Sunday, June 08, 2003

i want sunshine and a laptop!

Yeah, so I know I shouldn’t be blogging when I’m supposed to be doing some hard-core studying and stuff. But my latest research paper is boring the heck out of me, and I need a break. Particularly since I’ve been up since 5 a.m. working on this sucker. My vampire skillz sure are coming in handy these days. I haven’t even slept in my own bed for a week; it’s all about naps on the living room sofa, cuz that’s the only way I can get myself up. :-p Hey, after finals are over, my goal is to sleep my life away.

The other night I dragged myself off the sofa at 3 a.m. to work on a paper, stumbled over to the desk, dropped into the chair, turned on the computer, and promptly fell asleep. My dad wandered down the hall at 5 a.m., patted me on the shoulder, and asked, “So how many papers have you written?” Bleary-eyed, I stared at the screen-saver on my monitor and mumbled sleepily, “Uhhhh…I’m not sure. I think I wrote one.” I clicked the mouse button to get rid of the screen-saver…and voila! There was my desktop image and nary a file open. My dad laughed and asked, “You sure you don’t wanna just drop out of school?” I glared. “Don’t tempt me.”

I skipped halaqa this morning just because I needed those few hours to make some headway on this academic craziness. I feel slightly ashamed about that though, because even as I was making the decision to stay home, I was thinking about Annie's and Sana’s comments on Annie’s latest post, about how Muslims these days tend to focus more on their academic grades rather than their grades with Allah swt. I totally agree with their point. But I remember I left a comment somewhat related to that on Hafsa’s blog a while back (I’m too lazy to go find it, even though I really don’t remember exactly what I said). But it was something along the lines of how even though obtaining an education is often an aggravating (and sometimes overrated?) process, it’s one of the greatest resources for being able to bring about change in the world. As Muslims, we have a responsibility to make the world a better place, clichéd as that may sound, and a degree is one of the best ways to ensure that you have the support system and the resources and the attention of those people you need in order to implement your ideas. Obviously it all depends on one’s intention, and those who utilize their education towards helping others rather than for personal gain are those who will ultimately be rewarded for it, insha’Allah. So yeah, that’s my reasoning, and it’s probably kinda wack, cuz my writing skillz are going downhill and I’m not sure how to formulate what I’m trying to say. But I love how reading other people's blogs helps me keep myself in check and re-think some of my actions on a daily basis. So for all of you out there who drop by my blog and leave cool, supportive comments and write awesome, thought-provoking stuff on your own blogs, and make me laugh and think...mad props to you! :)

I had a little bit of drama with one of my professors the other day. Instead of having a real in-class final exam on Saturday (yesterday) morning as we were scheduled, he assigned us 3 final papers instead at the beginning of the week and told us to come to class Saturday morning and turn them in. I contacted him a few days ago and asked if I could just email them in, as I didn't want to drive all the way up to campus just to turn in 3 papers. He emailed me back with the infuriating reply, "I cannot make an exception for you because this would be unfair to other people who live in the Bay Area. You will just have to come here in person!" I gave myself a minute to calm down, but I was still pissed off, so I hit "reply" instead and responded, "What other people who live in the Bay Area?? Everyone else in the class, to the best of my knowledge, lives either in town or in some other part of the Greater Sacramento Area, relatively close to campus. I, however, actually live in the Bay, and I consider it a waste of my time to drive 60 miles to campus on Saturday morning, merely to spend 5 minutes parking my car, walking to class to turn my paper in, and then turning around and driving all the way back home again. Can you please reconsider my request?" Annoyingly stubborn man that he is, he still wouldn't give in, instead advising me to email my papers to a fellow student, who could then print 'em out and turn 'em in for me. What a process. Geez. I told Somayya the story, and she just shook her head. Then she laughed and laughed at my inability to stop and think before I give into my temper. :-p

One of the papers I still have to write is for a human development class called Cross-Cultural Child Development. It has to be based on an interview with either an “ethnically-diverse individual,” or a student or non-student from a foreign country. Basically, we ask ‘em questions about their cultural/familial values, immigration history, their acculturation process and biculturalism, stressors/risk factors/coping style/resilience factors etc. pertaining to their experiences of feeling “different,” their identity formation, formative experiences in multiple contexts, etc. You get the idea, I’m sure. The point is to take all that and write a paper that applies the knowledge we gained from our class to enhance our understanding of ethnically diverse populations.

I’m sure I could have come up with a more creative subject, but I've decided to interview my daddy-o. He’s got hecka awesome experiences, and the cool thing is that I’m required to tape-record the interview, so I’ll have a keepsake for future purposes. I’ll make my kids listen to it and be like, “Here, kiddos, check out what a crazy cool dude your grandfather was!”

Oh yeah, so when I told my dad I’m planning on interviewing him, he got all excited. The first question he asked was, “So, do I get to use a pseudonym for this interview? You’re not going to be using my real name, are you?” I was like, “Sure, what do you want to be called?” He was all, “Jose Rodriguez!” ppsshhh. So my little brother, who, incidentally, knows everything you need to know about pop culture and more, and has the wildest imagination I’ve ever come across, came up with some better ideas:

Manolo Wilson
Abraham Esquivel
Sylvester Steinman
Lester Carruthers
Chico Greystone III

I’m sure my dad will take ‘em into considersation. We’ll see.

So it’s hecka cold today. Soo not typical California weather. Much to my aggravation, my mama has insisted on flinging all the windows wide open so the house can air out, so I’m sitting here with my furry socks, my hooded jacket, and blue fingernails. I wish it were about 85-degrees and that I had a laptop…I’d take my laptop outside and chillax in the sunshine on the lawn and type out the rest of this damn paper. Meanwhile though, I’m going to go warm up my hands at the toaster. Peace out.