December 21, 2016

Boredom at Its Best: The Uneventful Life of a College Graduate

Sometimes I look back on my blog, I think about all the problems I thought I had, and wonder why I thought they were such issues. I think we all think that about our younger selves. Especially looking back on middle school. I try not to think about those years. A lot of things have changed in the last four and a half years, and a lot of things haven’t. Dead Flowers is still the best song ever, and Enya naps still happen, just in new cities.

I think the biggest points of this blog were “What should my major be?” and “How do I navigate the world of human beings.” I did finally decide on that first one. I got a degree in Digital Sciences from Kent State, not the University of Akron, where most of this blog was based. I went through 2 schools (3 if you count my high school dual credit) and 4 majors, and still only went over by a semester. I’m pretty proud of myself for that one. Now you can see why the “What should my major be” was such a huge question. In the end, after major three, I realized it didn’t really matter what I majored in. The amount of pressure I put on myself with that was ridiculous and really kind of pointless. I’m glad I didn’t major in psychology though. For all the talk I did about longing to be a psych major, I am glad I didn’t do it.

The second point, “How do I navigate the world of human beings.” I think that’s the one I still need to work on. I think the biggest thing that disappoints me about this one is the amount of people who leave. Not in a weird, dark way, but just in a life moves forward kind of way. Most of the people in this blog I don’t talk to anymore. Some out of anger, or pettiness. Some people were more acquaintances. People from class, or people that were friends of friends you hung out with on occasion. Most out of the pure fact that life moves on. It moves on and people go in different directions. It is still a let down though knowing that at one point they were in your Top 5.

I quit writing on this blog regularly a long time ago. It was a cross between having nothing to say and having everything to say but not knowing if I had the right audience. I have a niece now. She’s adorably cute and one of the best things in my life, but for the longest time I was so angry about it. There is still a lot of tension in my family how Vera came to be, and my sister and her current behavior, and I am still a little bitter about having to give up my bedroom. But one thing is certain, everyone loves that baby, and we wouldn’t trade her for anything.

I’ve had 5 addresses since graduating high school. As I move forward, I hope this next one will stick for a while. When I was a freshman (I think), I got a Starbucks card from a friend. It was one of those I love you, but most importantly Jesus loves you type of cards. I think I was deep in my overly obsessed major debate, so I shoved it into my accordion file of school stuff. However, every time I put away something for a new path in my academic life the card was there. I liked that so I left it. I think point three in this blog (of a serious tone) was probably God. Now I will admit I still haven’t figured that one out. I keep waiting for a feeling that its right, but it hasn’t come yet. I sort of figure I can’t force it, so I continue to consider myself still searching (or in the process as Shirali might say). Anyway, that card would remind me that people cared, and God cared, and one day I would find the right path, and graduate, and when I did I would have a free Starbucks on Madison.

I think this might be the end of this blog. I am not longer an uneventful college student. Life is moving forward, and so am I. 


May 24, 2016

Four Timezones, One Week

Maybe last year, I read a blog post written by a guy who traveled across the country by Amtrak train for $213. I instantly decided I had to do it too. With mixed reactions from various people I sort of put it in the eh maybe one day part of my mind and continued on with the semester. Then back in April, me and a couple friends decided hey, lets do it. So we set out planning. Planning which can be accounted for on one sheet of paper. Take note, I have homework on the other side. The lack of planning was made up for by Kyle’s mom (Thanks again Kyle’s Mom!!!)

We started with an end of the year party, some pre-train Taco Bell, and a ride from Heather. The Cleveland Amtrak station made a list of ugliest train stations in the country. It wasn’t exactly ugly, but it wasn’t winning any awards for decor. Our train was 2 hours late, so it wasn’t winning awards for punctuality either. The seats, however, were surprisingly comfortable.

When we got into Chicago, we ate some deep dish pizza. My new favorite type of pizza for its amount of cheese. Everything thing is better with more cheese.

We then visited the Field Museum where we saw dinosaurs, and didn’t see the Terra Cotta Warriors because the ticket man is bad at his job. After walking around the museum with a weeks worth of life on our backs, we were “dino-sore” and headed to the hotel for check in.

Our hotel was close to the Willis Tower, so we went up. Longest line for an elevator ever, but it probably beats taking the stairs.

After, we used some public transit and hit the Navy Pier.

The next morning, before boarding the train for Denver, we saw Millennium Park and the bean.

The trip from Chicago was fairly boring. A lot of flat land. Iowa was pretty boring, and I slept through Nebraska.

In Denver we mostly slept. It rained all day and we were pretty tired. There might be exciting and great things in Denver, but we mostly saw the inside of the Hampton Inn. Oh and a Noodles and Company. My perfect restaurant, all noodles.

The next the train leg was the prettiest leg. If I hit the big bucks, I would have a house in the mountains of Colorado. There was a ton to see.

We also befriended a nice older lady in the Denver Train Station. She taught us how to cheat at many forms of Solitaire, and we helped her with her bags.

Once we hit San Fran, well actually Emeryville, we visited Pixar. Then we spent two hours walking around trying to figure out how to get across the bay. Finally we bought an Amtrak bus ticket and made it into the city. Then after more frustration we found a bus that went to our hotel. Side note, San Francisco’s public transit is a pain. Maybe that was just us, but having different bus systems and 4 different trains all with different companies is dumb, but I digress. After to vowing to never use public transit in this city again, we went to Fisherman’s Wharf. I got my first In and Out Burger and a Ghiradeli milkshake. We then once again went to bed before midnight. At some point we became old people, but I think it was mostly the time difference that did it to us.

The next morning, we Uber-ed up into the Battery Spencer and walked back down into the Presidio. I have officially touched the Pacific Ocean!

For dinner we got homemade pasta.

Next stop, Seattle via Virgin Airlines. Not a bad airline by the way. Lots of leg room and they have those fun little TV’s in the seats. I started some Boardwalk Empire. Apparently it was the most expensive pilot to shoot to that point.

In Seattle, we went to Pike Place. We hit up a little bar where I got a Ginger Cider. I think it may have been our latest night with a 1am bedtime. The highlight of Seattle was the Space Needle. We went into the top and had a three course brunch. All of my food was delicious and it was a great view.

The day started off rainy, but after the needle, the rain stopped. We hit Pike Market and the gum wall and said good bye to Seattle. 

We ended our trip with an overnight flight back to Cleveland. It’s a little rough leaving one timezone and flying forward three hours to morning. Anyway, a great time was had by all, and I got to add three states to my state map, so I would say it was a success!

April 6, 2016

Sprinter, Wanderer, Straggler

I read this article on New York Times recently about the way young adults face adulthood, and their careers. It went into the whole thing where we’re living at home longer and taking on more student debt. It was the first article in a while, actually, where they didn’t completely trash millennials for their lives. It understood that the 1970s were the last time a large slice of the population didn’t need a college degree for financial success, the 1980s were the last time manufacturing jobs were plentiful, and that the price of college has increased dramatically. The article classifies the journey to adulthood into three categories.

The Sprinter is the type-A. The kid that picked a major early, got an internship before finishing English Comp and freaked out at the prospect of an A-. Everything is about moving up. The Sprinter is the one with the great job offers post-graduation or grad school plans somewhere that isn’t a last stitch effort to hold onto their teenage years. They face the world head on, and no one can stop them.

The Wanderer is the drifter. This one maybe took a little longer to decide on a major, maybe too long. The Wanderer does just that, wanders. This group is treading water after graduation. They are usually underemployed, and unsure of where they are going.

The Straggler is the leftover. The kid who didn’t go to college. Maybe they tried a semester of community college, or spent a few weeks with a trade. They’re the type that weren’t really college material, but were stuck with the one size fits all college idea. Because college isn’t for them, the Straggler can choose between a low paying job, or the military. They take even longer to settle.

I am a Wanderer, which is something I used to be proud of, until lately. Lately I’ve realized all it’s gotten me is a semester over in college, living with grandma, at a job not relevant to my degree while my numerous Sprinter friends are going to new places and having something exciting going on every time I see them. I feel like I’ve done college like the singular 5k I’ve done in my life. I started out at a steady pace, chilling, then all of a sudden I realized all the Sprinters were way ahead of me, then I panic because I don’t want to be behind to I sprint to catch up. Now I am out of breath and sick of the whole thing, and decide to walk again because I don’t give a shit. But then, oh no they’re all in front of me, I better hurry up. No wait, now I’m tired again. Oh hey I’m almost done, I’m gonna sprint to the end, because I am over this. I am never running a 5k again, and I don’t care about any of these people.

Yep, that's how college feels.

February 1, 2016

Stuck In Ohio

There are these weird bumper stickers I see all of the time that read “Stuck in Ohio.” I thought it was something more profound, but its actually just a video production company somewhere.

Its the Spring 2016 semester. The semester I was supposed to graduate if I hadn’t messed around so much with school. I’ll graduate eventually. I sort of wish I was graduating now, but not for the sentimental friendship reasons, because I want to get out of here. I want to move on and do something else. Meet new people, do new things. I got the same way when I was nearing the end of high school. I wanted to go to school somewhere away, do new things, meet new people, but then I went to school 20 minutes away from my house. I still made new friends and met new people, but there is something about now that makes me feel stuck.

I like to do this thing where I put random calendar events in my Google calendar to remind me of things I said I would do. I have an event set to repeat between 2018 and 2023 reminding me to bring cream puffs to a wedding. I guess I wanted to be thorough. Who knows if I will still use Google calendar in 2023. Maybe we’ll have brain implants or something by then. Today one of those events popped up. I am supposed buy an MLB hat for the location in which my friend Madison goes to med school. She picked the date because I had no idea when people know where they are going to med school. It was an accurate date, but for a different place. I figured PA school could count too.

Everyone is making plans for that next step. Where they’re going to go, what they’re going to do. If I could drop everything right now and just go, I completely and totally would. Maybe I get bored too easily. Maybe I think leaving will give me something I won’t actually find. I just feel like my existence is boring. My life is boring, and not what I want it to be. I know there is nothing wrong with my life, my life is fine, I shouldn’t complain, but I want something new, and I am itching for it now.

I guess I should head to Amazon to order a Cincinnati Reds cap, and maybe at Washington Nationals, or a Minnesota Twins, or a Boise Hawks, or a Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks cap. My current cap is getting worn out.

December 17, 2015

An Open Apology Letter to Music Majors

So a bit of a bonus post, because I am procrasi-writing. Well sort of. I am listening to the music for my Understanding of Music final tomorrow, which let me tell you, is assault on the ears. That lead me to this post, an open letter apologizing to music majors, because I have spent most of my life thinking whats up with music majors. You spend 4 years of your life doing something you actually enjoy, no calculus, no coding, no chemistry structures. My dad was a music major and to this day he still talks about his music theory classes. I usually just stare at him. Now I know juries, and performances, and the like are probably just as daunting as an O Chem test, or 1000 lines of code, but music to me has always been “fun.” Until the last few days when I started listening to 20th century stuff. Well really this whole semester. The music was fine for the other eras, but when your gen ed class is harder than your major classes, something weird is up. Now it's still not the PTSD inducing hard that O chem was but still not a fun time. So sorry music people. I guess sometimes your classes are hard, and sometimes the stuff you have to do sucks too.

Here some jazz to mop up the blood. Because I actually like this part of the unit.

Sidenote, here is funny Home Alone video because why not.

 Cool. I'll go back to this noise now.

December 15, 2015

Expectation Management

It’s exam week again. It’s back. I’m writing this and stalling the three hour take home final I should be doing on Blackboard, and reintroducing myself to Pandora because only one person can use the Spotify account attached to the Roku at a time.

Anyway, I read this article recently about the problem with millennials. We have high expectations for our lives, expectations so high that we can’t fulfill them, which ultimately leads to our unhappiness. The problem starts all the way back with our grandparents, children of the Great Depression and World War II. They grew up with nothing, and their expectations were low. When they became adults their idea of happiness was simple, food on the table, a happy family, and stable job. In turn, their kids grew up with expectations of the lives their parents had, the American Dream, but by then the world was a little better, and their lives exceeded their smaller expectations. Then those kids, the Baby Boomers, gave birth to us, the millennials. Their lives had exceeded their original expectations, so they instilled in their children the idea that they can be anything they want. That they should be happy, because their expectations were fulfilled, why would their kids be? Well, that’s is our downfall. Our expectations are so high, we can’t live up to them.

One of the biggest ideas of my adolescence when trying to choose a career was passion. Apparently passion is a new idea that came along in the last 20 years. Our parents and our grandparents weren’t worried about passion, what they wanted was stability. But we were fed the idea that we should be fulfilled. Then there is the second millennial idea. The idea that were special. I was not really fed a lot of that as a kid. I was told I was important and special to my family, but not to the world. The world owes nothing to me. But I’ve seen it, people thinking their special, the world owes them everything, their friends and family owe them everything. We’re owed nothing, but if we have the expectation we are, that’s where unhappiness comes.

Life is about expectation management. Keep your grade expectations low, and they can only improve.


December 1, 2015

A Cynical Post About How TV Gives Us False Expectations About Friendship, People Only Care About People Who Die Young, and Spotify Having Too Many Commercials

I've been feeling cynical lately. Really cynical. I keep trying to write but every time I go to write they just become cynical pieces on why TV gives us false expectations of friendship, people only care about people who die young, and spotify having too many commercials. So I gave up and went with it.

Television gives a false depiction of friendship. I am an avid Netflixer, TV watcher, media absorber. Sometimes I think of my life as a TV show. It would probably get terrible rating. One thing I’ve noticed is that every TV character has is a great group of friends. Even the scummiest, the most socially stunted, the weirdest people have scummy, socially stunted, weird people to rally around them. If a character is in trouble everyone in their inner circle drops everything in their lives to help. Every Friday night they’re in a bar laughing and discussing their lives. When there is a fight, they resolve their issues by the end of the episode, because they're not friends, they're family, and nothing can tear them apart. Then there is real life. People fight, and don’t make up by the end of the episode. People don’t rally, they give up. People come in and out of life so easily. Friendship is never as simple as it’s shown on TV. You don’t instantly connect with people. It takes a lot more work. People have busier lives and multiple groups and higher priorities than one singular ensemble cast.

Recently a girl in my class passed away in a skiing accident. She was young, successful, well liked. News outlets all over Ohio are running her story. The president of her university tweeted his condolences. When I was in high school, my senior English teacher died of a brain aneurysm. It was entirely unexpected. They had to have 3 calling hours to accommodate all of the people who wanted to pay their respects. All these young people with so many prospects, so many people to care about them. Then there are older people, who are expected to die. No one cares when they die. Half of them don’t even have services. They run a nice short note in the local paper so all the other old people can see which classmates have passed. I don’t want to sound like I am belittling my classmate, because I’m not. Her death is a loss for my schoolmates, and for her family. But, they say only the good die young, I say only the young die remembered.

Why are there so many commercials on Spotify lately? Every three songs there are three commercials. It seems excessive.

Oh, and I have another Shirali pic.