Today was my graduation. After listening to student protests and angers about its cancellation, my school decided to have it be virtual. We filled out slides, recorded how to pronounce our names, uploaded photos. And today, we were shown a website of pre-recorded videos (some of which included fantastic speakers like our student speakers!). I had friends text me screenshots of my slide and congratulate me. Friends sent me cards, sent me beautiful gifts, called, celebrated over Zoom, and I felt so loved.
It feels weird. For one, I have yet to defend so I am not quite Ph-inishe-D. And for another, the part that is taking up the largest part of my heartache, is that I am still mourning. I know there are so many things going on right now-- the continued violence against Black bodies, the continued existence of Covid (despite people wandering around maskless - please wear your masks!). And in all the global grief, pain, and anger, is also my very personal and localized sadness. This graduation was... nothing like what I had been dreaming about for the past four years, and had been planning for the better part of a year. Even well before this period last year, I had told friends how I was planning the week, preparing how to seamlessly fit my dissertation defense and graduation so people could attend both. I knew the venues I wanted, the activities to do (because you can never get rid of the Student Affairs in me), and the ways I wanted to thank my community. The graduation was as much for everyone, as it was for me.
And I can still do the last part: the gratitude, the thanks. And I will. I will so hard. But today, for just today, I am giving space for my sadness and letting myself mourn "what was suppose to be" while knowing how fiercely loved I am by my community. Which is why I'm so sad to be "celebrating" without all of us in person or closer to one another.
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).