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Thursday, February 25, 2016

I've been planning out the rest of 2016 lately (which is a crazy sentence, considering we're not even 3 months into the year) and I've realised that if all goes well, I will be out of the country for more of the year than in it. And even if things don't go well, I'm definitely going away for more of this summer than I initially thought I was. See, the program I posted about last week goes from the last day of May to the end of July... and for whatever reason I thought I was going to get out in mid-July. Nothing wrong with that, except it means a lot of flying and little time in the United States.

This is all very good and exciting, except for the bit where I realised that in one year from now, I'm going to be a little over two months away from graduating college. I'm going to need to get a job. I'm probably going to move again, and I can honestly say I have NO idea where that will be. I suspect I'll be in one of a few places, but it's far too early to say.

I love living a life of uncertainty at times, but at other times it's really tiring. It's awesome because I'm young and this is definitely one of the only times in my life where I'll have this much change happening all the time (I think). It's also not awesome because it's a bit frightening that there's so little consistency. There are things I thought I could count on and people who I thought would be here or there at a given moment, and it doesn't look that way any more. A lot of my friends are going to be abroad during my Senior spring, so things will be pretty different. It's really hitting me that I'm going to have to join the work force soon...

...Well, I have a paper proposal due tomorrow that I really should be working on, so hopefully more posts next week. I definitely have one or two things in mind for sure!
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Thursday, February 18, 2016

YES! I've been waiting to hear back from the study abroad office for a while at this point, and I'm delighted to be accepted into the program. My classmate/friend got accepted earlier that I did yesterday, so I started getting worried because we had both applied quite early. My email came about 3 hours after his, but it had the same exciting message.

I've been to both London and Geneva before, but I've always been on holiday or school trips. I'm really looking forward to studying in two beautiful, cosmopolitan cities! I haven't been to Europe in a couple of years so I'm quite looking forward to the change of pace from Asia and the United States. I realise that is quite an obnoxious sentence... and I'm very grateful that I do so much travelling of course. I'm going to be taking two challenging courses this summer, which means this will be far from a relaxing holiday.

This officially puts me on track for a clean 3 year graduation, by the way. Hello class of 2017, I'm coming to join you!
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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Today is a happy, reflective day. 

... That I walked out of sorority recruitment on the third day and will NOT be a part of a Greek life organisation. 

Despite walking away from Greek life, I actually left with a reasonably positive impression of it. A lot of the girls I talked to were nice, passionate about what they were doing, and seemed like decent people. I'm glad I went through the portion of recruitment that I did. 

That being said, I knew I wasn't going to go Greek about midway through the second day. I just don't have enough in common with the girls who ultimately get into Greek life. By and large, sorority girls are cheerful, bubbly, and highly sociable. That doesn't mean I'm a grump or anything, but I'm no social butterfly. And God forbid anyone call me "bubbly"... you might as well also mention that I'm blonde and 6 feet tall while you're at it. 

I will confess now that I didn't think I would actually make it through the process, and if I did, there were a number of things that would have made me quit my rhetorical sorority. For example, any attempt to haze me would have ended in me leaving and making it very public why I left (I know BU sororities don't haze in theory, but one got suspended in 2013 for hazing). If I perceived it to take too much of my time, I would have left. If I didn't care about the philanthropy they did, I would have left. I guess it's safe to say that my heart wasn't really in it from the beginning, so this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Especially not me. 
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Saturday, February 13, 2016

I've been reading a lot of hilariously bad relationship advice articles lately since Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching. They keep popping up on my Facebook or linking from Instagram, and for whatever reason, I keep reading them. So, I've decided to create my own list of things that all girls who want to be a good girlfriend should avoid like the plague, along with some helpful tips to make yourself the best girlfriend possible.

Honestly, since I do all of these things, it's a miracle that I'm in a relationship at all.

1) Showing you have a lick of intelligence.

Apparently men still like women that are dumber than them, and there's no way to get around that one. Sorry ladies with BA's, MA's and PhD's... you're just never going to get a man with those scary credentials. University ladies, pursue lady-like degrees like Typing if you ever want to find a husband after college! Don't be up to date on current events or politics!

2) Expecting him to be your equal in your relationship.

Because it may or may not be 1916 rather than 2016, women are still "inferior" to men in a relationship. Expect him to take the lead on decision-making in the relationship and obey without question. While you're at it, treat him like a king and expect nothing in return. You're just a woman, what more could you want?

3) Being unapologetically passionate about something.

I'm a dancer, an ice-skater and an aerialist who loves to bake and play video games, so clearly I need to shape up on this one. Quick ladies, forget about all of your hobbies that are remotely interesting and dedicate yourself to one or two feminine and possibly very boring hobbies. Make sure you stay fit enough that you're hot but not too fit!

4) Trusting your partner is clearly the sign of "being comfortable".

 Clearly I need to start prying more, because if my boyfriend isn't texting directly over my face, I don't read his messages or really care who he's talking to. Silly me.  Being "secure" in your relationship is clearly a sign that you've stopped trying, obviously! Sure, my boyfriend and I have only been dating for a few months, but I trust him to be a good man who is faithful to me. Time to be more suspicious of every little thing he does!

5) Skipping makeup means you're either a) not feminine or b) lazy as heck.

Ladies, did you know your femininity is defined by what chemicals you smear on my face in the morning? You should definitely be wearing makeup 24/7 because no man would every be able to stand the face of his girlfriend without makeup on. Even when you're putzing around the house having a lazy day, you definitely need to still look your best for your microwave, laptop, and study desk in case he happens to stop by.

If you didn't realise by now that the sarcasm was thick throughout this post, please never read this blog again. Just kidding. Don't leave me.
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Friday, February 12, 2016

To anyone that knew me in high school, yes, you read the title of the post right. I'm gearing up for sorority recruitment this weekend, which from what I understand is a lot of meeting people and a lot of sitting around waiting to meet people.

When I was in high school, I swore to myself that I would never even consider joining a sorority. I thought sororities were like in those movies in which drunk Americans chug out of kegs and wear booty-shorts 24/7 while backstabbing their so-called "sisters" over boys. My perspective of sororities and sorority women changed after I actually started university... and did a 180 flip. A lot of the most talkative, intelligent girls I know here in uni are in sororities. They are by and large sociable and nice, and don't walk around in booty shorts all day (actually, no one can in Boston because it's cold, but that's besides the point).

Well, university is the time to try things that you never anticipated on actually doing, right? And since I upped my graduation year, I'd only be a sorority woman for a year before graduation. It's better late than never... so I'll probably post after and let everyone know if I got a bid.

If anyone has gone through sorority recruitment, please let me know how it went!
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Friday, February 5, 2016

I'm finally learning Russian! I've been interested in learning Russian since I was about 15, but I could never figure out a way to do it. Russia is like Turkey to me in some respects.... it's a totally different culture and language that fascinates me (and both countries have amazing histories), but it's not like I will be travelling there any time soon.

The alphabet honestly isn't that hard once you remember the sounds and stuff... but it does make seeing random letters quite confusing. If you asked me what sounds в, р, or  у make, I might give you a pretty interesting answer. But at the same time, I can tell you that л,  з,  and  ф sound like "l", "z" and "f" sounds (not English letter names) respectively. Go figure.

I love learning languages, but I don't love a traditional classroom setting for learning them. While I've taken Chinese both inside and outside a classroom, I find that I learn much better with a tutor for a couple of hours than the stress of daily classes. It's a lot more fun to learn that way, and it's easier to customise what you are learning as well. Getting a tutor is definitely a luxury though, so I'm taking free, informal language classes through my university.

My boyfriend thinks I'm good at learning languages, and of course I'd like to believe him. I'm not sure if it's that my brain is wired for it, or that if I have fun whilst learning then I can acquire, retain and use a reasonable amount of a new language quite quickly. The second it's not fun, though, is the same second that I end up being absolutely miserable.

The Russian form of my name is Наташа, or Natasha! To be completely honest I think I like it better than the Spanish/Italian version, which is Natalia. I also sort of like it more than the English version of my name.... I don't think I'm going to start going by Natasha any time soon, but you never know.

Let me know what you think about the name thing?

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I don't normally blog when angry, but I'm just so irritated at how small-minded some people are that I want to scream. In biology discussion section, we started talking about how there are some genetic variations that still affect human reproduction. One of them affects portions of Tibetan women, and if they don't have the correct variation, they tend to have stillborn children. It's a very sad example of natural selection in human populations.

One student thought the problem wasn't that difficult and broke it down like this: 1) Tibetans are less developed peoples and have less technology, 2) They should move to lower altitudes  and are choosing not to and 3) They should get educations.

I don't think I've ever been that angry in a classroom environment before. The amount of ignorance was honestly stunning. I think my mouth was open in shock for most of the time that he was talking. While I'm not Tibetan, and I am Chinese. I've been to the edge of Tibet in Tibetan-culture dominated areas, and it was beautiful

I don't think he realised that by saying what he said, he was breaking it down like this:

First of all, who is to say that Tibetans are "less developed" or "more developed" than anyone else? Tibetan people are human, and all humans should be respected. Having less technology does not demonstrate a lack of development-- it is more due to a lack of resources and accessibility than anything else.

Second of all, who was this random, male, white student to say that Tibetan people should move to lower altitudes? Apparently heritage, culture and tradition are simply irrelevant. Also, moving from a remote Tibetan village is nothing like the moving done in the Western world-- there are no U-Hauls, safe roads or obvious paths to take.

Third, who is going to provide these educations you speak of? Many Tibetans live in remote areas that are hard to access-- there's no electricity to speak of. How would getting an education directly impact if those poor women's babies were born stillborn or not, considering the difference was in their genes?

I am generally not someone to say "check your privilege", but I think in this case it is deserved. Your normal is not other people's normal. What seems like an easy solution for one person would mean the destruction of another person's culture, heritage, livelihood, and identity. The world may be globalising quickly, but other people's cultures are still valuable simply because they are what they are.

Rant over. But seriously, so much of that is not okay.
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