Friday, November 18, 2005

Checking out college and career

I have gotten back into my research using the resources the career counselor gave me. I had taken some assessments but that was all. So I actually looked at some careers on Eureka (, which is a great site, plus I did some more assessments. Then I finally went to, the official website for transfer students in the state. Cal State Long Beach looked promising in terms of courses transferring (some other places looked good, but a lot of the lower-division courses didn't have matching courses at Mira Costa that I could take to get them out of the way before transferring) so I went to the website, via CSUMentor, a site with info on the Cal State system (CSU stands for California State University, but most people call CSU campuses "Cal State" for short).

I mainly looked up the English and History majors, since those are my top two interests and my best subjects. I was fascinated with the school's history program. They have very interesting senior seminars, including one just on the Holocaust. I guess they must have a big Jewish community in that area. Hmm. There is the Simon Weisenthal Center in L.A. (I just did a lookup) plus the Museum of Tolerance, which has a large Holocaust section, is in Torrance, which I think is in that general area. There's also the L.A. Holocaust Monument. There's also a History Honors Society at the school, Phi Alpha Theta.

The English department page didn't have quite as much info, but it still looked good. If I wanted to be a writer but major in History, they have a Creative Writing minor, where you can take a class in a bunch of specific topics, including Arthurian Literature! What fun that would be.

The problem is I might be required to take the Creative Writing course Mira Costa offers, and it's only on Wednesdays (reminds me of the book Libby on Wednesday...her writing group met on Wednesdays) and I usually work on Wednesdays.

That's why I never took the class before, because of work. I've been working basically since my second semester of college (well, since March 2004, which was near the beginning of my second semester). I'm in my fifth semester. Technically, I have gone to junior college longer than the expected two years. By the end of next spring it will have been 3 years, and if I have to do major prep, it will probably be longer. Not I don't like school. But after a while you sort of want to be out of college.

At any rate, Cal State Long Beach sounds promising. It's close to the beach, which is nice cause I like the beach, and even though I live near it now, I don't get down there enough. (Then again, the city is called Long Beach, right?) It's close to quite a few attractions, like Disneyland. I think there are a lot of museums in the area, too (but if I am a history major they'll probably make us visit a lot of them anyway). I'd love to go to the Huntington Gardens and the Getty (John Paul Getty Museum) again, which are both in that general area. (We didn't get to see much of the art at the Huntington when we went there on a field trip cause our bus driver got lost and we were an hour late for our tour). I also want to see this one painting that is supposed to be at the Getty that I saw a picture of in my art history book. I forgot who it's by.

I am going to look at a few others. I had looked at Cal State East Bay before (f.k.a. Cal State Hayward Hills). At least I feel like I am going in the right direction. Maybe God is answering my prayers after all, by motivating me to research this using the resources I have obtained to find a major. They say "heaven helps those who help themselves," but as a Christian who learned about depending on God and stuff like that, I never thought that saying was true.

As for other stuff, I just read a book Mum had given me a while back called What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do. It's by two of her favorite authors and speakers, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. They have written a lot of other books, together and separately, including the well-known Boundaries and its various "sequels" (if they can be called that) like Boundaries in Dating (which I have). They are like the main guys when it comes to Christian counseling books.

Anyway, the book outlines 8 principles for, as the title suggests, "what to do when you don't know what to do." I found it rather interesting, but I think I have to read it again to get something to jump out at me.

I have figured out God must be telling me to work on prayer. I mean, just seeing something about this pop up once is one thing, and having it happen twice can be dismissed as a coincidence. But four times in one week I have heard or read about this subject! First in relation to making prayerful decisions about dating in the talk at the Jordan last Sunday. Then when I went to Intervarsity (as I wrote in the last entry) the talk was about Hannah and about praying about tough times. Then when reading the Cloud and Townsend book, they quoted the verse in James that says "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Then last night, when I had to go with my Growth Group to the "Big Event" at church (an event relating to our church's building campaign) Pastor Larry said we should prayerfully consider donating to the project.

It's not that I haven't been praying. We pray a lot at work. But I don't pray a lot by myself or in other settings. Though I prayed to God to help me figure out how to put the new audio Bibles on the shelf and make it look shoppable, and I was able to. I didn't say those exact words (it was more like God please help me do this) but it did work.

I wonder if I am afraid of prayer. I ought not to be. But maybe I am. I mean, I didn't have that much trouble with it before Grandma died, the situation with Kyle, the pressures of high school, and Gran's death. Not as much anyway.

One of the songs we sang last night at the "Big Event" says: "I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. He calls me friend...I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. You call me friend." I have heard this song in the store too but never thought much of it.

Ok this is getting too heady. I need to stop for a while.

No work or school today, so I have a day off, but I do have to go to this fundraising banquet tonight for the homeless shelter my mom volunteers with (she's chairman of the board) cause my mom wants all of us to come. I'm not too thrilled about it, to be honest, but since she insisted I go, I'll go and make the best of it.

Oh...update on the Thanksgiving situation. (Or "sitch," as Kim Possible would say). The good news is we're all driving up there together, which means not having to deal with just me and my brother both ways. Then I think my brother and I are driving back Friday cause both of us have to work Saturday. But I only have to work from opening to 2pm on Saturday, which is like 4 hours. That's good, cause 1) with the sale the place will probably be a madhouse (like with the last sale) and so I wouldn't want to work all day and 2) since I get off early I can get myself home, which is good cause my parents will still be up in Lone Pine with my grandpa (they're staying an extra day).

I also get paid right before the sale (next Tuesday), which means maybe I can get some Christmas shopping done early. I need to ask what people want for Christmas and who I have to shop for outside my family (sometimes we give whole-family gifts to our relatives and sometimes not, and I might get something for Amy too...I wouldn't have to get things for my colleagues if I don't want to, cause we're having a gift exchange at the Christmas party anyway).

Ok I really need to stop writing. I haven't had lunch yet.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gas, Hannah, and other stuff

Today our lab in chemistry was about gas laws. We had to measure gas in an Eyrlenmeyer flask (who was Eyrlenmeyer anyway?) by putting it in water and stuff. I did it with a girl named Leslie this time (since my lab partner dropped the class at the beginning of the semester, I have to do my labs with a different person each time, though I usually get people more than once cause the same people will be absent. So I have done it with Penni and Teresa, Bobbie, Kyle, and now Leslie. We talked a lot while waiting for our water to boil, about musical theatre and stuff. (Sure beats Bobbie's long and sometimes gross stories about being a medic-in-training with the U.S. Army Reserves).

I finally went to Intervarsity today, after having not gone to the meetings in, gosh, probably more than a year. First, my work schedule had interfered, when I started at Loaves and Fishes I was busy with school I guess, and then having lab on Thursdays this semester made it problematic. But today I went anyway.

The talk was about Hannah and how she asked God for a son because she was barren (hadn't been able to have any kids). Now, having been raised in the church and working in Sunday School for about 5 years, I have heard this story quite a bit. Not preached on, necessarily, just as a Bible story.

Marcus (the leader) gave the talk. It was about how we deal with tough times, and also about prayer and how we can bring anything to God. I had never heard the story of Hannah used to illustrate that point before. When one talks about people having hard times, usually one talks about Joseph or Jonah or Paul. As for prayer, there are passages on that too. But what Marcus was saying made sense to me, oddly. Silently after I left the meeting, I thanked God for luring (well, maybe not luring--one tends to think of that word more describing the devil--but that's the best word I can think of) me to the meeting, because I felt that I had needed to hear that talk, since I am going through a lot of stuff right now, and especially having trouble with prayer.

As for is going good. Our sale is coming up pretty soon, right after Thanksgiving actually which I think is next week. I only have to work Saturday of those two days since I get Fridays off this month. What is kind of problematic is that my mom wants to get together with Grandpa (her dad) and Barbara (the lady he married after Grandma died) for Thanksgiving. I was going to try to get time off, but it became clear that that was pretty much non-negotiable, especially with the sale. My brother has to work too. So I am going to wind up driving 6 hours with my brother, to and from Lone Pine. I should mention that my brother and I don't get along all that well a good portion of the time (occasionally we do). From what he says, I'll probably wind up listening to Johnny Cash the whole trip. Grrreat. He knows I don't like country music!!!

Well I'll make the best of it.

I need to go so I can re-watch my review videos one more time before my test. Ciao!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Careers, Zeal, Covenants, etc.

My career counseling appointment went well. After asking some basic questions, Robin (the counselor) showed me some websites and also let me take the True Colors personality test again (the one I took at her seminar). I am going to try to look over that stuff today, since I don't have to work (we just got a new person so I get Fridays least this month...yay!). I do need to clean my room though cause Mum asked me to. But I'll have some time to myself tonight cause of Andrew's football game.

One site Robin showed me is, which is the official transfer site for California. Oddly enough, my Human Development teacher mentioned that site yesterday in class in regards to a psychology major. Strange coincidence.

Maybe I will finally get around to watching my new DVD today. I bought Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind a few days ago. It's an older Hayao Miyazaki film (he did Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke too, among others) that just recently came out on DVD in English. I might get Porco Rosso too, which is another old Miyazaki film that was recently released. Too bad I couldn't have got it this week cause it's set in the 1920's (I think) which is what we're studying in Western Civ (well and the 1930's too) this week.

I haven't watched my Generator Gawl DVD's yet either. I watched the "clean" opening and ending credits (no credits, just the images) to see if I could get clips from them for Windows Movie Maker (and had to change the color on my laptop to 16 bit cause the DVD player required it...grr). This did not work though. Watching the ending again though was pretty fun cause I actually realized that in every shot Gawl is sleeping. I guess they sort of compressed the image in the ending with credits, so I didn't notice.

I also bought more manga. I now have all the Magic Knight Rayearth mangas (both series, since I just bought volume 3 of 3 of Magic Knight Rayearth II) and all of Man of Many Faces (there's only 2 volumes of that, and I just bought volume 2). They have box sets of the MKR TV show (dubbed as Rayearth for season 1 and Rayearth II for season 2) at Suncoast Motion Picture Co. (which has lots of anime stuff, though the toys and such seem to all be from Inuyasha at the moment, which is not a series I have ever seen). They also had DVD's for $9.99 of a series called Project A-ko which I have been wanting to see on video. (It's just been released on video, not TV over here...I don't know if it ever was on TV to begin with, here or in Japan). I went back and forth about getting it and finally decided to wait. Though I like it, I have 2 problems. First, I first found out about this series from mangas I borrowed from Kyle, this guy I had a "relationship" (just a close friendship, actually, since he had a girlfriend, but I began to feel it was more) with that ended up not going well. Secondly, when my parents saw the mangas (after my brother saw them and thought they were bad so he ratted on me) they disapproved of them cause of the nudity. Now there isn't a lot of nudity in it (I'm not into porn or anything) but apparently enough for them to not like it. Then again, I'm not surprised Kyle had them cause he seems like a person who would be into porn. I mean, he has no respect for women sexually-wise, thinking of having sex with them as a sort of conquest (according to how he responded when I last saw him, randomly, wayyyy after we "broke up" -- if it can be called that -- when I asked him if he had had sex with Rosanne, his girlfriend, as I had heard from his sister Rhoda, who I still hear from and all and who suspected as such. He seemed proud of it...eww!!). I understand the show was originally going to be an installment of Cream Lemon, a notorious hentai anime show (hentai is basically anime porn) but instead it became its own non-hentai series. Now the videos do warn you that there is violence and brief nudity, which is basically bad enough to rate them at 13 and up (a special "rating" they put on certain anime DVD's, even the uncut Sailor Moon S DVD's -- probably cause of Haruka and Michiru, who are a homosexual couple in the original show, and plus there's more violence than in the first 2 seasons--and also some Tenchi Muyo DVD's, particularly the movies, all of which contain violence and some "bath" nudity--"baths" in Japan are like spas to us--that was edited with the painting on of swimsuits on TV).

The talk at The Jordan (my church's college group) this last Sunday was on spiritual zeal. I missed group cause I hadn't planned on going cause I figured we'd stay all day at the pier, instead of getting home at 5ish pm. I went to my Growth Group (home Bible study) last night so we talked more about it. I realized I don't have that much zeal for God. It reminds me of Tales of Symphonia. No matter what happens, even after the whole thing with the goddess Martel is revealed to be a sham of a plot by power-hungry evolved beings (or "angels" as most people call them), Colette still believes in Martel, which I guess seems understandable, since she's the Chosen of Mana for Sylvarant, who is supposed to save the world and "revive" Martel from her sleep in order to do so. She's been raised like everybody else to worship Martel, and probably more so as the Chosen. But it seems as if her belief in Martel never wavers, as the others' belief does. I think she definitely has spiritual zeal. She is devoted to Martel, and willing even to sacrifice herself to the twisted use of Cruxis (the organization of angels that supposedly serve Martel, but in reality includes the bad guys, the Desians, and has its own agenda) in order to serve her.

Not that zeal in Christianity is quite like that. Someone already made the ultimate sacrifice for us, not to become a vessel for a goddess (as is Cruxis's plan for Colette and for the Chosens in general), but to sacrifice himself for our sins and reconcile us to God forever (not just until the time for the next Chosen's journey comes, as in Colette's case). And because we accept his salvation, we ought to be zealous about God and his word, the same way we get excited about getting a paycheck at work or something.

I need to think that over more. And pray about it.

I am reading the fourth book in the Caitlin diaries of the Diary of a Teenage Girl series by Melody Carlson, which is called On My Own. I absolutely love this series, and we have all the books at work, so that's where I get them (I buy them so I have more time to read them, what with school and all, plus I don't have to worry about getting something on them while I'm eating, like I would if I was borrowing it, cause we borrow books off the sale floor so they have to stay in saleable condition). In the Caitlin series, there's a boy named Josh. He has a thing for Caitlin, and she for him, and I think they dated some but then broke things off when they couldn't keep their hands off each other. (He also has a sister named Chloe who is Caitlin's friend, and who I imagine the Chloe diaries in this same series are probably about). Anyway, in this book, he proposes something, inspired by a paper he wrote for a class at the Bible college he's attending. He proposes he and Caitlin make a covenant to get engaged, like in Old Testament times. Most of her friends, and also her roommate Liz, think the idea is pretty nuts. I personally thought it was a little weird too, but kind of interesting. I mean, is that like being engaged in terms of today's norms, or not? Caitlin's friends and parents seem to think so, but I'm not sure. At any rate, I imagine it will lead to an engagement, cause I sneaked a peek at the back of the fifth and final Caitlin diary and it has her marrying Josh, so I figure that they'll get together, probably when Caitlin is out of college (she's a year younger than Josh).

Well I am going to use the restroom and then start on getting my room clean so I can get my laundry started early so it's done before other people in the house need to do laundry (that was a big hassle last time). I think getting the laundry off the floor will help a LOT. (That's usually what makes my room messy). I want to make sure to clean my desk so I can use my laptop on there more and actually not have to worry about changing my position when my arm gets sore (which it does when I'm using my laptop on my bed). After that, I need to see if I have any homework, cause I'd like to get that done early. I think I do. Especially since I have Ambience Sunday night so I have to be early. I need to get caught up on Western Civ reading if I haven't already (I have to check) and do the questions we're supposed to answer in our notebooks. That way I won't be swamped with having to play catchup right before finals, which are a little more than a month away.

The Spring schedule is coming out soon, but it's online already so I'm going to try to pick out my classes early. I might as well ask Dannie if my schedule is going to change a lot, like in terms of what days I have off and so forth, cause I'd like to try to do what I am doing now and go to school on my days off so it doesn't conflict with my work schedule and I don't have to go to school and work on the same day (like my coworker Brandon does). I also plan on trying to free up lunch hour on Thursdays so I can start going to Intervarsity again. (Intervarsity is a Christian club on campus). Assuming I don't wind up having to work on Thursdays. I stopped going cause work conflicted (at Wendy's) and when I switched jobs, initially I had work and school together and got busy, and this semester I have lab on Thursdays, which usually doesn't get done before 12:00 pm, when the Intervarsity meetings start. If I don't work during the day on Wednesdays (like if I work 4-8pm as I've been doing lately) I'll go to the Intervarsity Bible Study too. Actually I could be doing that now but I do other stuff instead. Which is kinda dumb. And when Marcus (one of the leaders) asked me about it, I said I had to work, which was true, but I don't have to work at the time they have the Bible study (at least not right now) so I really have no excuse. I need to get more into the Bible anyway.

It's said that "No man is an island." But when things get overwhelming, I shut myself off from everybody and try to deal with the problem by myself. Like that Relient K song that says "I'll kill the thing that turns me away/amputate the arm that will disobey/withdraw from everything that's hurting me/until you finish your work in me." I want to be independent, sure I do, but I am quickly realizing I need society...I need other people. I think this is why Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress is so happy to have a companion --first Faithful, who he meets along the way, and then Hopeful (who joins Christian after Faithful is martyred at Vanity Fair). And that is why God said at the creation that "it is not good for the man to be alone."

In reading the Caitlin diary, I have to admit I sympathized a bit on both sides. I could understand Caitlin's frustration at dealing with a difficult person who you are stuck with nearly daily (in her case, her roommate Liz). I go through this with my coworker Brandon, who annoys the heck out of me most of the time. But I could also identify with Liz. Liz left the church cause she wound up having an affair with her youth pastor and thus was mad at God for allowing that to happen. So, she has trouble trusting people and has very few friends. I am like that too, a lot. Especially since the situation with Kyle. Not that that pushed me away from the church. But that, added to my grandmothers' deaths and the pressures of high school, helped fuel the fire of my bitterness and anger toward God. (I like how Chloe responds when Caitlin asks her how high school is. She says: "Oh, it's pretty much the same. Too many insecure kids, like me I suppose, all trying to act cool but looking like complete morons just the same." That is so true!!)

In the movie we watched yesterday in Human Development, the narrator said that adolescence is a time when we begin to think of idealistic settings -- how the world ought to be -- and we often find the world ---and especially our parents --- come up short of our ideals. Now I am technically out of adolescence (I'm 21...and I can't believe I put that in my blog for all to see, but then again pretty much not very many people know the URL to my blog, and the people that know already know my age). But I still feel its effects.

I guess this is why a lot of teenagers and college students turn away from God, cause they don't think he measures up either.

Gosh look at how the time's flown by. I've been writing for like an hour or so, actually like an hour and a half. I need to get working on my room!! Bye for now.