Science A Blessing In Disguise Essay

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So I have a bit of a predicament for signing up for classes.

I have to take between 6-8 credit hours each term this year. If I take less than six, I don’t get financial aid. If I take more than eight, then it’s more than half-time, and I simply can’t afford it even with the financial aid. Also if I take eight or less all year, then next year I can be considered an Oregon resident for the rest of my schooling, which will make all the difference in the world. I will seriously be paying less going full-time next year as a state resident, than I am this year at half-time. By a pretty significant amount!

So pretty straightforward, right? 6-8 credits shouldn’t be too hard to manage. Most classes are 4, so it should be easy.

Except that the Biology class I’m taking is a 5-credit class b/c it includes the lab. So that alone is not enough, and if I add any regular class, that puts me at 9 and I’m over my limit. So what it basically means I have to do is take some more unusual classes.

This quarter it was fine, there was an easy 1-credit intro pre-med class to add, kind of a career exploration class for science people. We see presentations every week, and have to turn in assignments answering questions based on the presentation and have a final essay to write at the end. It’s just pass/fail, no real grade, but I am loving the class, and the assignments are pretty easy, just some self-reflection basically.

It’s funny, I took a similar class in the physics department when I was in school before, and it was a lot easier, there were no assignments, no final essay, all you really had to do was show up. And at that time, it really turned me off to physics, because other than teaching, all the careers we heard about were related to defense and weapons manufacturing. So that class was a real bummer even though it was a lot less work. I’m glad I’m liking my current class a lot better!

But the point is, there are no classes like that next term. There are still some cool options, though they took some digging in the class schedule to find. There’s a handful of PE classes I might be interested in – self-defense, swimming, yoga, belly dancing – as well as some potential music classes – voice, piano, guitar – aimed for beginners who are not music majors, like myself. I am really thinking about signing up for voice for next term.

I have wanted voice lessons my whole life so bad. As a kid, anytime I asked, my mom said I didn’t have enough natural talent, which just crushed me every time. I remember the summer before my junior year of high school, I was writing a lot of poems and songs, and I kind of strategized all summer, preparing my case to ask again. There was a program for music lessons for visually-impaired people that made lessons super affordable, and I could cover the rest out of allowance. I thought that might help my case. And then after the second day back in school I finally worked up the courage to ask again, and got the same response. It was the perfect start to probably the worst year with some of my darkest days. I never asked again, and though I always thought about signing up for something like that in college, I never had the guts b/c I knew what kind of response I would get from my family. It’s like, how many times are you going to let someone punch you in the face? So I never went near that topic again. As an adult I could never really afford it, though I never really stopped thinking about it, through the years. When I was in India, there were a few times where it really came to me how much I wanted to be musical, and how I’ve sort of given up, and how I don’t want to give up b/c it means too much to me. I promised myself I would look into it upon my return to the US.

So now, the opportunity is there, it would be part of my tuition, and it fits my schedule (could go to that right after bio class) and the prof gets good reviews. It’s a little scary b/c it’s been so emotionally loaded a topic for me, and I’ve felt a lot of hurt around the topic. I think if I take a class like that, it’s going to stir some stuff, shake me up some. Maybe that’s a good thing. It feels like it could open up a can of worms of feelings that have been kinda stuck and lodged inside. Maybe the possibility of not shaking stuff up is a lot worse. I think when you grow up in a situation that feels oppressive and gives you certain beliefs about yourself, it is all too easy as you get older, to take over the oppression yourself and keep holding onto those beliefs. I don’t want to live like that. I know I don’t have any kind of stunning voice, but still I think I am okay, and if I take the class, it can only get better, right? I love to sing and I want to do it better, better express myself through music.

So I think I’m going to sign up for the class for winter quarter. It scares me, a lot, but sometimes those are the things that are really worth doing. And then in spring I might take the piano class. Sometimes, even (or especially) in school, you just have to follow your heart.

I never would have found this class if I wasn’t in the predicament of needing to dig to find classes that are 1-3 credits, so even though at first I was like fuck, how am I going to stay within my credit range, I think it definitely turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

Currently Listening:
“The Good Left Undone” – Rise Against (who I saw at Lolla). Okay I must say that I completely misunderstood the chorus of this song the first time I heard it. I thought he was saying, “All because of you/I haven’t slept in so long/When I do I dream/Of running in the ocean/reaching for the shore/Where I can let my hair down/I forgot your voice…” Not so terribly terribly off, but, definitely different.

In fields where nothing grew but weeds,
I found a flower at my feet,
bending there in my direction.
I wrapped a hand around its stem
and pulled until the roots gave in,
finding there what I’ve been missing.
And I know….

So I tell myself, I tell myself, it’s wrong.
There’s a point we pass from which we can’t return.
I felt the cold rain of the coming storm…

All because of you,
I haven’t slept in so long.
When I do I dream
of drowning in the ocean;
longing for the shore
where I can lay my head down.
I’ll follow your voice;
all you have to do is
shout it out!

Inside my hands these petals browned;
dried up falling to the ground,
but it was already too late now.
I pushed my fingers through the earth,
returned this flower to the dirt;
so it could live, I walked away now.
But I know…

Not a day goes by when I don’t feel this burn.
There’s a point we pass from which we can’t return.
I felt the cold rain of the coming storm…

All because of you,
I haven’t slept in so long.
When I do I dream
of drowning in the ocean;
longing for the shore
where I can lay my head down.
I’ll follow your voice;
all you have to do is
shout it out!

All because of you.
All because of you.

All because of you,
I haven’t slept in so long.
When I do I dream
of drowning in the ocean;
longing for the shore
where I can lay my head down.
Inside these arms of yours.

All because of you
I believe in angels.
Not the kind with wings,
no, not the kind with halos;
the kind that bring you home
when home becomes a strange place.
I’ll follow your voice;
all you have to do is
shout it out!

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2009, in Music, Science and tagged going back to school, imported from old blog, Portland State University, Rise Against. Bookmark the permalink.

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