Home from my propaganda trip to Israel and already fully immersed in the spring semester, I am trying to be positive, healthy, and good to myself. That means I must try to stave off bad habits and vices, like casual sex and booze, and instead spend my time actually doing my homework (100 pages of psych reading in one day, check), practicing my music (actually got accepted for voice lessons and will continue to have piano lessons, plus have been writing songs that I should work on more diligently), performing both of my jobs more professionally than I did last semester, and doing creative and intellectual things that will ultimately make me a happier and better person (I hope) than instant-gratification activities. This means I want to journal at least every other day, blog maybe once a week about something interesting and meaningful, and read lots of books. I have charged myself to read at least 40 books in 2010. I haven’t decided yet whether that will include books for school or not; that will depend largely on my progress. Thus far I have finished two: The Handmaid’s Tale and Very LeFreak, and I will follow that by another book I have to review, Wench, plus the two books I had already started reading before I began reading Rachel Cohn’s book to review, and then I’ll take it from there. I have an inter-library loan that I have to read before it’s due back (any way to find out ahead of time what they’d charge if you just “lost” the book? It’s incredibly out of print and will help me with my thesis, so I really just want to keep it forever), and I just ordered two books from Amazon along with a Norton anthology that I need for class. The books are ones I ordered in October which were “delivered” but never recovered. I am sick of the post office never calling me back when I complain about my idiot postman (he delivers our packages to our neighbors’ backyard repeatedly), so I spent $30 replacing things I should have read months ago.
Kvetch, kvetch. I should add more Yiddish to my daily vocabulary (as if I don’t use it enough) but do less kvetching.
I am taking a class called African/African American Psychology as my second-to-last general education course. I expected it to be more like a history class than a hard psych class, given that it’s listed under Africana Studies and not under Psychology, but it seems that it is more about the history of psychology and race and how they interact. Still interesting, though the first class was iffy. Can’t decide if the professor realizes that he is presenting cliches as fact, but I am willing to suspend my shock and assume that he has a grand plan for us all–after all, he has a PhD. Interestingly, when I walked in the room, I noticed that a very small percentage of the class is comprised of black students. There are maybe eight in a class of 35. A couple people have already made dumb remarks, but it should be an interesting class that should, if nothing else, make me think a lot and give me fodder for my writing. And I’d also like to use the class to inform some new projects for Hillel. I really want to create a cross-cultural discussion group with African American students, but so far all of the departments I’ve contacted have been pretty unresponsive. It’s something I’ve wanted to do all year, though, and this class has rekindled that interest. And it’s only been three days of school.
I’m also taking Portuguese, which is already painfully easy, but it’s good to learn how to write it, because that is the area in which you can tell that I am a faker and only pretend to be a Brazilian who can speak it. I plan on going to some of the discussion groups, because I feel that practice writing and speaking without lapsing into English or Spanish will be good for me. However, the class is called Portuguese for Spanish Speakers, so hopefully it will soon be a) less boring and b) faster moving. Everyone just needs to stop pronouncing words as if they are Spanish.
I originally began talking about my AFAS class because we have to do a group project, which I hugely resent, but I also acknowledge that psychologists work together. However, given that I was previously employed as an editor/proofreader of the writing of groups of social researchers, I know that this is not a good idea, because groups of people are worse writers than individual people, who tend to be terrible writers anyway. But, given that controversy with Bloomsbury publishing, and how they’re at it again with whitewashing their YA covers to make everyone who is dark appear white, I am more excited for this group project, because that could be an excellent topic.
More on Bloomsbury later. Now it’s time for Hillel research and an early bedtime. I have been sleepy as hell since returning home.