Friday, February 11, 2011

wishful thinking

i'm going home tomorrow for the weekend :) it's absurd how giddy i am about it, considering it's only for two days. i love being able to drive down through casa de oro and attach a memory with each street. i love hopping on the 94, and lestat's on tuesday nights, and knowing where to get the best mexican food, and i just freaking love san diego!

sometimes i have to wonder if i'll ever end up there again. i can't imagine never living in spring valley again.

so much has been changing lately, but all too much of it has to be kept in the dark, for now!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

oh, the places you'll go

i've been meaning to sit down and write a comprehensive post about the expectations vs. realities of ucla, but, of course, it's yet to be done. i thought that i would point out one, hopefully provoking the need to jot the rest down at a later time.

before coming to ucla, having only experienced monte vista and community college, i imagined a place of constant intellectual stimulation. when you weren't being engaged in a life-altering lecture, then you were partaking in discussions with fellow students about philosophy and concepts that are too complex for the average joe. okay, maybe my expectations weren't quite that high, but they weren't too far from it, either.

the reality of ucla has been somewhat disappointing. the work load is undeniably bigger, but just because there's more assigned pages to read and longer papers and so on, but the actual content is lacking from what i imagined it to be. it's harder, more complex, more thorough - sure. of course the step from community college to university is a step up, but i thought it'd be a higher step as far as the level of thinking and analyzing that's required. maybe it's the masochist in me, but i was hoping to enroll in a class wherein, no matter how hard i worked or how much i studied, the substance of the class was just too difficult for me to fully grasp. i realize that sounds extremely douchey, but so be it. what i've encountered has not been quite as challenging as i'd hoped. i'm putting in more effort than before, but only because i'm expected to know more, overall - more details, more ideas, more authors, etc. but when i actually stop and think about it, if i disregard one professor who comes to mind as actually challenging when it comes to both work load and subject matter, i haven't been more intellectually stimulated here at ucla than i was while at san diego city college.

yet there's this elitist attitude that accompanies the "direct" uc students, that result in many transfer students i've spoken to (although i've never particularly felt this way) feeling inadequate upon arrival. the attitude is rather prevalent, although subtle. i remember someone who i had been fairly good friends with making a comment about how i should borrow one of their 2008 ucla shirts, because it'd look like i've been here longer. while obviously the comment meant no mal intent, it definitely revealed some underlying thoughts. who cares if i just transferred?! comments like these have been repeatedly made to me, as if i would gain some prestige by being believed to be a direct student, rather than a transfer student.

sometimes i'll note some comments made by students speaking lowly of community college, in general. hearing them is similar to the feeling when a friend talks badly about your parent - you're allowed to call your mom a bitch all you want, but as soon as someone else says it, it becomes offensive. what frustrates me the most about these comments is that there's a prevalent assumption about uc students that they're receiving a significantly better and more challenging education than community college students and that's simply not true. you're spending more money, and you're spending more hours on homework, but that, by no means, means that you're receiving a better education.

as much as i complain about the workload, myself, the biggest changes that have resulted in things being harder to handle is that i'm spending a significantly larger amount of time doing activities and getting involved on campus than i did in san diego, and the added stress that is constantly present due to money issues. there have still been plenty of nights where i wrote a paper last minute, or postponed any studying until the night before, and still received very good grades on things. so, while even my experience has shown that, yes, my life at ucla is more trying and i do spend significantly more time on my studies than i did while attending city college, much of the difficulty has nothing to do with the academic side.

this isn't to say that ucla, overall, has been a disappointment. but i feel like it's important to not create a false image for everyone about the transfer experience, because i definitely feel like many of my uc friends did that for me, rather they realized it or not. though, to be honest, i think they do it both to justify any hardships or laziness that occurs, but also to build up an image of prestige around themselves and their experiences. i don't think everyone purposefully does this, but now after being here, i definitely think that a lot of people aren't being very accurate when they talk about college. after all, the stereotypes and assumptions about universities vs. community colleges have to start somewhere.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


i judge those who write in cursive much more highly than those who write in print. sorry.