on never doing enough

Every time around the start of the semester, registration for next semester, during midterms, and the end of the semester (so basically, quite frequently) I feel like I am lazy and never doing enough to prepare myself for life in the grown up world and for getting a job after college. It seems that all the activities I am involved in are trivial, not substantial, do not count, and will not help me achieve my future goals. I realized, that herein lies the problem: I have absolutely no idea what my future goals are. It seems to change so frequently that by the time I settle on one thing, I get bored of it. Or, it could be related to fear. I am possibly afraid of investing mass amounts of time and energy in a singular path only to realize it is not what I wanted [exactly what my experience with ballet was] I still have not found that…thing…which makes me feel content and satisfied and that could possibly fulfill me for the next 20, 30, 40, 50 years of my life.

Oddly enough, I have enrolled in a ballet class this semester, and although it has been 2 years since I set foot in the studio and doing the splits actually hurts now, I feel ‘at home’ putting on my tights, pinning up my hair, and walking to the studio. It feels safe and familiar; in that there is a certain calmness which I have not felt in any of my academic classes at Berkeley. Because academia…ihavenoidea.

Since quitting ballet, my future aspirations have traveled a path which goes something like this:
Nutrition/dietetics, conservation/environmental science, sociology. Good thing sociology is a general major that I can explore different fields because my interests keep traveling all over the place. I like examining individuals and why they do what they do. Do I want to go into research? Grad School? Counseling? Teaching? Non-profit work? Youth? Food? Culture? Eating Disorders? The Arts? And then there is another part of me that wants to get my degree and then just go into gourmet foodservice and make fancy lattes for people at some upscale coffee shop. I hate this feeling of being unsure, because no matter what I am doing it does not feel like its “enough” because its not aimed towards some specific end goal which is something I like to have. I think my feelings of laziness stem from the fact that I am so unsure of my future goals. And then I become so focused on figuring out my future that I miss out on…now.

I thought I was OK with the insecurity, but being in an environment where everyone is so brilliant and smart and hardworking and doing so many grandiose things makes me slightly worried that my aspirations have fallen to the sidelines or gotten lost in the shuffle of figuring out what exactly I am working towards. Ultimately, I want to be content. And what if, after graduating, I become content and happy with menial work and trivial hobbies such as this blog which no one reads. That is a scary thought because I don’t think I would let myself settle with that and I would just keep striving towards the next epic accomplishment.

And now, to end, here is a story from my week. Over winter break, I booked tickets to fly home on February 16th.
About two weeks ago, I scheduled a group interview for a summer job for the evening of February 16th.
Two nights ago, I told my mother what I was planning for the group interview when she remarked “aren’t you coming home that night?” Leave it to mom to remember when I am coming home.
Realizing my HUGE mistake i begin freaking out [I smartly thought I would remember my trip home, and subsequently did not write it down, hence the double booking]. After said freak out, I decide to risk paying some ridiculous fee for changing my flight instead of rescheduling my interview. After all, they are looking for a responsible and organized candidate who can look after kids at camp, not someone who forgets appointments and schedules 2 things at once.
Southwest’s website starts acting oddly and refuses to process any of my ticket changing requests, so I end up calling (huffing and grumbling) as I am placed on hold. A few moments later, the Southwest phone-person tells me she has to get her supervisor and apologizes for the hold yet again.
Many minutes pass…and then a voice, apologizing again, asking me to hold again….more crappy hold music…more time passes (I could be reading Marx!) and finally a human voice again. She apologizes for the exorbitantly long hold, informs me they were having issues, and then tells me its an even exchange and there is no cost involved in switching my flight. WHAT? was I hearing correctly?! I was shocked by this complimentary exchange. My guess: because Southwest was having technical issues, and I was so nice to the person on the phone, and politely waited on hold, they did it for free. So it was a win-win situation: I have the interview, and I fly home the following morning.

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hurmph

it is dark
it is rainy
it is cold
I do not function properly in this weather. proof=my nose is sniffly, I am tired and sore, my throat feels swollen, things are 10x more difficult to do than they really should be, nothing excites me, and I actually watched a movie. My favorite spot in my room, is directly in front of my heater. Or under my covers. And I shower every other day because its cold…this could get bad. really bad.

Funny story: its about 1:47 am and I hear a faint beeping sound emanating from the kitchen. extremely tired and in a groggy state, I cross my fingers that one of my roommates gets up to stop that awful sound. 1 minute passes. then 2. alas, nope. when I finally decide to stumble out of bed, I hear fire engines in the distance, put 1+1 together and come to the conclusion that our house is on fire and burning down. Semi alert by this point I go into the hall expecting to see flames, or at least smell something. the beeping gets louder as the fire truck drives by our kitchen window. roommates, all still asleep. entering the kitchen, I see a florescent alarm clock. beeping. yup, thats it, the maid must have accidentally set it. yup, you read that correctly, the maid who comes 2x per week. i am living the good life here in berkeley. not complaining, our house is nice and clean. completely incapable of figuring out which button turns the darn thing off, I proceed to unplug the entire contraption and hobble back to my bed, which by this time has lost most of the heat contained in it.

Interview wednesday afternoon was the most awkward thing of my life. Last time I checked, and interview was the employer wanting to hear more about me and my experiences and why I want the specific internship. Not the other way around with me sitting for 25 minutes hearing the life story of the director. ummm….hire me anyways? and its always awesome to hear that there are 9 other people being considered for the 1 position. basically, get out of here.

On the bright side, phone interview today went really well, with a group interview and 1:1 interview in the works. woo! Now I need to figure out an activity to lead for 1-2 minutes. um, hi i am omri and I am going to teach you all about Marx. that would go well, no?

Had the freakout of my life this fine AM when I checked which section I was assigned to for Soc. theory. of course, I got assigned to the only section NOT on my preference form, the only section in direct conflict with my classes. In a panic, I email all the GSIs, the advisor, and frantically add 2 more soc. classes to my schedule should I not be able to switch into another discussion. Fast forward 2 hours and another email arrives from the advisor saying there was a typo in the assignment sheet and the section I was assigned to is in fact from 11-12 NOT 10-11. oi vey. at least my heart started beating normally by this point.

Well, its Friday, so cheers to the weekend which will be consumed by studying and errands instead of lazing about. oh, and a but of fun too.

day 1

procrastination at its finest on the first day of the semester has me writing this blog entry instead of reading. Classes started today and so far I like each and every class/professor I have.
Comparative household and Family examines family structures through space and time, looks at universal characteristics, etc. Just in the first day I was taught all I need to know. Family is universal but varies widely. These variances are structured. So, its all dependent on terms and definitions of what family is. see? A for me!
Comparative cultures looks at American exceptionalism, where the term came from what it mean, why socialism has not worked here, how other countries view the US and “americanism”. Also differences in how America and Europe approach social welfare, politics, consumption, sex and gender, and even…dessert!!! The professor is quite possibly the cutest woman ever, with an accent I could listen to for hours on end.
Classical social theory will be the bane of my existence. Marx, Weber and Durkheim. Study those classical theorists to make sense of how society is structured today and why at functions as it does during a time of three crisis: economic, political, and cultural. Even though this class may be difficult, the professor seems rather brilliant and attractive in a kind of odd way; a combination of wit and sarcasm along with a dark and serious sort of demeanor and awkward quirkiness typically stereotyped in the term “crazy professor” (did any of that sentence make sense?) Anyways…
I have decided to drop Soc of Gender, but I cannot bring myself to do it on telebears just yet. good thing i have time, because once I drop it…its out! something about dropping it makes the decision final, even though its final in my head right now! I have submitted an application for a youth mentoring program in berkeley middle schools which will give me 2 units, and I will have 2 additional units added for alternative breaks giving me a grand total of 16.5 (.5 being ballet)
Speaking of ballet, on a whim I went to Berkeley Ballet Theater last night for an intermediate ballet class. It was rather lovely actually, simple enough to follow without making a complete idiot of myself. Some things, hurt. I came lift my leg in second only to feel a sharp shooting pain through my hamstring which was never there before. And I found a simple petit allegro to be rather exhausting. However, I managed to leap across from one end of the studio to the other in only half of a grande allegro surprising both me and the teacher. I also found my balance in a few passe positions, and managed a triple pirouette without to much thought. I cannot wait to go back, and I am hoping to try a few other classes later in the year once I get more in shape.
I am a little sore today, but I cannot tell if its from the ballet, or from the walking around everywhere after a month of driving in LA.
Also I have been ravenous the past few days, possibly because of the extremely cold weather and the increased walking. And maybe the increased use of brain power, although that has not really happened…yet.

last day of break

the family has now gone, and now it feels more official that the semester is starting…tomorrow. That makes today my last day of winter break. What do I plan on doing might you ask? well, cleaning and organizing my room, making a massive pot of rice for the week, figuring out my schedule for the week with extracurriculars and whatnot. Also, I have decided what class to drop, and the semester has not even officially began. *drumroll* sociology of gender (4 units) will no longer be on my schedule. it will however, hopefully be replaced by “an anthropological perspective on addiction” (2 units) and mentoring a middle school student. I think those classes and activities are better suited to my interests and what I am considering for later and over the summer. Gender sounds fascinating, but I am not prepared or ready or really needing 18.5 units this semester. Plus, I will be working, trying to get back into ballet, and attempting to have a social life in between all of that.

winter break was excellent. I spent my last day in LA just…sitting around doing nothing, and it was really draining.

I have had 2 job interviews for summer jobs, and I’ve got 2 more this upcoming week. I am really hoping I get hired somewhere soon so I can stop the search and focus my energy on classes this semester. It was my first time doing a phone interview, which was an interesting experience because I have no idea what said potential employer looks like, nor does she have any idea she is talking to someone with pink hair. But I will be contacted for a second interview (either group or individual) and decisions will be made mid march. I am slightly nervous for wednesday’s because its a paid internship that I want really really really (really) badly at a summer college prep program for low SES students. Funny story is I turned my resume and application in 2 weeks late with an apologetic letter (because I only saw the posting a day before!), and was told “I have more than enough applications but I’ll be glad to look yours over anyways”. Within 2 days she contacted me to come in for an interview. Even funnier is that this woman is the director of the dance department at the academy. woo!! go ballet!

My family spent the past few days up in Berkeley and my sister slept with me at my house which was uber fun. we meandered around berkeley, had too much mustard at top dog, had too much food at crepevine, had too much coffee at remedy, had too much beer at jupiter, had too much candy at powell’s, and laughed about absurd things that only siblings find hysterical.

All is quiet now back at my house, giving me time to gather myself and coordinate for the upcoming week. Sometimes I feel slightly hermit grandma-esque because I find my time alone highly enjoyable as it gives me time to organize my thoughts. For some reason, I have had a pervasive tiredness that I have not been able to shake off for a few days, possibly due to wonky sleep hours. But last night I managed to get in 9 hours, and tonight I plan on tucking in at a reasonable hour too. And on the organizational note, I am going to create my schedule and cook lunch and then go reunite with my bike!!!! oh, how I have missed it so! I am still searching for a name, it was dubbed “Ryder” for a bit, I am not quite sure that name suits it. if anyone has suggestions, I am open to them.

so cheers to the semester and whatever it will bring.

1/11

I am obsessively listening to the new Mariachi el Bronx CD which I purchased promptly after seeing them perform at First Friday at the LA Natural History museum. When I saw DeVotchka at some point last year, Mariachi el Bronx opened for them, and they were pretty epic. (if DeVotchka is influenced by gypsy and eastern european sounds, Mariachi el Bronx is like the mariachi version of them. possibly a bad analogy, but ah well). Huge Sound. When I realized I would be going to First Friday, I decided to finally look up the event online. Lo and behold, el Bronx was the band playing that night, and of course concert tickets were sold out.

I went to the museum anyways, like I had planned, and hung around the entrance to the music hall for about 15 minutes before the show started. Naturally, I struck up a conversation with some dude, who happened to be a teacher, was a college counselor and lived in Berkeley for some time working at the hospital as a social worker. Whaddyaknow. (yes, I got his number. no, he is not cute or my age) When the show started we crowded around the door, we could see and hear the music just as well. Random dude I met walks off for a moment, and returns with a wristband that will let him into the venue. Said dude goes in, and emerges a few minutes later with a second wristband for…me. So in I go, and got to see Mariachi el Bronx perform amidst dead mammals. The show was awesome, and even more awesome was seeing that there are still awesome people out in the world.

Monday-Wednesday I spent the majority of my days in a 6th grade classroom. Apparently, I did not pass the 6th grade, and have to repeat it. Kidding. Actually, I shadowed a Cal Alum in the workplace, seeing what its like to be a teacher, meeting other teachers, meeting and talking with 6th graders (that I got along with very well. surprising? not really…) ’twas an excellent experience, especially hearing from someone in the current teaching industry who has been involved with the job for a lengthy bit of time. And…teaching is still on my list as a possible career upon graduation, which I still have no idea what I want to do with life. but about that later…

Winter break is coming to a close, and seeing two of my syllabi on Bspace sent me into a variation of a panic attack. I am enrolled in 18.5 units next semester, which is slightly stressing me out. ok, a little more than slightly, especially because 5 of those 18.5 are soc. theory. The two syllabi I have seen seem to be manageable, but I will hardly have time to goof off next semester, or be lazy and unfocused while I study. That was a slight issue last term, staying focused and being able to comprehend and synthesize pages upon pages upon pages. But, part of the reason was that I had some time to be unfocused. My hope is that with the option of unfocusedness not available to me, my brain will magically always be alert and awake. I can always drop a class which is a comforting option, but then I will feel lazy of course taking only 14.5 units. I would add a decal.

I am thinking of dropping out of the Food Collective next semester. I am, no pun intended, a little fed up with food. I want to have some time to possibly get back into…ballet. ohmy! I just said the “b” word! I have of course been thinking about maybe possibly taking ballet again for a bit of time now, but never actually committed to doing it. I am officially doing it started next semester with a weekly class, hence the .5 units.

Tomorrow, my last full day in LA, I have absolutely no plans, and I intend to keep it that way. and by no plans, I mean intelligentsia, meandering around the reservoir, baking something, and watching re-runs of the office. oh, and I should probably pack. yeah, that.

2 weeks left?!?! uhhh…

So it is Tuesday (well, technically wednesday, if you want to get all technical) which means that classes start in exactly two weeks from today (well, technically, yesterday, if you want to get all technical). Break has been really great so far, despite not having gotten through as much of my to do list as I wanted. I am a little unclear weather my list was to long (am I possibly an overachiever?), or if I am truly being lazy.

BUT I AM ALL CAUGHT UP ON THE OFFICE! more like, up to the end of season 7. That show is NOT supposed to make you cry, but I admittedly found myself in tears during various parts of the show (not telling when, no spoilers!)

My room is possibly the messiest it has ever been. I think it has to do with the fact that I am in a temporary situation here. I mean, all my clothes, some of which are strewn on my floor, will be folded and hoisted back up to berkeley. so why bother being so neat and organized if everything will just be put away again. Its nice actually. And I have noticed that when I travel places, I am messiest.

My hair is now pink. Its a bit lighter than I wanted, but I don’t mind because I can always add more color in a few weeks.

Been applying to summer jobs, which is good. I have done 4.5 so far. the .5 left is really annoying. who comes up with these ridiculous questions? describe your strengths and how they will contribute (i’m awesome). why do you want to work here (i need money). how will this job further your aspirations (i can put it on my resume). what are your weaknesses(none. duh!). given 20 minutes and 100 children, what would you do to keep them busy (give them booze). describe a skill you have taught a child (how to be sarcastic). Hire me?!

I saw an awesome film today, recommended to me by an awesome friend. Its called Tiny Furniture, and I would suggest for everyone to watch it on Netflix. Its got funny bits, sad bits, and bits that show…reality and real emotion about “post graduate delirium” and relationships of all sorts. I have realized over break (epic self discovery here), that maybe the reason I have a hard time motivating myself/sitting through films is because I watch ones that don’t really interest me. I like things that show real people, in real life, and move slightly slower because people are doing real things. However, I do not think I have turned into an avid movie watcher or critic over night.

Grande time reuniting with high school friends at the Griffin, catching up on life, yet feeling like no time has gone by, even though its been 6 years. I have been out of high school for longer then I was in high school. wow. reaching gramma status here. And things that were super important back then, really trivial now. like dancing certain roles. And things that were funny back then, still HILARIOUS now. I mean, we are pretty fierce. work.

I went to PROOF Bakery in Atwater Village because they brew HANDSOME COFFEE. (3 hipster dudes, barista champs, from intelligentsia started their own company). So, they do not have a cafe, but sell beans to local places in LA, one of them being proof. It was delicious. The brew I tried (as a pour over) slightly heavy on the tongue at first, but left a springy and slightly citrusy mouthfeel after. I will be returning to try another roast before blowing 18 dollars on a pound of beans. a plus is that there is a mustache on the bag…

goal for next week: get my sleep pattern back in order.

2012. whoa.

I think 2012 seems like a really big year because i graduated high school in 2006. and 6+6=12. something about the double-ness of that makes it seems more substantial.
2011 has been a good year, filled with changes and different things that I had been working towards for a long time came together in an epic sort of snowball type thing, one event straight into the next. I am not one to make resolutions, because I hate the idea of pressuring oneself into ultimatums. Instead, I look at what I have learned and how I have changed this past year, and make goals for myself somewhat based on the momentum from the year before.

In January I went to Utah and learned how to ski. February found me at my last semester at PCC, applying for schools, having no idea what would happen, completely freaking out that I would not get accepted into any school. In March my Safta (means gramma in hebrew) died, and the entire family flew to Israel. Just like that, from one day to the next. And we moved, and I got my own room for the first time since my sister was born. April was exciting as schools began responding. Brandies and UCDavis were my only two outright rejections, sending me into a fit of stress that all the UC schools would deny my admission. May was epic due to Berkeley’s decision. They let me in. Road trips to Northern California ensued. I graduated PCC in June, AA in the Natural sciences with Honors. New people coming into my life. Summer vacation, working, frolicking through LA. July I signed my first apartment lease. Quit my job at Starbucks. August was the move, drove up to start school. I turned 23 in September, on the best day of the year…the 7th, naturally. Got a job in Berkeley. October was a month of adjustment to life. November was thanksgiving, and sort of a turning point in my mind in relation to how I view myself. Went apartment hunting all by myself, and signing lease #2. And finally, December…surviving dead week and finals, coming home and being the laziest I have been for a very very very long time and not having as much of a problem with it.

And what have I learned? How have i grown? Like a prepubescent child who has yet to grow into their feet, and goes through that awkward stage where they trip over everything…well, I am growing into my feet. Also known as growing into my personality, accepting it, being OK with it, and in turn becoming more confident. And sucks to you if you do not understand my sarcasm, like my goofball self, appreciate my childlike whim, or colorful attire.
I also realized, I still have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life, but this time around, I have decided to stop planning every single move. Because planning life is rather confining. I came to Berkeley with the idea of graduate school, doing research, and being in academia for a bit of time. But then I realized I would only be repeating what happened with ballet: doing something because I am good at it and I can impress people; not because I really want to do it. Grad school may still be an avenue, but I find myself with the same aspirations I had when I was in elementary school: being a 2nd grade teacher.
Of course I still compulsively make post it notes for everything, like my things to be properly organized and in their respective places, and am slightly obsessed with time and productivity. Always and forever methinks.

so, cheers.