Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm a Cylon.

Or, at least, that's what my high school band director called me.  I've always had a knack, you see, for doing a ridiculous number of things at once, and doing them relatively well - much like a robot - thus, his suspicion at my being a Battlestar Galactica Cylon.

I don't mean to brag, because I don't believe I can do a ridiculous number of things at once, and do them well, because of some innate talent or intellect.  It's through blood, sweat, and occasionally tears, alone, that I get so much shit done.

Want to know what I did this semester?

x Edited and submitted my URGO paper on gender and sexuality in yaoi and yuri manga to the Central States Communication Association for inclusion in their 2011 conference.

x Paneled twice at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Kansas City.  The first panel was on Augsburg's HON 130 Liberating Letters course, a first-year Honors humanities course.  The second panel was on Student Created Learning Experiences (I created one in Spring 2009).

x Sat in on two different grad-level classes at the U of M.  The first was COMM 8210 - Seminar: Selected Topics in U.S. Electronic Media, with Dr. Edward Schiappa, and the second was COMM 5211 - Critical Media Studies: Theory and Methods, with Dr. Mary Vavrus.  I also met independently with Dr. Schiappa and Dr. Gilbert Rodman.

x Participated in Augsburg's Homecoming as part of the Homecoming Court.

x Applied for the nationally-competitive Critical Language Scholarship in Kyoto, Japan, administered by the U.S. Department of State.

x Hand-made my Halloween costume (with the help of my lovely friend, Erica).

x Applied for the extremely competitive Communication Studies Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota.  Last year, the department accepted only seven new students.  This year, it may be only five.

x Dealt with the death of my grandmother, Pearl Marie.

x Created my second SCLE, or Student Created Learning Experience.  I'll be studying Kanji (Japanese characters adapted from Chinese) next semester: Sixty characters (in addition to those learned in my regular Japanese classes) in four and a half weeks.

x Created job application profiles at three high-profile companies (not telling where!).

x Met the Guerrilla Girl, Frida Kahlo, part of the group of famous feminist artists.

x Worked twenty hours a week, and found my replacement for Homemade (I bet you can't wait to find out who it is!), who'll take over for me this May when I graduate.

x Maintained my cumulative 4.0 GPA.

x Wrote a nearly forty-page international relations thesis on Japanese and international child pornography laws.

I feel like this list doesn't even do this semester justice. If it's any indication as to how close the last four months came to pushing me over the deep end, I frequently had nightmares about getting bad grades (Hermione, much?) or about not getting into grad school.  I thought of little else besides class and work.  I rarely saw my friends.  I was crabby nearly every day.

Most people who know me know that I like school.  I legitimately enjoy going to class, and I generally don't mind doing homework (when I was a kid, I used to ask my teachers for extra homework before summer break so I wouldn't get bored).  But this semester was one of the hardest four months of my life. They weren't bad (how could a semester be bad, when it includes a free trip to KC, a risque piercing, and puking in a candy bowl while wearing a tutu?), but they were, pardon my French, hard as fuck.

So, to all who stuck by me this semester, despite my crabbiness, my crazy Halloween shenanigans, and my general lack of concern for what you were doing because I had so much crap of my own to think about, thank you.
Thank you:

Mitch Billings, Alan Juell, Erica Malloy, Alex Bischoff, Renee Van Siclen, Andrew Fox, Katelyn Johnson, Ben Skoglund, Becki Iverson, Sam Smith, Colin Stanhill, Katie Lawson, Kristen Chamberlain, Wes Ellenwood, Joe Underhill, David Lapakko, Carly Lassegard, Joe Funk, Tony Thompson, Brian Cronin, Katie Cink, Steve Buran, Mom, Bob, Greg McLain, Jake Steffen, Sherie, Craig, Kristi Billings, Taryn Brown, Cassie Morrison, all my Twitter followers, and countless others who deserve their names here,

for supporting me unconditionally, never telling me to shut up when I complained and vented and screamed and kicked things, letting me make a fool of myself while wearing a tutu, holding my hand while I got a hole punched in my face, not being mad when I bailed on the Tron: Legacy midnight premiere, not being mad when I bailed on everything else, listening to my worries about not being able to keep my 4.0 (I know, I know, I'm Hermione Granger), not calling me a "bitch" when I got so crabby I threw my books, taking me to the Tea Garden for the first time, not getting on my case for never doing the dishes or making dinner or for leaving my laundry in the dryer, helping me laugh off setbacks, giving me money for groceries so I could eat well and not get sick, taking me to St. Martin's Table for lunch when I was sad,

and for everything else.  Thank you.


Steve B. said...

Thanks for the namedrop. Ali, you are epic.

David Lapakko said...

Try to work a little harder. I don't see any Pulitzer or Nobel prizes in that list.