Look Around List!

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

The semester is done! I have survived both being a student and being an instructor. I’m ready for the break that is summer to get recharged for fall!

Doctor Who paper. For my International Popular Culture class, I wrote my final paper on “The Day of the Doctor”. Well, that was my intention. I allowed too much background in and it kind of took over the paper. Now I can look at it and see where to separate it into two and develop both!

Amazon Video. Hubby and I have been discussing cutting cable for a while now. Thanks to Hulu and CBS All Access, most of my shows are covered. But there have been a few hold outs. Until now. Amazon Prime has been charging for the new episodes of Doctor Who for a few seasons now, and the past seasons are available for free for Prime members (aka me!). This means I have season 9 for free, and I decided today to go ahead and pay for season 10. I’ve got the episodes aired so far, and I’ll get the new episodes as they come out. Commercial free!!! Which is the best way to watch Doctor Who, especially since it’s not designed for American television and it’s numerous commercials. They do the same thing for Orphan Black, which I’ll be paying for as soon as the season is available. The only big thing I was holding out on was RuPaul’s Drag Race. I love my Drag Race. I was so happy to see it on VH1, since we no longer get Logo. But Amazon Video has it!!! So I paid for this season today, and it is so nice to have it legally without commercials. While it is about $30 per season up front, it’s much more than that per month for cable. Totally worth it.

I’m Home! Now that I’m (mostly) done with my master’s degree, I am home with my hubby for good. Wherever we end up for my Ph.D., it will be together. It feels so good to be home. Seriously, this has been running through my head the last week or so:


I’m Mandy/Nina and my hubby’s Chris/Benny

Marcon! Marcon 52 was so much fun! I got to hang out with friends, fellow geeks, and be on panels (sometimes in charge of them) to talk about the things I enjoy! Seriously, I know for now it’s over Mother’s Day weekend, but I highly recommend Marcon to anyone who enjoys being able to hang out with fellow fans in a more relaxed setting than what I’ve heard anime cons can be like. Nothing wrong with them, if that’s what you like! Marcon 53 is May 11-13, 2018. Registration will hopefully be up soon.

More playlists from Lin!! Seriously. If you haven’t already, go to Lin’s Spotify and be ready to have fun! He is just pouring creativity into each one.

Remember, despite the chaos that is going on in the world, remember to “look around” and realize “how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Look Around List!

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

It’s been a while, to put it mildly, but I’ve been so busy with school. But that doesn’t mean I forgot to look around!

Comic books. I am having so much fun going on comic runs again. I probably could just do them once a month, but right now the two X-Men series – X-Men: Gold and X-Men: Blue – are alternating weekly releases. Aka, there’s a new one every Wednesday. But I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. At least 3 new comics tomorrow!

Bitch Planet. If you like good writing and some serious commentary on patriarchy, read it! The first trade paperback has been out, the second is coming, and next week’s issue is #10. I can’t wait!

Native deodorant. I’ve been using it for over a month now and I have no intention of stopping. I do have sensitive skin under my arms, so I have to be careful how much I use so I don’t dry out the skin, just absorb the sweat. It’s awesome! I highly recommend it to anyone. If you click here, both you and I get a free travel deodorant if you order!

New Playlists! Since the last time I posted, Lin has created 8 new playlists! His awesome wife has created two of her own inspired by his! Both of them are exposing me to music I would probably not have found on my own. I love it!

Moana. Every time I watch it, I need tissues. Sometimes due to the plot. Sometimes due to the accuracy and reverence for the culture. This is Disney’s best movie yet! Hopefully this is just the start.

Finishing my thesis. Yes. It’s done! I had to make some formatting changes, but it’s done! I’ll probably post about it sometime soon. I’m so glad to have finished it. I just hope that I can use it as a starting point for a more in-depth book on the topic later.

My church. This year there were 15 individuals who joined the Catholic church through the RCIA program at my church. 15! When I mention that, most people are surprised at the high number. I like to think that is because of the openness and welcoming nature of the St. Thomas More Newman Center at The Ohio State University. There’s a reason I’m going to miss going there every week when I start working on my Ph.D. at BGSU.

My hubby. There is a lot that has been going on, which is mostly why there have been no posts, and he has been my rock through all of it. I don’t think I’d be sane at this point if it weren’t for him.

Just remember, no matter how crazy the world may seem, look around and remember how lucky we are to be alive right now!

Together

A lot has happened in the last few days. Everyone is still trying to process what has happened. There have been many different reactions, but I am choosing to take strength and inspiration from some people who are using the megaphone that they have.

First, that image above. That. No one, no matter who you are or who you voted for, should feel afraid right now. Unfortunately that is not the case. I have friends who are international students, and they are reconsidering staying in this country after we graduate in May. There are people who are afraid to go outside because of the bullying they may receive. I will not make myself or my space a place where people need to be afraid. Whatever space I have, will be a place of care and understanding and open to anyone who needs to take refuge.

Second, there are a lot of people talking about moving to Canada because of the result of the election. But let me ask you this, if you move to Canada, who is left in this country? Do you really want to take advantage of your ability to move out of the country and leave those that cannot behind? Do you want to give up on the fact that you have a voice in how this country is run? We still have plenty of work to do here, people. If we go away for four years, what will be here when we decide to come back? If you have no say in how things happen, you have no room to complain.

When you have time, watch the entire thing. It is wonderful.

Lin’s response:

Third, this is important to remember:

The voters selected Hillary Clinton. The electoral college selected Donald Trump. Take from that what you will.

Finally, if you are despairing, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Just search online. In these last two days, there have been gatherings of love and support.

This happened today at BGSU. A “Sit In for Love”. It was a space where people were encourage to come to if they were feeling scared or worried or just not good about the results of the election. It got a lot of positive attention from the news. I am friends with the amazing human being who organized this in about 24-hours. From all accounts, it was successful and peaceful. This is happening all across the country. Which makes me think that we need to adopt the following as one of our theme songs right now:

I think the next few days are going to be full of posts of quotes, videos, pictures, music, whatever I have found that helps me be calm, hopeful, and energized. We are going to be fine. We do need to unify. We need to make sure that everyone is being treated with the respect that they deserve as fellow human beings.

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The Other Path

Yesterday a thought struck me. I try to live my life not obsessing over the other path. You know, “the road not taken”. Everyone has one. There are constantly little trails that parallel the path we are currently on. So many decisions create these trails. But every once in a while, there are paths that branch off. Those are the moments where we made life-changing decisions. Those are the moments that we sometimes wonder about.

Some people like to play the “What if?” game. They like to try and think about what their life would be like if they had chosen the other path. I’ve come to dislike that game. I’ve seen many people get hung up on speculating about that other path. Maybe it’s because of loving Doctor Who, but you would not be the same person you are right now. And that’s why I don’t play.

I like who I am right now. Granted, my brain starts to wander toward the edge of my path every once in a while, trying to get a glimpse of that other path through the trees. But I gently steer myself away from it and focus on where I am right now. It’s the only thing that I can be certain about. I can speculate all I want about what life on the other path looks like, but I will never know. And I am fine with that.

I am happy with who I am and where I am right now. I have an amazing husband, a wonderful assortment of friends with whom I can talk with just about anything, and I am enjoying what I am studying and BGSU. I like to think that the theory of parallel universes is on to something, and there is a parallel me who decided to go ahead and go to Gallaudet who is wondering what life would have been like if she had decided to go to BGSU. But we’ll never know.

Unless the TARDIS comes along and we accidentally go to that universe…

Coffee?

Last Friday, I met a friend, and fellow tea fiend, at the local coffee shop so she could guide me in trying out coffee.

Yes, I drink coffee now. Which is a really, really weird statement to make, still.

But, before anyone panics, I am still madly in love with tea. They just have different functions for me. The reason why I tried out and now have a cup of coffee in front of me is the same reason why my friend drinks it, caffeine. I probably have ADHD. I’ve never been diagnosed because when I was young, I would have been put on Ritalin and my parents did not want that. Something I am personally grateful for, because I prefer to take as little medication as I need. This is a personal choice; I’m not saying medicine is useless. I just have personal preferences about it.

Anyway. I probably have ADHD. It’s hard for me to focus on things I’m not heavily interested in and I just get bored easily. My friend said that coffee helps her with that. I had heard that caffeine can help people with ADD/ADHD because it is a stimulant, which helps the brain to focus. I don’t know the exact science, but I do know that it is helping me. I know that sometimes stuff like this can be psychosomatic, so I went in skeptical. Also we were just hanging out in the coffee shop, so I wasn’t really trying to get anything done. But it does help.

It feels like my thinking’s a little bit clearer and I can really focus on what I need to do. Granted doing things like listening to specific music or podcasts still prove to be distracting, but that’s more of the content than my brain. I feel like the fuzzy edges are gone. It’s hard to describe, but it works.

I’m sure some people are thinking “Why not just drink a Pepsi?” Well, while I do enjoy Pepsi, especially made with real sugar, there really is a lot in that can other than the caffeine. I order my coffee black and add a little dairy to cut the bitterness. That’s it. I don’t add any sugar. I don’t get drinks that have coffee in there somewhere. I get coffee. I’m actually trying to figure out where I can tuck my little coffee maker on my desk so I can just make it at the office instead of having to buy it.

It does make me wonder how many people unknowingly “self-medicate” their ADD/ADHD with coffee.

Okay, classes can start now

I know there are many students who are thinking I’m crazy right now, but I am past ready for the semester to begin!

I’ve been like this since high school. I distinctly remember having a week of snow days and being sick of staying home! Granted it was also in January, so we weren’t back from winter break very long.

Anyway, as much as I do enjoy being home and having time with my hubby, I am ready for the semester to start. The way I approach break is that it’s time to rest and recover from the previous semester and prepare for the next semester. Well, I’ve recovered from the previous semester. I had some time of enjoying break and just being in between the two phases.

Now, I have my lectures for next week ready and a start on the week after that. Readings and the syllabus for that class are approved. I’ve got the books for my class. I’ve had time to think about my thesis and I have questions for professors about it. I miss my friends at school. I’m ready for the semester to start already! I’ve been ready for at least a week, but I felt like waiting until the weekend before to bother you guys with it. I am so ready to go back to my spaces in BG and get some more work done, both for me and for others.

Bring on the spring!

Adjusting

Adjusting to life in as a graduate student has been a challenge at times. I’ll probably have it figured out the day before I graduate. 🙂

Being a graduate student is very different than being an undergraduate student.There are times where you have to read an entire book for class. Sometimes you have so many chapters and articles to read that it feels like you’re reading a book. Sometimes you have a week to do it. Sometimes you only have a few days. Many times you have to write something about what you’ve read for the week. Every class you need to be prepared to talk about it.

And then there’s all the added responsibilities of being a Teaching Assistant. You have to go to the lectures with the rest of the undergrads, take really thorough notes on the lecture, and read what they’re reading. You have extra class times where you meet with the professor, talk about readings for that class, and get things ready for the recitation that you’re teaching. You’re doing all of this so you can teach the class yourself next semester.

On top of all of that you have to keep your thesis in the back of your mind. The big papers you write for class can become part of your thesis, so you think about how it can fulfill the requirements set down by the professor while still working toward your personal goal.

That’s just at school. There’s also life off of campus. You need to keep these two thing in balance, which is hard to do. Even harder for me with my hubby and friends two hours away. Also going from having a space that only my hubby and I share to having a space of my own and space I share with three other ladies who have been living there longer than me.

It can be overwhelming at times. Especially for an introvert. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I’m finally continuing my education and doing it in a field where I feel at home. I can talk with other students and staff and rarely have to explain things. This past Wednesday, after chatting about various things, one of my professors handed me three of his Daredevil trade paperbacks so I could read them. It’s not just for enjoyment either; it’s research! As I’m reading them I’m putting sticky notes on pages I want to scan so I can refer back to them later.

Adjusting takes time. I’m sure I’ll be adjusted just in time to work on a Ph.D. 😉

I can breathe again

Today I got an e-mail from the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University. I applied for admission to their master’s program starting this fall last month. At the end of May their site said they were still accepting applications, and with support of friends and family I applied. I figured if I didn’t get in, I could quickly reapply for next year.

Turns out I won’t have to. I GOT IN!!!!!

Starting in a little over a month, I will finally be starting graduate school! Almost ten years after graduating with my bachelor’s degree I am finally continuing with my education. And it’s going to be in popular culture. This is the last field I thought I would be going into. I didn’t even know it existed until the end of May. But my mom and I were talking and she said she had a couple of thoughts for potential programs for me to apply for instead of Linguistics. One was Library Science. I flat out told her I could not be a librarian. I love to read, but I’m not a librarian.

Then she told me about Popular Culture. I’ll let the Department of Popular Culture explain it better than I could. But as she was describing it, two things kept running through my head. First, “I’d be a professional geek!” Personally, that is what it means for me. Being able to be a geek and get paid for it. Which leads to the second, “I’m already doing this!” I took a few classes at Ohio State that would have been in Popular Culture at Bowling Green.

My whole theory that superheroes and supervillains are disabled and that the mutant community is the Deaf community of the comic book world started in a Disability Studies class. Currently my blog Deviate from the Norm is my way of continuing to pick away at that theory and expand on it. Needless to say, that blog is going to be seeing a lot more posts soon.

During the past two months of applying and waiting, I’ve realized how much I can do with this degree. I just hope I can stay focused and coherent while I’m there. Bouncing around from idea to idea isn’t the best thing for graduate school. But ultimately my goal is to go on and get a master’s in Deaf Culture from Gallaudet (I haven’t given up on going there, just put it off a little) and go on to teach at Ohio State. Between my two degrees, there is going to be so much that I can get done. More importantly, my ultimate goal of helping to strengthen and add to that bridge of understanding between Deaf and hearing can still be achieved. Which makes me so happy!

But more importantly, after two months of applying and waiting, I can finally breathe again! I know what I’ll be doing for the next two years. I don’t have to wait anymore. And, even better, I’ll be in graduate school!