How Do You Feel?

There it is…the diploma. I had a couple of colleagues with PhDs check it out to make sure it was real.

Everyone at work has been asking me how I feel. Quite frankly I feel numb. Of course, I’m relieved to be done but these last few weeks have been so emotionally taxing that I have nothing left in me. Between my own process and supporting MoJo through his, I’m WIPED OUT.

If you told me that I just won several million dollars from the lottery, I’d probably just say, “OK.” It doesn’t help that I’m trying to shake a cold that’s stuck around for almost 2 weeks. I just need to rest. My body is just tired. I think I need a vacation.

My turn today!

My convocation was today, MoJo’s yesterday…as you can see by the pics below.

On the subway early this morning en route to campus wearing our academic regalia. I thought we were sooo cute in our somewhat matching robes. Some people smiled and even wished us good luck. How often do you see peeps in graduation robes on the subway? LOL

After my ceremony…mom and I decided that MoJo looks like Christopher Columbus in his funny hat.

Here’s my proud momma and me later at Mama Mexico. Yum!
Holy shitake!!!
I’m…err…we’re DONE!!!
I can return to having some semblance of a life!
Dave Matthews Band…

Thesis FINALLY Emailed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG. I can’t believe it. I just emailed it to my two readers. It’s late and I’m giving them precious few days to review it. I sure hope that they just pass me. Ugh.

OK, so I know it’s a bit premature but I don’t care. I’m celebrating. First, a happy dance. Then some wine. Then bed. I’m so exhausted that I can’t see straight…but not too exhausted to shake my booty for 3 minutes!!

I’ve had George Michael’s “Freedom” runnin’ through my head these last two weeks as I’ve tried to intellectualize Filipino balikbayans and balikbayan boxes. It’s been a living hell, lemme tell you. I would NOT recommend working full-time and pursuing part-time graduate study if you can somehow help it. These last 3 weeks SUCKED!! Actually, these last 2.5 years have been pretty rough. Be prepared to say goodbye to your life.

Hopefully, in two weeks, I’ll get to say hello to my life again!! YEAH! FREEEEEDOM!!!

Fridays Off

Taking Fridays off between now and early May to write that MA thesis that is due in time for a May 16 graduation.

Still trying to hammer out my conceptual framework when discussing Filipino American immigrants (referred to as balikbayans, Tagalog words balik=to return & bayan = home) and their persistence in sending balikbayan boxes back to the Philippines to their families.

Even though my brain often feels fried, I get great joy out of writing. I never thought in a million years I would’ve said that. Talk to me in May when my a** is dragging on the floor. I may being singing a different tune!

The Countdown Begins

no, not to christmas.

5 days left to hand in my first paper. the topic is on gifts, gift exchange, and commodity consumption particularly for members in the filipino diaspora.

12 days left to hand in my second paper. for this one, i theorize on the filipino diaspora and argue that (im)migration is a process which causes a social death and re-birth for the (im)migrant.

these two papers will eventually be two sections of my MA thesis. this is my first stab at writing the thesis. i need to submit a first draft in march. “march madness” will have a whole new meaning for me in 2007.

i want to pomp & circumstance in may. no question about it. i’m tired of not having a life. i’m tired of sacrificing. i’m just plain tired.

how’s that for honesty?

To pursue the PhD or not?

Met with the Archaeologist today for morning coffee. He’s really got me excited about my work on the Filipino balikbayan box. He was shocked that I did not want to pursue the PhD and encouraged me to consider it since he believes that I can make a new and exciting contribution to the intellectual conversations on the immigrant experience and that this MA thesis can easily become a PhD thesis.

Nooooooooooooooooooo!!! Virtual poverty, more school, no benefits in my 30s?!?!?! I don’t know. I’ve got to really think this through.

Week of Hell: Finals

So my body feels like crap owing to all this crazy stress. I know what it feels like to be at 100% vitality (a unit of measurement used by The Accupuncturist) where it feels like I have tons of energy, my body is humming, and I’m whistling out loud on the street cuz I just feel so damn good. When I feel this good, it’s like I’m flying (no seriously, sans drugs just needles)!! Right now, I feel aches in my muscles and my joints are creaking like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, and my injured shoulder is back thanks to my lifting my heavy laundry bag and carrying it like Santa Claus two blocks to my local laundrymat a week ago (you will not believe how much I would give for a washer and dryer in my apartment right now). I could kill myself for being so careless!! I should’ve known better.

Tried to push up my appointment with The Accupuncturist and I can’t get one!!! I like seeing him at the end of the day cuz I don’t feel rushed since there’s no one after me. He’s gotten so popular…in part, thanks to my recommending him to so many people. Folks have seen how good I’ve been looking these past few months and have asked my secret. Silly me. I told them it was him. Seven people have now seen him, thanks to my referrals! Shit. So no good deed goes unpunished. I mean, I’m really happy for all of us taking charge of ourselves to be healthier people. But this sucks that he’s getting popular!!!

Breathe JoJo. Breathe. Note to self: Must learn to share and get over your only-child mentality.

*sigh* Got two papers, both due on May 12. One on the balikbayan box and the other on Karl Marx and his labor theory of economics. Shite!

Ok, I can do this. I can get through this.

Acceptance, submission, surrender. All these attitudes are key to my well-being. This is my journey. I have to embrace it with love.

Remember the light at the end of this week’s tunnel. Visualize 3 weeks in Costa Rica in July: surfing, volcanoes, ziplining through the cloud forest, the incredibly diversity of animals and plants, the beaches. Remind myself of how incredibly blessed I am to have the opportunity to study a discipline that really fascinates and excites me, that I have the intellectual capacity to critically analyze and cogently write about topics that interest me, that I have an amazing job that supports me, and that I ultimately have the physical and mental capacity to heal myself and get through this pain.

Perhaps I should re-phrase the title of this post to “Week of Acceptance, Submission, and Surrender”.

Publishing in an Academic Journal?

My professor, The Archaeologist, for my material culture class has enjoyed the essays I’ve written so far on the Filipino balikbayan box that he has suggested that I try to get them published. WTF!! Whoa, really!?!?!?! A lowly MA student such as myself, get published in an academic journal? I can’t believe it. I’m definitely going to follow through and look into it. I feel so validated thanks to The Archaeologist’s encouragement.

First Day of Classes

Today was my first day of graduate classes at Columbia. I haven’t been in a classroom in 7 years and I have to admit, it was exhilarating to be sitting around a small table and exchanging ideas and opinions with a group of people and with a professor to lead us.

With 7 years of life experience, I see how this has already enriched my learning in the classroom. I felt so giddy that I was uber conscious of my feelings. I felt like one of those “older” students, with always something to say and therefore always contributing to class, not afraid to sit next to the professor, and gets ahead in the readings! *ick* I know, just call me a nerd…go ahead. I always have been and am proud of my nerd status.

My classes are interesting: the first is Anthropology and the Philanthropic Project (which understands how the discipline of British and American anthropology was shaped due to funding from private foundations and governmental agencies) and the second is Black Revolts in the Modern World (which historically examines black social movements throughout the world to combat slavery, sexism, civil rights, etc. and how radical black intelligentsia is formed).

Okay, enough anthropological babbling…more to come! Thanks for reading!