Posted on May 1, 2016 ; related to Updates, Real life, School, Identity. Leave a comment?
This post is a little spontaneous. Unlike my other posts, I didn’t carefully plan out and proofread everything, because I didn’t plan on making this post.
There’s a lot of things going on in my life lately. I found out last month that I will be graduating at the end of 2018, 2 terms sooner than I had anticipated. That means that I have to start working on my thesis next year, and start planning for it now. The thing about senior theses at my school is that most people do them with their co-op employers. They get paid to do their theses and they don’t have to think about what to (i.e. come up with an idea of the thesis) as much as how to do it. So their bosses mostly sat down with them, discussed the possible topic ideas, and they just chose from the available options.
For me, this past work term (January-March) did not go as well as I had expected. Last summer work term was at a different division that focused more on hardware testing, which I didn’t really care for. I had what I could call friends there, and although the boss was a more rough personality than I was used to, he and I got along and understood each other. I had a lot of stressful moments, but I got a SA (”Strongly Approve”) rating from that term.
Now this past work term I got an internal transfer, which allowed me to work more in Software which was my field. However, the people there, while polite and “softer”, were not helpful at all. My boss was away 40% of the time, and the guy who he left to supervise me was very bad at communication. Added to my hearing loss, that meant I spent days, even weeks there, unsure what I was supposed to do. I tried to ask questions, but they were not answered or vaguely answered. The people who worked at that office were apathetic, to say the least. And at the end of the term, I got an evaluation A (”Agree”) but had 3 disagrees on the evaluation which meant I barely got credit for that work term. And at the last day of work, I didn’t even know we had a training manual, or that we didn’t work on Good Friday! Turns out, I was the only one who went in on Good Friday and didn’t even get paid.
I was disappointed to say the least. I was angry, even. I was mad at my boss for giving me a bad rating when he had done a bad job himself. I was mad at my direct supervisor who was too busy and unavailable, not communicating with me well. I was mad at myself for all the “should haves”: maybe I should have spoken up more, maybe if I didn’t have this hearing loss I would have had better communication. But I was also angry at God. It took me 3 months of job searching, a career fair, and 4 interviews, all of which I got rejected, until this one. I had the interview 3 days before my flight to Thailand. I found out I got the job 3 days before Christmas, and it was only but the grace of God that I got this job, and now this? I was dismayed. Didn’t God want to give the best for me?
So now it comes to this. I had my thesis to do, and I’d be damned if I do the thesis at my co-op place. I didn’t even want to go back there for next work term, and now I have to approach my boss about a thesis, too? I prayed. I didn’t want to work with those people. I didn’t want to do something that felt meaningless, that didn’t really matter. I didn’t want to do just another mediocre thing. That was until I thought of an idea…
At the non-profit organization I work at, Amazing Grace Counseling Outreach (AGCO), I was in charge of most of the money flow tracking. I had to do the bookkeeping, so I needed to make sure all the money was accounted for. When I was at school, I had 3 months of bookkeeping to keep track of, and often the information (which was in paper) was scattered and hard to find.
My idea was to write a program to keep track of the cash flow for the organization, and tailor it specifically for them. It would be an entrepreneurship thesis, which I could do independently of my co-op. I’m very excited about this idea, but there’s still a long way to go.
I have to pitch the idea to my adviser, convince the co-op people to let me to this thesis, write a proposal, not to mention a whole lot of other things that go with the process.
But if it could work, it would really work. It’s harder than a typical thesis, but if I could pull this off, with God’s help, then it would help AGCO a lot, not to mention me as well as a potential business idea.
There’s still a long way to go, and honestly I’m afraid, but also excited. Here’s to my potential new thesis!
Posted on Dec 6, 2015 ; related to Updates, Real life, School, Looking Back. Leave a comment?
So I have two more weeks of school term until I get to go to Thailand for break.
I’ve come so far I think! One year ago I was still kind of fucked up and very lonely because I was living alone and isolated in Milwaukee. I didn’t have anyone I could really call a friend until the last 2 months of my time in Milwaukee which was April. I was still not technically “clean” since I didn’t want to be. I was dissociating regularly and still reeling from being harassed during my first quarter. I was also living without my regular hearing aids since they were lost in the mail, but I did not know that then.
But the main thing was the loneliness. It was horrible. Even while I lived in the dorms, my social anxiety combined with my hearing loss and culture shock resulted in my not making many friends in freshman year. While other first year kids were already grouping up, I isolated myself in my room. I rarely kept my door open, and I felt like I had to be vigilant all the time.
Although after I moved out from the dorms and got my apartment which was very nice, I was even more isolated. I went for days not talking to anyone. I remember one night where I just completely dissociated and spent the whole night just thinking about how lonely it was.
Even though I already was past the point of wanting to kill myself, I remember relapsing several times that first year. I had good grades and even pulled a 4.00 my second term and got a 3.93 GPA the end of my first year, but I was suffering.
But now to the good stuff.
After only 8 weeks at my new uni, I have what I could even call a friend group. People whom I study with, who I eat with, and who I laugh with. They might make me annoyed sometimes, but these people care about me, and I for them. Being with these people made me wonder how I ever made it without friends.
I’m 9 months clean today. I just finished my final project for computer science class. I might be pulling a 4.00 this term. I’m going to Thailand in two weeks.
I’m going through my first term again, but this time with friends there with me.
Posted on Apr 22, 2015 ; related to Updates, Real life, School. Leave a comment?
So I’m transferring from my school in Milwaukee to Kettering University. It’s been a long time coming, at least for me, even though I tried to deny it since day 1.
I don’t think I’m such a horrible person as to be stuck up or to not be friends with anyone, and I like to think I’m an open person, but honestly being at my current school is very trying. It wasn’t just being harassed; it felt like I didn’t belong in the school. When I was applying for colleges, I often scoffed at the notion of “fit.” If the school had a good reputation and gave me a decent amount of money I would be willing to go: the more money, the better.
Naive me had a rude awakening. The first day at school, or rather, the first day of orientation, I felt like I didn’t belong. I made acquaintances, I went to the welcome week events, I tried to get to know people, but the longer I was there, the more and more I felt like a freak. These kids weren’t like the ones I was used to back in my hometown-whatever that meant.
I grew up in liberal Ann Arbor, a hippie/hipster town where diversity wasn’t even a thing you had to encourage, it just happened. I grew up around all kinds of people, and I never had the luxury of only interacting with people who were exactly like me. In Ann Arbor, you learn to be totally okay with people of different race, religion, and sexualities and genders.
Not so in Milwaukee. Everyone was white. I would say 90-95% of the school population was white. I thought I was used to that, used to being the only nonwhite kid in the group, but what I didn’t realize was that the general climate of the campus was more close-minded (I hesitate to say conservative because not all conservative people are close-minded). Even in my first week, I felt acutely aware of my race, that I wasn’t white like everyone else.
Presentation was very hard for me, too. At home, after coming out I could dress as masculine as I liked and use any gender restroom I preferred, but I couldn’t in Milwaukee. It felt like everyone fit their gender role so well that any difference would be strongly discouraged. I went so far as to hold my pee in for five hours straight just to avoid using the bathroom.
That, combined with getting harassed, and having my hearing aids break and the school losing my replacement which was supposed to come by mail, felt like the final straw. Things did get better, I got a job, and I made more friends, but I realized that I didn’t want to stay in this kind of environment. I didn’t want to stay in a place where I felt like I didn’t belong because of my gender and race, where the LGBT student club refuses to send campus wide emails because they didn’t want their members getting harassed.
I applied to Kettering as a transfer student and got accepted. I’m in the process of getting a co op position, and am considering changing my major from mechanical engineering to computer science. All in all, right now is a time full of changes.
What I want to do for Wacky Onion is to keep it up, definitely, but now that I’m more busy with life, I can’t regularly add new content such as site layouts and articles like I used to. I will keep those up, mostly for nostalgic purposes, maybe keep them under an archive, and repackage Wacky Onion as more of a personal blog.
Here’s to hoping that everything will work out.