Surprise! I’m not dead! A really, obscenely long thought on sophomore year and doing things.

Guess how many people have decided that this blog is D.E.A.D.

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A lot. Like a lot a lot.

Just because Zoe is a pal who tells me when things are dead so I can properly resuscitate, here’s a pic of the birthday cake I got her, with a knife through it because it obviously looks better that way. HBD!

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It all started this summer actually. I decided I would go on a social media ~cleanse~, and then I accidentally got a job in China for six weeks (another post?) and really did not have access to any form of social media (firewall, etc) save for a spottily connected Snapchat that did ultimately end up ruining all of my streaks despite my best efforts. But I didn’t post for the summer thinking that I could be all in the moment and “of the world,” But that turned into effectively murdering this blog.

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I sometimes go onto this site, change the little song at the bottom right corner of the page, stare at my last post in September with a wispy sadness, and then leave. But guess what. I am not dead. Like at all. (Except that time last week when I had tonsillitis, esophageal ulcers (!!!!!) and possibly the flu, all at the same time, on Thanksgiving, and was put on a liquid diet, ON THANKSGIVING). I did not miss my flight this year though, since I was up all night worried that the weird feeling in my throat was actually a spontaneous pneumothorax (a lung leak that causes air in your chest, self diagnosed, I googled “bubble in chest”), and that one of my lungs would collapse due to changing cabin pressure when the plane took off. When I suggested to my doctor four days later (and completely unscathed by my potentially life-threatening plane ride home) that this was the case (the spontaneous pneumothorax), he kind of smacked his lips together and told me that my guessing which organ was wrong with me would be inappropriate given my qualifications. I also got the organ totally wrong, so I can’t even say he was being unreasonable or mean or anything. Yikes.

I know, summer was literally four months ago, so I have been in a sort of funk as of late. I think about this blog a lot and wonder when I’m going to finally write something, but BUSTER, these posts don’t write themselves. I’m going to consider this semester a dry season and move on from this blip, and also I’d like to prove to all my raging fans out there that I’m super duper not dead!

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A pic of me in China with lots of pals, being alive

Even if it’s sucky, I’m publishing whatever is about to come out of my brain. It’s almost midnight on a Sunday. I have a paper that could be written. Some physics. A robot that needs to be built. Lots of things, actually. Except I’m going to write this and then publish it, no matter what. And I know that people read this, because lots of people tell me. And it’s actually very flattering and it makes me happy. A lot a lot.

Here’s a crash course on some random things I’ve learned as a sophomore, after a long winded introduction that really was just a diversion that was really just me trying hard to be funny.

  1. I just finished making an electric bike from SCRATCH. What I mean by that is that I was given a used bike that was already pretty much completely finished in terms of electri-fying (hub motor, electronics, a rusty, somewhat decrepit frame, but definitely useable). And then I so completely demolished the motor while trying to figure out what to do, that I had to spend $800 buying a completely new bike and new parts, and then I spent a few more months making a lot of mistakes and bent the spokes of a brand new wheel while trying really hard to remove a screw. But then yesterday, I finished it and felt a completely new human emotion, the heart-skip thing that happens when something you’ve been working on for ages FINALLY freaking works.
    • Lesson: Try really hard to do something, and it’s gonna be kinda terrible until it’s not terrible because you’re so darn persistent and you will make it not terrible if you’re stubborn enough to stick around. Also, look how beautiful this bike is.

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  1. I’m teaching myself the guitar.
    • Lesson: In hindsight, I’m really glad that my parents sent me to ten years of piano lessons even though I definitely ended my piano career on a sore note (the stuff of movies, also something I could share one day about moving on from colossally embarrassing failure). Because have you heard of Gracie Abrams? Strawberryjamesblonde? Rainbow_Fever_1998? Yeah, probably not, but they’re all bomb musicians my age who make music and it’s just really cool and I will post something on Instagram one day when I get better (re: lesson 1 above).
  1. And I wrote part of a song on my guitar.
    • That you may or may not see.
  1. And I wrote a poem that will be in a literary magazine (I think)
    • My roommate Gabby dropped a bottle of hairspray on the floor a few months ago and the words just came out. I don’t know how many times I’ve told myself to write more, and then it just doesn’t happen sometimes and I feel like a fraud and end up spending way too much of my energy writing my English papers since I need some sort of outlet and oh man, my professor has to read all of it, imagine that.
  1. And I have started swearing, and I can’t stop.
    • Lesson: I promised myself in third grade that I wouldn’t swear, and I kept it up until sophomore year of college. I just think that sort of stubbornness is kind of impressive.

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  1. And I’ve decided to major in electrical engineering and English and lots of people give me perplexed eyebrows when I say the two together, so now I just say one of them, depending on the person and my mood. It’s actually astonishing to see how people react differently to when I say electrical engineering versus English, and it’s a very good way to decide if the person is of solid character and whether or not you should be friends with them. It’s fishy when people think they’re better than you when you tell them that you read books written by old dead men as a college education. They don’t even know the half of it. Literally.
    • Lesson: It’s kind of great to feel like I’m learning all the things I want to be learning. School is going swell. I did have a freak out two midterms ago since I pretty much failed a test, but the good thing about college is that 60% of your grade is from the final! Goodie!
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I googled “perplexed eyebrows”
  1. And most of all. I really have been in a sort of a rut. I came into this semester thinking that I wanted as much time as possible to have free time so I could live out my dream of being a moody artist person who writes and makes music and stares at the ceiling for large chunks of the day. Except I just ended up doing a lot of the last thing and very few productively creative things. Yes, my parents did yell at me, as parents probably should when you tell them that you don’t want a working job as a financially unstable person on the brink of adulthood. So the real lesson here is this:
    • Lesson: You cannot get a single thing done if you think that things will magically make themselves happen. I know this because that’s what I spent a lot of this semester doing. It was sort of nice to just sit on my bed some nights and pluck random strings on my guitar and think about thinking, but at some point, there needs to be action, and no one on this planet can help you in the way that you can help yourself. If a future employer is reading this, I don’t think confessing my stuckness will be in my favor for getting a job. But it’s the truth. I didn’t write anything this semester (although that one thing I did write was like very funny, but was actually something I’d planned on just writing for myself). I didn’t really fully take advantage of the fact that I’m not gonna be in college forever, that I am so lucky to be surrounded by young, hot, smart 18-22 year olds and endless resources and professors who will listen to me rant in their office because some one-off thing made me all flustered. I was offered a job this semester that would have required me to drop out of school (which is also another story in itself), but I turned it down because it just hit me that I don’t want to miss out on this. The world-class education, the late night McDonald’s, the conversations, the company. And so I guess this entire post was really just all for myself to wake up and look at the bright orange leaves falling outside. It’s all just so beautiful, so stop looking at the ceiling all day.

You made it this far. I guess this is more of a diary entry, but I’m ok with it. Written and posted. Check and check.

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Good luck to me and you,

Alice

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