"I started working in the fields when I was five. After that, I worked construction for thirty years. Eight years ago, I was between jobs and I wanted to do something useful, so I started going to school. It took me 8 years to get through middle school, because I could only go to classes when work was slow, but I finished with a 9.3 out of 10. Now I’m moving on to high school. The toughest part is Algebra."
(Mexico City, Mexico)
Classes don’t start again for another week (and I can’t wait), but I was on my way to an appointment and happened to drive past campus.
I became very emotional. UCLA is really important to me. It’s a tunnel out of what looked to me to be a dead end future, professionally and intellectually. Maybe I was right, maybe I was wrong about where I thought I was headed before UCLA, but that’s what it felt like to me.
When I started classes,three years ago I had just spent five years auditioning for parts I didn’t get and pitching tech/entertainment projects I had written/designed that people seemed unready for or frightened of, I don’t know which. I had projected forward in my mind what the FOLLOWING five years could be and it made me feel dead inside.
I can’t stand “not moving forward” (as I’m sure you can tell by now) and the idea of a repeat performance of the previous five years was a horrible one to me. Going to school was a way to traverse out of that projected future and into one that had many more options of a much richer, more diverse nature.
I don’t care how bloodied my elbows and knees get from crawling through this tunnel. I don’t care how many cave-ins seems to narrow the tunnel in places. UCLA is the tube connecting my past to my future, my first life to my second, and I will never cease to be grateful for that.
I don’t think I’m going to be able to see through the tears of appreciation the day I graduate.
Whoa. I came across my very first “commercial composite”(a kind of acting headshot collection). At 16, I was quite prophetic with the t-shirt choice.
The Linguistics of LOL: What Internet vernacular reveals about the evolution of language
When two friends created the site I Can Has Cheezburger?, in 2007, to share cat photos with funny, misspelled captions, it was a way of cheering themselves up. They probably weren’t thinking about long-term sociolinguistic implications. But seven years later, the “cheezpeep” community is still active online, chattering away in lolspeak, its own distinctive variety of English. lolspeak was meant to sound like the twisted language inside a cat’s brain, and has ended up resembling a down-South baby talk with some very strange characteristics, including deliberate misspellings (teh, ennyfing), unique verb forms (gotted, can haz), and word reduplication (fastfastfast). It can be difficult to master. One user writes that it used to take at least 10 minutes “to read adn unnerstand” a paragraph. (“Nao, it’z almost like a sekund lanjuaje.”) To a linguist, all of this sounds a lot like a sociolect: a language variety that’s spoken within a social group, like Valley Girl–influenced ValTalk or African American Vernacular English. (The word dialect, by contrast, commonly refers to a variety spoken by a geographic group—think Appalachian or Lumbee.) Over the past 20 years, online sociolects have been springing up around the world, from Jejenese in the Philippines to Ali G Language, a British lingo inspired by the Sacha Baron Cohen character. There’s also Padonkaffsky, an aughts-era slang beloved by Russia’s self-described “scum” (they call themselves Padonki—a garbling of podonok, the actual Russian word for “scum”), with phonetic spellings, offensive language, and a popular meme involving outdoor sex and an inopportune bear. Israel has Fakatsa, a sociolect beloved by teen girls—terms from which have popped up on baby clothes and menstrual-pain products. (via The Linguistics of LOL - Britt Peterson - The Atlantic)
I’ve overheard UCLA professors complaining that some of their student’s writings included either this mess of language or texting-style shorthand.
And, with that, I was able to finally complete an acceptable fall schedule.
Did I tell you? A few weeks ago, I was so consumed with those blistering summer session course schedules that I missed my “first pass” to enroll in fall classes by THREE WEEKS. Even missing your first pass by an hour or two can really set you back as all the classes you wanted could be full by the time you finally register, but three weeks? Forget it.
I was really lucky that the CS class I wanted was still open and then I threw a GE in there (and it’s a topic in which I am actually interested). I was missing a third class. Absolutely all the other classes on my curriculum were full and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when the quarter started and I didn’t have the minimum number of units on my schedule. My Plan B was to sit in on one of those classes and try to force my way in. Not a very stable plan.
Finally, one of the classes I needed suddenly opened up today and I signed into the registration site as fast as possible to grab the spot before someone else did.
Now I have registration alerts thoughout my calendar so I never miss another “first pass”.
I don’t know that I’ll ever take a summer class again.
Yeah, I want to blame the “10 weeks of work shoved into 6 week” schedule for my newly-minted “B-” in ECON 11, but the truth is that there’s a far more disturbing fact.
I felt completely prepared for that final. I felt fine while I was taking it. I felt confident during the week I waited for the results. But, I got a “C” on the final. A “C”. What? How could my feelings about the exam and my result be in such opposition?
I have felt like this before. I have taken exams before and experienced this disconnect between the “feel” for my performance and the actual result. I can think of 4 such experiences. 1 was a CS exam, 2 were math, and this one.
That’s what really disturbs me, that I’m somehow unaware that I’m fucking up while it’s happening. I have an appointment to see the exam to discover where I went off the rails, but Christ, I don’t want to be blissfully unaware that I’m wrongly answering questions during exams. That just sounds bizarre.
Oh, and I’ve felt really very confident about Econ classes in general so far at UCLA. I already had an “A-” and an “A+” in my previous Econ classes, so I also feel a bit indignant (aka “ashamed for my ego”) that I pulled a grade like a “B-” in a class that’s NOT computer science or level 4 calculus.
I’ll report back to you my very important findings regarding my mistakes on that final.