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Jessica
14 October 2012 @ 02:05 pm
Ugh I really underestimate how long things take in life. Patience is a virtue I do not have, at least at the moment.

One important lesson: I've learned to be very, very aggressive. People like aggression! Up to a certain point. But worry about that later.
 
 
Jessica
12 September 2011 @ 01:53 am
I haven't posted in a long long while!  Most of this was due to the fact that I didn't have regular access to internet in Germany (no wifi at my apartment) or in my subsequent travels (to Munich, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris).  A lot has happened though!

-Study abroad in Berlin was an amazing experience.  I made many friends from a bunch of different countries and overall the 4 weeks went by too fast.  I've definitely come back a changed person.  For one thing, Germany and their efficient way of doing things has seeped into my brain. Everyday I've been filling my time with errands and organization and general self improvement.  This has been a bit hard though because I got a cold immediately after coming back and I'm still sick with it.  This means I haven't gone swimming yet, which sucks because I really want to lead a more active lifestyle. 

-I want to get a masters degree in Europe.  As I've said, I definitely want to pursue further education, because I feel like I'm not done being a student yet.  I have so much to learn.  I did really well in my class in Germany and I think it's because I was so much happier in Germany and so much more motivated.  I definitely need a change of location to be happy in life.  I'm thinking of the UK and Germany for graduate programs, because English is the main language of education in those countries (in England obviously).  I need to do further research though.

-I'm doing an internship for a foodie startup- it's a newsletter/ website/ promotional vehicle for trendy restaurants in the New York City area.  I manage the twitter and facebook, brainstorm new promotional ideas, and establish ways to contact and network with foodies and media personel.  I randomly met the co founder of the company through friends my first day back in the US and I feel like that's a good omen.  It's an unpaid internship but the founder is so nice that I feel very motivated to help this company succeed.  Also I will get to go try out awesome food around the city with them (I think) so that's a great perk to the job. 

-I'm planning a trip to Montreal and to Mexico City.  Montreal because train tickets are only $130 roundtrip (although to get there is 11hours) and because I've always wanted to visit Montreal.  I know some people in Toronto and I'd love to see them if possible.  Mexico City because I made two friends from there in Berlin who told me I can visit them anytime.  I also have always wanted to visit Latin America, and I have enough American Airline miles for a one way flight there.  If I go I might as well squeeze in Cancun because a NY to Cancun flight is much cheaper, and then I can do a cheap airline from Cancun to Mexico City.  As you can see, I can get a bit carried away with my travel planning.  For both these things to happen I would like a job that pays relatively well. 
 
 
Jessica
04 June 2011 @ 05:03 pm
Awesome news: I am going to be in Berlin for 4 weeks this summer! !!!

A while ago I was looking into study abroad options for the winter in European countries, since I am one European history class away from finishing up my double major in history.  A class at NYU costs more than $4000 plus I'd be living at home.  It just so happens that Humboldt University, a university NYU partners during the semester, has English language summer sessions.  Each class costs about 400 Euros, and it's another 400 for housing.  So overall to take a class there would be $1100 plus the cost of flights of course, which means I'd be saving about $2000.  Even sweeter is that NYU's study abroad program in Berlin offers at least one class that is exactly the same, with the exact same professor over the semester as the Humboldt U. summer session, so I am essentially paying so much less money for the same product.

I really didn't expect NYU to approve these transfer credits since there is a formal policy that you cannot transfer any credits over in your last year at NYU.  Actually I know this policy is pretty much universal at colleges across America.  However I have since learned that NYU only enforces rules when they feel like it.  Either that or the woman who approved me was incompetent, which is a very likely.  Or they felt they owed me something after that debacle.  Whatever the reason, all that matters is that I'll be living in Berlin for 4 weeks this summer, starting from July 18, and studying the Berlin Wall and European Integration.

After my class ends on August 12th, I hope to travel a bit throughout Europe since I am paying so much for the planefare anyways.  I would love to go to Turkey and tour Eastern Europe since I have since discovered Eastern European countries aren't scary at all and are much cheaper than the West.  I especially want to see Montenegro which is where Casino Royale takes place.  I'm not sure if my parents will be joining me or not, but I'm hoping one of my friends might.  But I wouldn't mind traveling by myself either since last time was such an amazing experience.  
 
 
Jessica
10 May 2011 @ 04:47 am
Okay off of the bad news today comes good news.   I applied to these two classes offered in English through Humboldt University in Berlin this summer yesterday.  Today I got an email asking for a statement of purpose.  Today at 3am, after my nap, I wrote out a brief essay, and then around 10 minute later I got an acceptance letter.  I guess the stereotype that Germans are notoriously efficient is true!

I hope I can do this since I need one more European history class for my history degree at NYU.  I was looking into the NYU in Berlin program but it was so much more expensive: about $10,000 total including housing, plane fare and tuition for 8 credits worth of classes.  Two classes that equal about 4 credits US is 800 Euros, which is around $1200- ridiculously cheap to an American.  The only problem is they are 2 US credits each so I'm not sure how I'll be able to transfer that to NYU since I think I'm only allowed to transfer in 4 classes and I already have 2 from Boston College and one I hope to argue to count for it from Harvard.  Also there is the question of where I would live in Berlin, since I was only offered housing for 3 weeks, covering the period of only one of the classes.  I did mention this to my parents though and they approve since they love Germany and this gives them an excuse to visit after living there 20 years ago.   
 
I really hope to be able to do this!  There is, I think, a lot of paperwork I'd have to do and get approved, but it would amazing if I could go and study the history of Berlin.  
 
 
 
Jessica
06 May 2011 @ 11:25 pm
My grade is going to be changed from a B- to an A.  Hilariously this will be the only A I've gotten in my undergraduate career (aside from joke classes that don't matter).  And I couldn't be more proud of that fact. 

Just goes to show one needs to act like a psychotic bitch to get things done.  Everyone kept telling me "you're acting crazy" or "I didn't find that email funny" but incompetent people deserve to be called out and humiliated.  The thing I'm most pleased about is that I got to write that hateful email and still got her to change it to an A (I was afraid she'd just change it to a B).  Well actually she was probably forced to change it to an A by the head when it was revealed she didn't change the grade for 3 months and was never going to do it.  I really do hope that was the case.   
 
 
 
Jessica
04 May 2011 @ 04:55 am

 It really annoys me but my parents are not confrontational people and thus I was not raised to be one either.  I mean, I don't really know how my parents act in their professional lives.  I know they do speak up if something is unfair at work or my father once worked for these incompetent assholes so he quit and started his own company.  But usually my father is not the type of man to blow up and start screaming things in public (well, with exceptions, but those moments are always extremely embarrassing b/c he gets very incoherent).  

It's really annoying because in times like this, ie with that cunt professor, he should absolutely be screaming things into the phone and demanding lawyers. 

I get very very angry sometimes and I do impulsive things.  Well this case isn't really impulsive but I really couldn't go to sleep thinking about that bitch Liz Diggs so hours after I sent an email asking the Head of my department if I should schedule a meeting with Liz Diggs and him I went ahead and just emailed her and him and the administrative assistant and was like "When is everyone free?!" 

I actually get angry all the time but I lack the proper way to vent my anger aside from ranting about people behind their backs or trash talking or whatever.  I need to just say "fuck you" more often to people who deserve it.  

 
 
Jessica
27 April 2011 @ 01:42 pm
I have way too many goals in life, immediate or otherwise.  I feel very very stressed out right now with all these papers on  my plate, but I do have some things out of the way for now.  

I have some goals and plans for the summer now which makes me happy.
 
 
Jessica
14 April 2011 @ 08:56 am
Yesterday I went to a 4 hour long group interview for a teach English in Japan program.  I hadn't slept the night before so was feeling dead on the inside.  The presentation they gave was so excruciating, and we had to watch a video about their organization, listen to them explain in detail the history of the company in Japan, the health insurance policies, etc, basically the most pointless stuff. So unnecessary in the first round of interviews!  One thing that was interesting was that the recruiters was a Japanese woman with a British accent and an late 30s/40s ish old white American man.  Actually that was the only thing interesting about the interview.  It took place in one of those huge office buildings in Grand Central so I felt like I was in Mad Men or something but it was a bizarro world Mad Men when I felt more and more suicidal with each minute that I sat there in that board room, thinking, is this really what it's like to be Peggy?  Anyhow, there were only 4 other people being interviewed=  One was this guy who had this weird Russian (?) accent although he looked Asian and he just sounded and acted like he had Aspergers or some other kind of mental condition.  Throughout the presentation he took notes on his Iphone or something but it just looked like he was surfing the web.  This other girl was like 26 and had a way of speaking which made it seem like she was talking to a group of 6 graders at all times.  It was very weird.  Plus she was wearing this blouse that an old lady who grew up in the 50s would wear.  One other girl was half British half French and she, along with this chill black American guy, were the only people that seemed normal, although the girl seemed very prissy being British and all.  Anyhow, the interviewers acted like they were cult members to that company-  they sounded so upbeat and enthused, like omg, it was the best company ever, even though it was just a cram school, like their version of Princeton Review, and we had to watch a video of people working for the company, acting fakely upbeat.  I should note that these people confirm every stereotype I have about foreigners who go to Japan to teach English: basically unattractive losers in their 30s who probably have some kind of personality disorder and otherwise can't get jobs in their home country.  Even if they didn't seem crazy, I find it really weird that they all looked like they were in their 30s but were at a job where they made $500-$800 take home pay per month after all bills are paid (and mind you, flights to and from Japan are not covered).
 
So we had to give a 5 minute lesson and I wrote out this somewhat ridiculous dialogue that I made everyone read.  The crazy Russian guy had the best presentation I thought, actually bringing in refrigerator magnets to hold up his laminated pictures.  The condescending girl's presentation was about how Japanese people can't pronounce Rs so she made a bingo sheet with commonly confused words (like Jelly and Jerry, boring and bowling), which I thought was mildly racist. 
 
Throughout these 4 hours of torture, I thought to myself, I am only qualified to be a writer, and if I had to do anything else in life I would seriously have to shoot myself because I felt so so sorry for the recruiters and for the others interviewing with me, who all were older and couldn't get jobs in their chosen fields.  I remembered this girl I met in Ireland who worked for the government for 2 years at a proper job but quit to become a waitress, and then an English teacher in Spain (but only 12hrs/ week) because it was the most soul crushing thing ever, or this Korean girl I met from LA who also quit her job with the IRS, because she was like, yeah, those jobs are really depressing.  I thought I would be able to do something like that for money but unless I own the company myself I seriously cannot see myself being motivated to speak that animately or act like an indoctrinated Scientology for any company.  The only proper work I could see myself doing is working for the UN or State Department because at least I feel passionately about politics and the work you do for those places actually matter- you're helping people, helping diplomacy, all of that stuff that you can actually feel idealistic about. 
 
At the end, the recruiters took some time to prepare envelopes telling us we were invited back for interviews.  I had an inkling none of us would be, because when they came back they were like, "remember, in the video someone said the teachers working for us are energetic and enthusiastic and that's exactly what we want" and basically the entire group was dead eyed the entire time.  They told us not to open our envelopes in front of one another, but in the elevator, I was just like, let's just open it, who cares.  Only crazy Russian guy did it with me and we were both rejected, which is completely fine, and I even felt giddy afterwards after so little sleep and having to rush to class afterwards. 
 
In short, I would much rather do something like become a cashier or a waitress or be in the customer service industry.  I seriously would not be able to do any job where I'd have to act professional and dead eyed and fake the entire time.  I just want to myself and not have to sell out my self respect for money.   I'm really glad I went to that horrible interview though, because now I have insight into how these kinds of office jobs can be like.  As I told Sylvie on gchat later, it's no wonder on Mad Men Don just immediately falls in love with and marries every random interesting girls he sees, or why Japanese businessmen have to go to geishas in  Memoirs of a Geisha.  There's such a lack of joy in these people's lives, and I wouldn't want it for all the money in the world. 
 
With that in mind, these are my possible career aspirations in life:
1. Writer
2. Journalist  
3. Diplomat
 
That's literally it.  I don't mind doing other things while I'm young, like maybe work for an airline since I enjoy travel, or I don't know, a waitress or something.  Whatever.  Just something not boring.  And actually, I'm going to apply to MFA programs for creative writing.  Creative writing MFA programs are really hard to get into (most of them take only 10 people per year, and it's like a 4%-5% acceptance rate, worse than med school) but it's largely based on talent and not so much on grades, which is fine by me.  Also most of them give you a $10,000 stipend per year with no tuition with is also fantastic.  In particular my dream is the program at the University of Las Vegas which is 3 year long and has an international focus and you can opt to do the Peace Corps and have it count towards course work.   Plus I would love to live in Las Vegas.  I'm going to apply for January 2011, which leaves me with  next year to kind of fool around as I wish I suppose.  I'm thinking of taking further undergraduate classes abroad, for the experience, and also to boost my GPA.  It wouldn't be NYU tuition but it would still be expensive, however my parents would be okay with this since they want me to pursue graduate school and are willing to pay it.  Although these would be undergraduate classes they wouldn't have to pay for grad school if I do an MFA so I figure they'd be okay with that.  Plus there is my novel to work on and I definitely intend on selling it for a large pile of money. 
 
 
Jessica
17 March 2011 @ 05:59 pm
Day 9 of Atkins:  I caved and a small bag of pita chips.  It says 28gs of carbs on the back which is 8g higher than the daily allowance but still too high.  After more than a week without sugar or carbs I've forgotten how it tastes like, but after I ate one pita chip I realized it tasted as it always tasted.  It's St. Patrick's Day.  I was considering breaking my diet for some drinking tonight but on second thought, I'd rather save those carbs for food.  Dilemmas, dilemmas.  
 
 
Jessica
15 March 2011 @ 10:25 pm
Day 7 of Atkins:  I'm really happy that I was able to keep this up for a whole 7 days.  I don't think I did everything by the book.  For example only diet soda sweetened with Splenda was allowed, so that's only Pepsi One.  Some days I had diet soda sweetened with aspartame which apparently can slow the weight loss process.  Also some days I bought seasoned skewered meat and I can't be sure if the seasoning and spices had any sugar or carb bases in it.  And today I had a few pistachios which I don't think is allowed during Phase 1 of Atkins, for reasons I don't really know.  But overall, the time passed quickly and I was able, on Day 3, to button jeans that I couldn't the openings to meet a week before, and today I tried on those jeans again and I can actually wear them now without it being too tight. 
 
I have another 7 days to go and I wonder if I'll lose more in a week.  It would really be great if I can drop another pant size because that would be the thinnest I've been in maybe 10 years.  I really crave things like fruit, and naan bread with curry sauce, and ice cream, of course, my biggest vice in life.  But I think after this diet I'll "save" my carbs for things are that worth it like naan in Indian restaurants or mashed potatoes from Boston Market (instead of French fries for example).  Some things like buns on hamburgers or rice to go with Chinese food don't really make a big difference.  
 
 
I wish I were one of those people with better self control when it comes to food, or just don't want to eat as much.  I have a friend who is very picky about food although she eats a lot of fried, fatty things, and she still is quite thin.  Me, I think because I'm bored a lot and I live at home food is just there.  For example I think I'll watch some Mad Men later today and normally I would want some popcorn or some ice cream to go along, but I guess I'll just have to make do with tea.  I'm proud of my self control these past 7 days which actually seem like they've flown by, but having it coincide with my spring break might have something to do with it.  
 
To sum it up, I'm really happy with the Atkins diet.  Earlier today I was contemplating giving it up (all I've had were 3 bunless hamburgers because I have very limited food options!) but trying on these jeans again definitely made me focus more.  7 more days until I'm allowed minimal carbs!  The first carb I eat will seem so glorious.