counselor training practice rounds (3 more to be exact, but probably more), I have to study for my physics test which is in a week and a half (and Biochem is on the same day… yay), I have to study for this Latin test on Wednesday…

I know that I should probably go to my Latin teacher’s office hours next week just to ask him how many hours a day does he believe we should study for Latin. He has already said the best way to get better at Latin, but it kind of sounded like he wanted us to be experts. I’m going to have to ask him to about a more realistic approach because… I ain’t a Classics major.

Hardcore Science major premed over here, and my stress meter is on high all the time.