Friday, March 26, 2010

Going Out and Being Social

This marks the third week of TYSIC, actually I was supposed to do this yesterday, but I got home really late so Friday will do I guess.

I worked on my putting myself out there more this week by being more social.

Monday, I went to a lecture about Henry Blundell and his huge collection of Ince art. It wasn't required or anything, and I usually don't go to these things, but I thought it would help me to be more social. If not I would have probably spent my Monday afternoon in my dorm watching the tv and being on the computer. I think I would call this day a success. I managed to talk to one person there, and she was really nice. Apparently we had a class together and talked about how things are going.

Wednesday, I met with my mentor from a scholarship program I am a part of. I get what you're thinking, that this was basically required so it doesn't count, but hear me out. If there is one thing I'm good at it's avoiding people. I was supposed to meet her in September, and I faked sick, so we called it off. Other times I just said I had to study and hopefully we can meet up after exams and stuff. So about a week ago she emailed me to meet finally. She took me to a coffee shop where another sophomore was there with his freshmen mentee. They were all nice people. Me and the other freshmen were pretty much shy, but the mentors tried to get the conversation moving. And the next thing I new an hour had passed. I would also call this successful, but tiring.

Then on Thursday, me and my writing class went to go see a production of Henry V. Again, if I really wanted to I could have found a way out, but I thought it would be a good learning experience on going out more. Since I've basically only gone on the metro once before. The bad part was that from Noon to 5:30 I had already had 4 classes. And our teacher told us to leave around 6. So as soon, I was out of accounting I had to run to the dining hall, and stuff my face with as much past as possible. After, I ran to my room changed and waited for a classmate I ended up going with, since they new which metro stop to get off on. We got there really early about 6:45 and ended up wandering about. The play started at 8 p.m. and at first it was fine.

I don't really know how to explain it, but there was a stage and there were 2 wings on the left and right where you can sit, and then a raised stage on top of that where the actors would actually be. I was right on the edge on the front row. I was really close to the actors at some points. Sometimes I would get hit on the legs with their robes as they would run offstage. That was kinda cool. And other times it was scare the crap out of me because they would sometimes have these large sticks and hit them on the stage right next to me. The noise alone made me jump. I thought it was a really good production. They did interesting things with the chorus. And it was a lot funnier than I thought it would be.

Right now it sounds like it was a lot of fun. But the thing was 3 hours long! I was already so tired from classes, I had a major headache and just wanted to go to sleep. Also being that close to the stage, the lights would sometimes shine right on your eyes, which didn't help the headache. Some of my classmates ended up leaving at intermission, which was at like 9:40. As much as I wanted to go, I decided to stay basically because of TYSIC. I tend to always live in my own little world, and this was an experience I never had before. And I guess I should add doing different things to my TYSIC. The play ended at about 11:00-ish. And I didn't get home until after midnight. Because of the sucky buses the school runs. I was so tired and just collapsed on to my bed. This explains why I didn't write down my TYSIC yesterday.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Fail!!!

It's week two of the TYSIC and well I have absolutely failed at life this week and got nothing accomplished. So because I actually want to write a blog everyday, I will list some small things I have done during week two.

I really wasn't optimistic this week. At least not about my own life. I've realized that it's not the pessimism that's the problem it's the fact that I just tend not to care. It's pretty sad, but half the time I just don't have an opinion either way. I feel that I'm too lazy to try. I, however, hope that I will be able to be more optimistic next week. If there is one thing I am constantly trying to be optimistic about it is my sister's health. I refuse to believe that things can get any worse. My mind is set to believing that soon she will be completely better. And I'm glad to say that not much worse has happened this week.

Semi-TYSIC related, I had an accounting quiz today, and I believe I made a hundred. Well, I'm not sure, but I'm fairly optimistic about my grade. Which, is a good thing because it's a requirement at the university I go to if I want to get a business degree.

And on the putting myself out there front, I initiated conversation with two people in my writing class. Sure all we did was talk about class really, but it has been a big step for me. I've only spoken to one other person in that class, so I'm up to three now.

I think I'm going to try to get something accomplished by starting to read The Bell Jar, though I may decide to re-watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life Up to Date

Okay, first week of TYSIC is over and done with. I really don't think there has been much improvement, but hey, I still have 9 years and 51 weeks to go. There have been minor things though.

I talked about how my optimism challenge is going yesterday, so I'll try to hit on some other things. In a new development, I think my little sister might be getting better. I still haven't plucked up the courage to call my mom, whose at the hospital with her in Tennessee, but I did speak to my dad. He's in Florida for business reasons, so he's keeps calling to get updates from my mom. She's started to talk, but still seems pretty out of it according to what my mom told him. I think I might actually call the hospital today, if I don't get to scared and chicken out.

Part of my challenge was to put myself out there more. Sort of hard this week because most of the campus is on vacation, but I did take some strides. I actually left the university's parameters by myself. Yes, I know it doesn't seem like much, but trust me it's big for me. One of the things I haven't done is walk around in normal, semi-crowded streets with people going into stores. So I explored a bit, instead of staying inside my dorm filling my brain with countless hours of television. To be honest I didn't like it. To many people, it was loud, and all the stores were expensive. There were a couple places I would like to visit again and maybe next time I'll try to spring up a conversation with someone I don't know.

On the following through bit for this week, I promised myself to write two essays that aren't done until March 18th and to outline my 15 page essay due April 4th. My main reason is that I procrastinate like crazy. If it wasn't for this I would probably wait a lot later, and end up turning in something I'm not at all proud of. So far I've finished one and hopefully will finish another one tonight.

Also I've gotten a hold of 10 books that are in my current reading list. So I will hopefully start reading some during this upcoming week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Optimism, Thou Art a Heartless Bitch

Yeah, so lately I've been trying to work on my whole pledge to work on my optimism, but I must say it's very difficult. I have been trying however, I even tried to kill to birds with one stone by trying to keep optimistic and being more social.

I'm part of this "club," it's not really a club just a group of 50 people selected every year for a scholarship. We were told that if were staying in school during the break we could all meet up at 2 p.m. and we can all go to the grocery store together, since many of us didn't know where it was. I tried to keep positive, albeit it didn't work. I also almost didn't go because I didn't want to be around a group of people I didn't know. Note: While I have been in this club for almost a year I've only spoken to 1 person in this club, because she spoke to me first in Calculus class. But in the end I went. I decided to go early and by that I mean 1:40 and waited on a bench. During that time I kept thinking "maybe no one will show" and then thought "no they'll show, they didn't send an email for nothing." Long story short by 2:10 p.m. no one was there and I quit. It pissed me off that they said 2 and then no one was there at that time. I didn't even care if they were late. I walked away really angry.

I started off with this small story only to go to a much much longer and worse one. It's kinda depressing so look away now if you are happy and don't want to be brought down.

This story concerns my little sister, she's 16. For months now her grades have been slipping and she's been doing nothing but sleeping all day. No one new what was wrong with her and soon they thought she had depression. Partly because of me leaving for college and partly because my dad has to travel back and forth from a different state for work. That was a low blow for me, but in this instance I decide to think positive. That soon she will be better. Then it turned out that her vision had gone bad. Which was strange because she's had great vision for 16 years, but then I thought it's okay she'll just have glasses now.

Then recently they took her in for some testing and found a tumor between her eyes. Things just seemed to be getting worse. It seemed to surreal. No one in my family had ever gotten cancer. What the hell was going on. I decided to put it out of my mind though because if I thought about it I'd probably be coming up with worst case scenarios, though I did breakdown at night and cried myself to sleep. They were only able to get 20% and would have to get the rest out with chemo. The doctors then found other problems with her dealing with her pituitary and the fact that she didn't have enough testosterone. Again things got worse and worse. The only thing that made me hopeful is calls from my aunt and mom telling me that my sister was actually in good spirits.

I spoke to her Saturday they had begun chemotherapy and she seemed fine. She didn't talk much, but she usually never did. So I went on about tv shows and how I was hungry and wanted a bagel. Sunday came and I spoke to my mom, my sister was still in bed at the hospital that she had been sleeping all day and wasn't hungry.

And then it was Monday. I called my dad, I was in unusually high spirits and then he told me the news. My sister had apparently fallen from her hospital bed and had a seizure, at least I think that's what it was. She wouldn't wake up after that. My mom got a phone call at 1 a.m. telling her to go to the hospital. Yesterday evening was the first time I spoke with my dad and I learned that she's semi-comatose, opening her eyes but not responding. The doctors said it had something to do with her having had low sodium levels, but they were the ones who gave her medication in the first place because they thought her sodium was too high. I don't even have the courage to call my mom whose in the hospital with her right now because I know my mom will just completely breakdown and that's the last thing I want.

I do go to bed at night and then all these thoughts about my little sister run through it, but I have made myself say "she'll wake up. she'll wake up, she'll wake up....." I'm hoping that this positivity does translate into reality.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Ten Year Self-Improvement Challenge

Alright, well doing this whole Ten Year Self-Improvement Challenge has inspired me to make a blogspot. I'm new to all this so I'm not sure how this whole thing is going to work out. I tend to be horrible at sticking to things, or just procrastinate my self out of things that I should probably do. I had written it this down on Livejournal, but thought that maybe this would be a little bit more appropriate.

I decided to do it because well I thought it sounded like a neat idea. It's kinda cool to know that all these people have goals out there that they are trying to get accomplished at the same time and your able to keep track of everyone.

Okay in 10 years I would have just turned 29 years old and these are the things I want to have accomplished by that time. (I'll probably add more later on, I haven't given as much thought to this list as I should have)

1. Be more optimistic. Reason: I'm really rather negative and for the most part I'm okay with it. But my friends probably don't like it as much. My mom sure doesn't because she brings it up all the time when I talk to her on the phone. So really I'm trying to at least be positive around others. And not be so snarky all the time.

2. Put myself out there more. Reason: I have a problem being confident and going up and just starting a conversation. I've been in college since September and haven't even gone out once. I pretty much eat by myself everyday too and bring my computer along instead of eating with friends. I don't want to make myself sound like I have no friends, even by not participating I surprisingly find myself with a pretty good group of people. The problem is that for the most part, at least in college I find myself on the outside of the inner circle. I just never take the time to be around them, and also never take the time to meet new people. In 10 years, I want to know that I can be sociable.

3. Have a good job in the business field that allows me to travel. Reason: People need jobs. I'm majoring in business. And I like to travel.

4. Have gone to South America, Central America, and Europe. Reason: I want to visit where my dad was born, Argentina, (South America), where my mom was born, Honduras, (Central America), and my favorite continent (Europe). I've always had an obsession with going to Europe, specifically going to England or actually the whole United Kingdom. Also I want to visit Prague, in the Czech Republic.

5. Start writing again. Reason: I used to love writing, and a couple years ago I stopped. I want to write a novel or at least something the length of a short novel. I don't care so much about getting it published as much as just proving to myself I can actually write a novel.

6. Promise to keep in touch with friends. Reason: Well I mean this will be after college. I still want to leave knowing that I'm friends with them. And I want to have kept in touch with my high school friends. It's getting difficult to now and I'm only a freshmen in college. I also want to meet back up with my elementary school friends. I've only gotten to talk to them on facebook so far.

7. Have completed reading my list of books to read. Reason: I started the list about 2 years ago, and well have absolutely not kept up with it. Hmmm... I'm debating putting up the list or just saying I finished one when I'm done reading it. Ummm... alright I'll put it up, here at the end of this post. I feel like this list will get longer before it gets shorter since I'm always looking for recommendations, but that's okay at least I'm reading.

8. Find love. Reason: Well I do want to find someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. I don't care so much about getting married and having children. At least not, yet anyways, I'm only 19. Maybe when I'm 29. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go out and find myself someone now. But I think this one would probably go best with putting my self out there more, but I don't care I've written this as number 8 and it's going to stay there now. I'm terribly shy around new people, so talking to boys I don't know rarely happens. Which sucks because around people I don't know I tend to ramble on and on. So I hope in 10 years I would have found someone.

9. Go to a concert. Reason: I've never been to one, though I really love music.

10. Go to New York and see a Broadway show. Reason: It's just always seemed like a cool idea.

11. Visit California. Reason: It's freaking Hollywood, I think it be really cool to see, not much to live there just to visit. Also want to visit San Francisco, and the Haight & Ashbury district because I know it's changed but it reminds me of hippies in the 60's.

12. Follow Through. Reason: As mentioned earlier I really suck at sticking to things. I just have the mentality of saying "oh this doesn't matter; I give up." I'd rather not have that happen with this challenge or with other things in life.

List of Books: (This is the exact list I made 2 or 3 years ago, so not really in any sort of order. A lot of these books are books I feel everyone in the world has read and I feel left out. )
1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. Possession by A.S. Byatt
4. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
5. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
6. The Stranger by Albert Camus
7. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
8. 1984 by George Orwell
9. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
10. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
11. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
12. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
13. Faust by Johann Wolgang Von Goethe
14. The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
15. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
16. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
17. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
18. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
19. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
20. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
21. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
22. Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
23. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
24. White Noise by Don Delillo
25. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
26. The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath
27. The Portable Dorothy Parker
28. Deliverance by James Dickey
29. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
30. Ubik by Phillip K. Dick
31. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
32. On the Road by Kerouac
33. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
34. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
35. The Man who Loved Children by Christina Stead
36. Must Try Harder by Norman McGreevy
36. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
37. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
38. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
39. 2666 by Roberto Balano
40. Money by Martin Amis
41. Ticket to Ride by Dennis Potter
42. Dead Babies by Martin Amis
43. Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland
44. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
45. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
46. A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde
47. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
48. Demian by Herman Hesse
49. Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
50. The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
51. The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum
52. Red by Jack Ketchum
53. Peaceable Kingdom by Jack Ketchum
54. The Lost by Jack Ketchum
55. Swan Song by Robert McCammon
56. Lost Boy, Lost Girl by Peter Straub
57. The Burning Man by Ray Bradbury