You have to be on top of things the FIRST WEEK of the quarter. WHY? The Quarter System is a NON-LINEAR SYSTEM. Just like your Mind. Just like a Film. Just like Climate Change. Just like the Colonization of an Island. Very small perturbations in the beginning of the system lead to drastically different end results. The quarter system is a product of its initial premises.
You have to be on top of the FIRST WEEK. The Quarter System is a NON-LINEAR SYSTEM: a Product of It’s Original Premises.
So, it's important to get into GOOD HABITS FROM THE START. Or the MACHINE will MOW YOU DOWN. You have to establish value in people, in courses, by the first week.
Same with AAAS. I will get out what I put in.
You also have to assess yourself and YOUR HABITS. Because during the quarter system, it can bulldoze you so fast that you can fall into vicious habits that can potentially last an ENTIRE QUARTER! It's very important to be MINDFUL of HABITS, because stress can transform these behaviors to MINDLESS-ADDICTIONS!
Every single time I am writing, I am shifting the baseline in my head. Every single time I emerge from my shell, my den of writing, I see the world in a new light, and I interact with people in a new way.It's best never to put all your eggs in one basket, like investing all your values and love and hope and dreams into... just one person. It is best and better to come to know and love a place, not just a single person.
Getting to know a place is like getting to know a person, except perhaps a bit more overwhelming. Several more layers. It is best to come to know and love a place in its entirety, the layers of abiotika and biotika, the history of the land and the people, and the community and organization structure. It's best to have a cognitive map in holistic entirety, because you don't want to fall in the trap of embedding yourself deep in the mind of a person who ends up chewing you up and spitting you out in the first place.
A place like Santa Barbara is a mass accumulation effect of multiple characteristics, mass accumulation effect of several layers.
I must establish a solid, loving relationship with Santa Barbara--as a whole--before I return. Then I shall be safe... from the illusions of... you know who.
[I started writing an essay in the car through a voice recorder, so go find it and further elaborate it.]
I am staring at all of my vices and piles of papers on a bed and I am going to find a way to put them all away. I just made an extensive photography collage of eccentric NeoArt (as termed by my friend T) of some Vices of Graduate School Life. The fundamental Basal Components of Graduate Schoolisms. (I cannot interact with anyone who will not acknowledge my existence. I am strangled and then I am abandoned. Fxck that. Illusion of normalcy). I look at all these vices, and I do have a strange Candy-Insulin-Based lifestyle--one-meal-a-day-otherwise-pumped-with-small-increments-of-candy-and-caffeine-all-day-fighting-lion-tiger-state all the time. Eating three meals a day makes you lethargic and you hardly get any work done.
Suspended in a castle on a cloud. In academia, I am paid to think about things for 24-7 while everyone else is maintaining visceral operations of this society. And so... I feel guilty. That is why I work so hard. That is why I work so much. And my sister quizzes me. Everyone is working very hard. And so I shall do the same!
I can see the strong inter-relationships of visceral components of lifestyle: (1) breathing (2) drinking water (3) eating food (4) exercising (5) sleeping (6) making sure your family and roommates are okay--lots of HUGS, relaxation, lots and lots of hugs! (massages for replacement)--some people smoke lots of "weed" to relax... and (7) time for friends, etcetera.... If these basic needs are not met nor well-maintained, then you will have an absolutely shxtty day! Sheeks! That is what I say! And you can't have too many more shxtty days in your life, Vic! You don't even know if you will live till tomorrow! My goodness!
[This excerpt below was written back on October 31, 2008]
Some people need to make a to-do-list for survival--like myself--as if my mind needs to consciously march through some form of Evolutionary Maslow's Ladder--in which half the items on the to-do list are instinctive, and the other half of the items are actually mindful for everyone. Ideally, I would and should go through a self-checking system of basic needs once a week. But predictably, I easily forget. My mind drifts upon something else--many things else--I exist so much in my mind that I forget I have a body and that I need to maintain it a little better than I have--more particularly in the "grooming" needs (as family and friends have chewed me out on my "elaborate" t-shirt and shorts goodwill fashionware). I think I have been wearing the same clothes for a month... and scared to change....
Evolutioary derivation of Maslow's Ladder... like I need oxygen. Most organisms without oxygen are dead within a few minutes, except for a few little boogers of anaerobic bacteria.
And how human infrastructures have been built to match individual needs--from coarse to finer resolution in specialization? Like the University is some kind of External Body Plan to match the Needs of my Internal Body and intensely demanding brain for stimulation? As if the human-built landscape were like wearing a "heavy coat" or mass-accumulation-construction of a "collective bower"? (mystical character bird)
So, right now, I am proceeding to pay neglected bills, shower, self-groom, clean up spews of pink-spotted golden trash ... for Halloween purposes....
I have also reached a SATURATION POINT in term of social maintenance. I am around too many people and thewere are very few relationships I can maintain such that seems to carry and hold meaning and value to them. As a result, I have been horrible in checking emails and returning phone calls.
But I also remember before I started college--back in high school--I didn't have any emails, nor did I own a cell phone--and I was a very happy person (in some respects)--at least in some dimensions to which are now immense aggravations.
This week I wanted to shoot my cell phone. It ended up dying the day before Obama was elected.
And to all the people out there who call me and I don't respond. I just wanted to say that I am sorry the quarter system makes me mentally flipped out and overall sick in the head.
It's not that I don't care about people. I just don't have the capacity to care about them. So I must embrace myself with those of immediate proximity--my housemates, my classmates, and my membership to the Westside Lovepillows Softball Team (which ended only being a two-week stint of horrid softball--me included, made two outs!), my only mental break from language systems and viewing reality only in vectors.
I have reached "Eusocial Ecological Supersaturation," as if my own existence is part of the Physics Superstring Theory. Ha ha. That was a butchered metaphor. Or maybe not. My "lack of mannerisms with others" is merely a bypproduct of supersaturation with communicative technologies and my inability to manage too many relationships with people.
Things are slipping. All the tiny things. Like burning CDs and paying $8 back. Slipping. Shifting. Slipping.
So, now I am proceeding to pay my bills, take a shower, and groom myself, which goes as so far to hair-brushing, leg-shaving, eyebrow-plucking, and overall Body Landscape Gardening. UH, I shall refrain from any further discussion.
Not to mention that my professor Dr. Sweet made me feel guilty for not "backing up any of my work on my computer, so I am proceeding to do that as well...."
[The blips below are separate entities from the ones above, and were written at different times of the quarter.]
Victoria is a series of INPUTS and OUTPUTS. Physical and mental inputs and outputs--with flow rates of mental and physical digestion and maximizing productivity in graduate school life. 12 or less hours of the day are catered toward visceral activities: breathing, drinking, eating, exercizing, sleeping, self and house maintenance, time with housemates-friends-family, traveling (may take more than 12 hours). And the other 12 hours are ideally for optimal "work" and "productivity habits" in association with graduate school--including courses. Last quarter didn't exactly work out so wonderfully as I would like. My last month was a massive spurt of disproportionate productivity. Maybe I will operate under those types of conditions.
Vic has several vices in concern of inputs-outputs: does not eat three meals a day. Places herself in a "hungry-fighting lion-tiger" mode by feeding herself "candy insulin and caffeine" in the form of Werther's Original and Xylitol TicTacs (almost test-tube-like as I had envisioned in high school) (as well as Trader Joes and Starbucks coffee) to sustain her productivity throughout the day. Vic has one big meal late at night. The food makes her sleepy--hence it acts as a purposeful sleeping pill (though some people say it's very bad to eat right before you fall asleep). Vic finds "strange strategies" just to convince herself to SIT DOWN nearly all day--of course with bouts of exercise. And eating three meals will not allow here to do that. Famous encounter with Dolf Seilacher: "Why are you not eating lunch?" And I said, "Because it will ruin my productivity levels in the afternoon." And I saw Chris and Seth squirm, as if they suddenly felt guilty for purchasing some heavy Mexican food at the fancy university diner.
So, now, I am hyper and high strung all day. There are costs to this behavior. I don't know if they are good or bad. I could be sacrificing my lungs with cigarette smoking. I could be amplifying my health problems in other ways--overeating--but instead the body parts that are taking the greatest toll for my behavioral patterns are my teeth. Dental work is a "whole other blog" not to be discussed right now. Drama in that.
It's interesting how all aspects of life have their "own distinct individual knobs" which can organize several thoughts in one's mind, but then again, start to realize the high degree of interdependence and inter-relatedness to all other facets of life--e.g. teeth is associated with food and studying habits and consequentially dentists and American Megacorporate Dogfood lifestyle and graduate school demands, etcetera.
So, I have heard, the Bren MESM (masters) students are a "breed of their own;" such is the perception of other students all around campus.
[The blips below are separate entities from the ones above, and were written at different times of the quarter.]
I hate the quarter system. It makes me a monster. It makes me a person I do not want to be. I am not proud to be.
**To a certain individual, I had been acting like a pompous xsshole. An absorbed bigot. More so out of ludicrous defense reflexes.
**To other individuals, I had not had the capacity to respond to emails or phone calls and act like I have been dropping off the planet.
**For other individuals, I have lagged 2-3 weeks in respones to the Environmental Defense Center to get the photgraphs out for the recent TGIF.
I hate myself.
And then, I myself am trying to keep up with my thoughts?
Trying to keep up with other people? Too many of them?
Trying to "make" progress in my life? Whatever that means?
My teeth are at stake again!
The Quarter System makes me a careless individual. I can only manage and maintain so much and the rest slips through my fingers... and it's just a matter of how much slips... whether I stay afloat... or fall to my doom....