RAOD TRIPE

Hi there

I have left Seattle! The remainder of my stuff is in a rental PT Cruiser that my mom has rented, and the two of us are in a hotel outside of Portland, Oregon. We walked around the Pearl District and happened upon “First Thursday” where there are a bunch of art gallery open houses. Intensely pleasant as always!

Tomorrow, we head a bit east and drive along the Oregon side of the Columbia River, checking out waterfalls, dams, and the like. We’ve been told it’s heck of pretty. And in the evening we head back to Portland for a concert downtown.

We’ll be back in the Bay Area by Sunday. Okay I got bored of writing on the Internet so goodbye!

Hot dang

That was successful! I threw a goodbye party at my apartment last night. Bought about $150 worth of snacks, drinks, and pizza; set up the place for a giant helping of Brawl (and some DDR) but also other rooms for things other than Brawl (you know, like, conversation); made the apartment clean as a whistle (okay, my roommates did that part).

Everyone who I thought would come, came, and more. Doug and Zack invited their own friends as well, so it was quite the event. And I’m sort of lucky that most of Zack’s friends didn’t drink – I bought JUST enough to adequately feed and intoxicate everyone who wanted it. Fun times were had, and it will be difficult to start again in California. Hope I can find another good group of friends like the one I found here.

Funeral Funhouse

Hello Internet friends, new and old.

Today I am heading home to San Rafael for the weekend and totally paying tribute to my stepmom. Will be seeing my uncle, cousins, Betty’s family, family friends, etc. Certainly nice to see all of them after so much time.

But today also marks Part 1 of Get The Hell Out Of Seattle, where I pack up as much of my room as possible in a few suitcases, head to California, and return with empty, bigger suitcases. I’ll be doing it again at the start of Spring break, and then after Sakuracon I’m leavin’ for good. Either my mom’s heading up or I’m just renting a car to take down. If this supposed roommate who’s moving from Cuba to take my place doesn’t call soon, I’m going to have to find something to do about all this furniture that I’m not moving. Oy boy.

It will, only as of recently, be sad to leave Seattle, because I’ve been steadily cultivating friends from a lot of places: roommates, the BEMANI dudez, CSE grads, Secular Student Union pals. I really have to think about starting and re-starting a number of friendships once I head to California, as it might be the longest time I’ve stayed at my dad’s since I started going to college in 2003. I also have to get used to not walking everywhere and using my late stepmom’s Jaguar instead. Fancy car, but not my style.

Oh well. Back to packing.

Should I do it.

Next quarter is academically weird. I’m only taking one three-credit class, and auditing another one. Overall, it’s 4 hours of instruction per week, and probably the same amount of outside-of-class work. That will leave me a LOT of time to do… something else, I guess. Hopefully get a job. But I’m having some second thoughts about whether I should be doing this at all…

First of all, I think I’m going to hate the classes I take next quarter. One is a seminar about Computational Linguistics. I can choose from two topics: “Lexical Acquisition for Precision Grammars”, or “Information Extraction from Heterogeneous Resources: Special Focus on Linguistic Data.” Both sound pretty dull. But then again, so does my entire grad program. The other class I’m auditing (not taking for credit) is a stats class; a prerequisite to a statistical CL class I’d be taking some time next school year. I don’t like stats one bit, and the fact that I’m not required to do any work doesn’t suggest that I’ll focus especially well on the material.

Second, I want to spend time with my dad. My stepmom’s death is hitting him extremely hard. I haven’t been as available as I’d like these days (being a few states away and all), and I don’t think being home for the funeral or for Spring Break is really good enough for my liking. I also miss my mom, sister, and my Bay Area friends; it would be quite awesome to be around for them.

Third, I’m doubting the necessity of getting my degree in the first place. It would obviously be good to have a computer-based degree under my belt, but I don’t think CL is a line of work I would especially enjoy. I would really rather land some type of general job dealing with web technologies – design, backend programming… stuff like that. Surely not as high-paying as a more specialized field, but I don’t give much of a damn.

If I don’t audit this stats class next quarter, I will probably not have another chance to do so. I heard it’s only offered once every Spring. I mean… I COULD take a year off and continue my grad program down the road… I don’t know.

There are some other factors that tie in to me wanting to spend time at home sooner than later, but I don’t want to discuss that just yet. It has to do with summer plans.

If I leave Seattle, I’m leaving a great living situation (I love my apartment and my roommates – not to mention leaving might make them scramble to find another fourth roommate), some slowly growing groups of friends, a prestigious university, and the education I’ve received in these last two quarters. But I regain my family and friends. I’m really, really torn.