Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's Not Fare

An article today in the Globe discussed the increase in ridership on the MBTA here in Boston. However, due to more people riding the trains, experts say that an increase in the fare is certain to hit in the coming years. I myself have a solution/criticism that I've been mentioning now for quite a few years:

STOP GIVING OUT CHARLIE CARDS LIKE CANDY!

In Boston, riders have two choices to pay their fares: either purchase a Charlie Ticket or put money onto their Charlie Card. A Charlie Ticket is disposable and allows a rider to put stored value onto the card only a single time. Rides on the subway are $2 with a Charlie Ticket and are dispensed from any machine. These are generally used for single or double rides.

A Charlie Card on the other hand is a plastic card that you may put money on as many times as you want. Charlie Cards enable the rider to pay a slightly lowered fare of $1.70 to ride the subways and buses. Charlie Cards must be given to your by an MBTA worker or are generally found frayed out along the tops of the fare machines free for the taking. Essentially they should only be available to people who live in and commute to work in Boston. However because of their accessibility and the MBTA's unknown need to keep creating them and throwing them into riders' faces, everybody (even tourists) hold a Charlie Card. What is the sense of fare reduction for the loyal in that?


There is no reason why a tourist family in Boston for a week should all be wielding Charlie Cards. If you add up the $0.30 per ride per family member that they're saving for having been given access to those cards, it starts to add up into money that could be in the MBTA's hands. And while many might think that tourists to the city should be purchasing seven-day-passes, most tourists hold a Charlie Card which is handed to them by fare agents when they inquire about how to use the machines.

What the MBTA should do is discontinue throwing out these plastic cards. Frequent riders themselves either already have a plastic card, or they purchase monthly passes which negates this argument. Either way, by ending the plastic card's seemingly endless promotion, it would enable visitors to the city to cough up the $2 required of them for using our public transit system, allowing the reduced fare to remain in the hands (and on the cards) of the residents of this city.

Let's step away from this for a second. While I was in Beijing, China a few years back the city made a switch to plastic transit cards much like the plastic Charlie Cards of Boston. The difference: to obtain a card in Beijing a rider had to pay a deposit fee of 20RMB to be granted access to discount fares. In that sense alone the Beijing transit authority brought in loads of money: nearly all residents in the city held a card, which meant that the authority held 20RMB for each resident upfront to be used to improve the system. And since having a card was so vital and extremely more efficient than paying a bus conductor, the authority was basically guaranteed that riders would not return their card and request their 20RMB back.

And then flash to Boston where plastic cards are lying on the ground in front of fare machines and available to anyone. In fact, I myself have about a dozen Charlie Cards from days when I forgot my plastic card at home but just grabbed an extra one sitting atop a fare machine. I should have paid $2 for my forgetfulness, but since the MBTA wants to throw some cards in my face, I'm inclined to take them.

Just one suggestion this rider has to improve the Boston transit system.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Robert De Niro's Waiting

Change of color at this blog. As much as I love the color orange, it was starting to really get to me, so I simply changed to the darker tone of the same template design.

I also wanted to give a quick shout out to Needarb, who I now know reads my blog occasionally. Hi Needarb! Needarb.

Not much to say today - moving into my new apartment in five days, so I'm basically holding my breath until I finally move in. Been tying up loose ends and preparing for the move, so nothing exciting going on with my life. I'll post something more substantial soon, I hope.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Return of the Resident

Lori posted some great videos this week dealing with the "financial crisis" which is receiving too much attention in America. Since, as always, I agree with her opinions on the matter, I'm going to simply post her videos in the hopes that you would rather hear her than read my rants :)

In this first video Lori discusses the idea of a flat-rate tax in America and the sillyness behind this whole raising the "debt ceiling" debacle. I think she says it best that politics has strayed far from issues and is simply a tug-of-war between two ideal-less teams.


In this second video Lori discusses her theory of why Americans are so withdrawn to the idea of raising taxes for the super rich (who encompass only 2% of Americans). Her idea is that everyone has a notion that they themselves will one day fall into that category, and that our media and culture teaches us that being rich is a right and an obtainable end goal for life.


Here more from TheResident!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shmeat Wave

I'm pretty sick of everyone on my Twitter and Facebook posting pictures of thermometers and weather reports showing the heat wave we're living in. Unless I'm living under a rock in the ocean (Patrick the Starfish) I'm well aware of how fucking hot it is outside. When I walk outside, I don't need to know it's over a hundred degrees - either way I'm still going to feel like someone's smothering me with a blanket. The only upside to this heat wave is that I'm in Philadelphia packing everything for the big move tomorrow and my apartment luckily has central air, and while it doesn't seem to want to go past seventy-five, it's a big improvement from outdoors.

I thought a teeny bit of me would miss my apartment or Philadelphia, but that idea was instantly shattered the minute I got off the bus. I barely turned my key in the door Thursday night before a mammoth bug ran from the middle of the living room into a small hole in the wall (and he later reappeared in the bathroom). I had forgotten how miserable this city is in the summer, and how the humidity seems to press down upon you when you're outside.

On that front, I splurged and paid for some movers for tomorrow because there is just no way I'm going to be able to carry boxes down a flight of stairs to the truck. Add the heat to that and I would pass out on the sidewalk before even a single box was loaded. Hopefully it will be the best money I'll spend.

Packing has been rather exciting. As much of a pack-rat as I am, it felt good to go through everything and I tossed out a shit ton of things that I knew I would never wear/look at again. In the words of Tyler Oakley in one of his 5AG videos: "If you have to think about it, get rid of it." I threw out an old notebook from high school (why was I holding on to this?), lots of clothes that I had never even worn but I knew I'd never touch, and lots of papers and readings I would never look at if I took them with me. However, through it all I did find some great letters my friends had sent me while I was in China years ago, some mementos from my travels, and things I hadn't realized I brought with me.

So long Philly, you won't be missed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In-State

MA Governor endorses in-state tuition for illegal immigrants (link).

Is it just me, or has the word "illegal" changed in definition over the past few years? It seems that America has been granting people who are in America "illegally" special considerations recently, as simple as keeping them in this country. Illegal immigrants are in this country contrary to our laws, and now some argue in favor of granting them special privileges such as in-state college tuition? Especially at a time when the cost of college tuition only continues to rise.

Flanked by aides and security, Patrick surprised the joint education committee and a crowd of more than 100 people by urging passage of legislation that would allow illegal immigrant students to pay the same price as other Massachusetts residents at state colleges and universities. Now, illegal immigrants pay the non-resident rate, which is double or triple the price, depending on the school.

One argument in favor of this bill would be that it would allow more illegal immigrant students to attend college since high tuition rates have deterred many, who are ineligible for financial assistance. This would in turn increase state revenue as more students enter state-run colleges and universities.

Another argument in favor for it is that there are many children who are in this country illegally who are not here by choice - having been dragged along with their parents from their parent nations. While I agree that it's sad, and that these individuals deserve measures to better their lives, I do not believe that allowing them reduced tuition is the answer. Especially in this day and age, where universities actually target overseas students to "diversify" their student body and thus offer scholarships to many exchange students, America needs to start thinking about the possibility of a "brain drain" where much of our knowledge and research is being performed by students who may not (and many do not) choose to live in this country post-graduation.

While the Tea Party holds many views that freak me out, this quote sums it all up:
“They’re still here illegally. … We’re not in a position to give away benefits to people who are truly not eligible for them because they are not residents,” said Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party, which vowed to fight the bills, though she could not attend the hearing. “If you’re not a legal resident of the state, you’re not entitled to in-state tuition. That’s as simple as it is.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pain Killers

Here is the tale of my mis-adventure yesterday where I witnessed the Boston Police size up and then confiscate prescription medications from a supposed-dealer in a McDonald's.

I had said goodbye to my friend at Government Center and I was about to board the Blue Line back home when my stomach reminded me that I hadn't eaten a single thing all day. I thought, I could either wait until I get home in about forty minutes and find something there (slim chance) or run to McDonald's and grab a Big Mac (across the street). Of course the obvious choice is clear. I proceeded to McDonald's and ordered a hamburger and some fries and thought I'd head upstairs to the second floor seating area and relax while reading my book. Little did I know I would have the entertainment literally brought to me.

When I got upstairs, the whole seating area was empty. I took this as a fortunate sign and sat in the corner at a round table near the window, granting me a view of the entire upstairs area as well as the street below. After a few minutes, this overweight, obnoxious guy came up the stairs with crutches, yet walking perfectly well. He started talking to this old man who was standing outside the bathroom.

Old Man: "They're down there, you can tell."
Crutchy: "You're being paranoid, let's just do this."
Old Man: "They're down there, plain clothes cops."
Crutchy: "Just get in the bathroom and let's go."

They proceeded into the bathroom together. Man, I thought, a drug deal going down in front of me. Here I am, munching on some fries, nonchalantly peeking over at them out of the corner of my eye. But then I laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation. This paranoid old man who clearly wants his fix is scuffling with this fat guy on crutches, who presumes to write him off as being on a bad trip.

Little did Crutchy know that Old Man was right. A minute later about four plains clothes cops came up the stairs and pulled Crutchy out of the bathroom - I'm not sure what happened to Old Man, I never saw him again. It wasn't all "Boston Police, hands up!" or any commotion like that. The cops simply questioned him and asked why he was holding pain killers in his hand. I'll get to that in a second.

First, I want to comment on how stereotypical these cops were. Maybe it was because they were plains clothes cops who have to fit in with their locale, but these guys were the quintessential Boston bros - complete with accent, gruff demeanor, and Irish last names. And then there was the lone Asian cop. Boston Police are one of a kind - it brings me back to the day last summer when the police woke me up at my friend's house looking for my friend's friend whose father had a warrant out for attempted murder (LONG story, which totally deserves a blog post here when I get the time).

Anyway, back to Crutchy. The cops asked him why he had the meds and Crutchy began spouting out this ridiculous story about how he was recently hit by a car. Meanwhile, Asian Cop pulls out about five different pill bottles from Crutchy's backpack and reads the dates on the labels which date back way before this supposed "car crash." One of the Irish cops looked at Crutchy and said, "Haven't I arrested you before near North Station?" Yet Crutchy stuck with his story.

In the end, the cops confiscated all the meds but allowed Crutchy to remain a free man (for the time being) and escorted him out. One of the cops who stayed behind to do some paperwork happily called out to Crutchy as he hobbled down the stairs, "See you next week."

I'm not sure what's more disturbing: that I was eating alone at a McDonald's and saw this little show go down a few feet away from me, or that I was eating alone at a McDonald's? I'm going to have to say the latter.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Disenchanted Post-Grad American

Dear President Obama (and the US government),

As a post-grad living in America, I wonder when this shift occurred within our system of higher education that changed earning a degree and an education into a game of economics. When did a solid education to prepare you for your future and a stable career give way to name-brand college marketing?

I ask, how are we, the youth of America, supposed to bring about change and innovation for our great nation if we are slaves to our student loans and exorbitant college costs? You, Mr. President, recently spoke about bringing innovation and scientific output back to America to combat the global competitiveness in this field. But how are we to do that when our college tuition continues to rise, yet the value of our Bachelor's Degrees lower over time?

When did the rite of passage for high school graduates signing one's name onto a freshman year college loan become the norm? Why aren't words like "subsidized loan," "loan forbearance," "consolidation," and "borrower accountability" taught on the SAT? Seems as though these words are tremendously more common and usable in post-high school life than "amiable" or "noxious."

How is America supposed to move our people out of poverty when the average college graduate leaves school with thousands of dollars in student loans? How are young Americans supposed to reasonably survive in America as post-grads when most of us are paying $1000-2000 each month to our student loans? How are we supposed to save up, purchase a house, and invest in bettering our nation when we can barely stand on our own two feet because the "college dream" we aspired has left us in debt? Instead of creating a stable workforce for the future, we are crippling those who stand to become the future of our country.

And where to begin on the high interests rates that are fixed onto our loans. When did it become standard practice that a college loan would be paid back in payment installments over a twenty year period, in which the borrower will pay back nearly THREE TIMES the amount of the original principal due to incurred interest? Why must young Americans need to pay back loans that amount to nearly one to two years of working wages while living in a country with a shit-economy and ever-rising costs of living?

And what of the risks of being a post-grad? Forget the chances of finding a job or career, what about the future of our credit and borrowing abilities that can be easily hampered by missing a loan payment or being delinquent on a student loan?

Jobs will come and go; retirement will produce job openings and sector growth will produce access to new jobs across the board, but the widening gap in our higher education will only become more problematic. Over time, obtaining a Bachelor's Degree will be akin to receiving your high school diploma - only $50,000-150,000 times more expensive - and the need for further post-grad education will become (already is becoming) the norm. Living with your parents until you're thirty will also become the norm, since post-grads will be so busy working solely to pay off student loans that trying afford rent or saving for future mortgage payments will be out of the question.

I myself do not have terrible amounts of student loans to pay off, but just thinking about how my future finance plans have to account for thousands of dollars owed simply for pursuing an education disgusts me. It disgusts me because it doesn't have to be like this - and in fact, it's not like this in other equally-prosperous nations! And it disgusts me because one self-guided missile used in the "war on terror" could have adequately paid for my whole college education.

Think about that.

Sincerely,
"Disenchanted Post-Grad American"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Border Control

Seems as though Denmark is taking measures to curb illegal immigration and crimes caused by illegals in their nations recently. Harks to America's own Secure Communities initiative that is making waves here in the US. Europe is angered because this move goes against the EU's open borders policy, but in my own opinion, I respect Denmark for looking to the source of the problem and working to fix it themselves.

Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said earlier: "We have seen too many examples of violence, break-ins and brutal criminality committed by perpetrators who have crossed the borders."

What's it going to take America for our government to realize that not all of our "guests" are respecting our nation and our values and ideals? How much more violence and drug trafficking must we endure before we truly make our communities safe?

My Harry Potter Chronicle

Friday marked the end of my Harry Potter journey, all the way from my childhood years to the present. From seven books to seven movies. From book release parties to opening day movie celebrations. Yes, Harry Potter may be a fictional story created by a brilliant author that many may see as juvenile, but Harry Potter is no different from any of the other amazing stories or television shows that our generation grew up with and continue to enjoy as adults.

(Note Legacy of the Force in the background)

I can still remember how I got into the Harry Potter series. It was the beginning of sixth grade and the Sorcerer's Stone had made it's way to America. This was before there was any hype or prospect of an amazing series behind the sole book. The Winthrop Public Library had received a copy (just one) of the book and the librarian, who I was best friends with at the time, recommended I read it - she had just finished it and thought it was an amazing book. So I brought the book to school to read for our silent reading period at the end of the day and instantly began to fall in love with the characters and the premise.

When the time of the second book was released I was right at Barnes and Nobles buying a copy and reading the book within a day. By the fourth book's release, book stores were getting into the Harry Potter hype and holding midnight release parties. The first such party I attended was for the release of the fourth book (or maybe the fifth?) and I went to the Barnes and Nobles with my friends, and had fun with some themed activities. However, I remember we were too lazy to wait in line and by midnight we just ran across the highway to Stop and Shop and bought a copy there (no lines). 

When the movies began to get released when I was a freshman in high school, I have to admit I wasn't very interested in them. I hadn't seen the first movie until a few months after it came out, and to this day I've only seen Sorcerer's Stone once. However, thankfully the movies only got better over time and I found myself seeing most of them on opening day. I recall seeing the Chamber of Secrets with one of my best friends: we couldn't get into the screening because it was sold out, so we bought tickets to this horror movie that was playing and snuck into Harry Potter. The only seats we could find together were the first two seats of the very front row of the movie. The whole time I was nervous someone would ask for our ticket and kick us out.

For the final book I went with my friends to the Harry Potter celebration in Harvard Square, a night or two before my departure from America for China. Although I didn't dress up (and went with people who did), I enjoyed myself and the festivities and it was a very fun night. I didn't have time to wait for the book at midnight, but I did manage to get a copy the following day. 

And now the final movie is out, and I have to admit that this movie was amazing. The final battles were portrayed exactly as I had imagined them as I read the book. I went to see the movie by myself on Friday - because I couldn't wait until my friend would go with me this coming week - and I have to say, seeing it alone was a great way to end the series and take it all in. Years in the making, and it's finally come to it's conclusion. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Had to Share (The Resident)



This one is hard to watch (graphic) but just scroll down or minimize the page to listen to her argument, it's pretty damn good.


She always manages to say exactly what I feel about the issues. I'm honored to share a similar outlook on hot button issues with Lori! Find more from TheResident!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Literati

This has been quite a fruitful summer so far in terms of the amount of reading I've been doing. Not having a job but still getting paid enables me to sit by the beach or on the couch most of the morning and read all of the lovely books I've been getting at the public library. In the past two weeks since my summer began, I've already completed about ten novels - albeit three of these were Star Wars EU novels, but to each his own, right?

My latest completion was Bossypants by Tina Fey. Her humor was right up my alley and I was able to finish the book in just under two days because I could not put it down. The book turned out to be different from what I at first imagined it to be about, but overall it was witty and provided a clearer insight into the hilarious life of one of my favorite comedians. I would categorize her writing style as very similar to Chelsea Handler's, whose first three books top my list of favorites.

I also went to the library last week in the hopes of checking out The Pearl by John Steinbeck, to reread this book from sophomore year of high school English. Instead I picked it up, flipped through it, and put it back down feeling it wouldn't interest me enough and would slow my reading pace. However, I did in turn read The Short Reign of Pippin IV, Steinbeck's only work of political satire. It provided a quick read but I attribute that only to the Parisian setting of the novel, and the slightly mocking political undertones.

This summer is chugging along. By August 1st I'll be in my new apartment, and then my next step is to start looking for a job (even though my paychecks continue until late August). Next weekend I'll be back in Philadelphia to pack up my apartment, clean up my place, and say adieu to my home in the City of Brotherly Love of one year.

A new start is on the horizon, and "I'm ready (and I'm gone)."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Genus: Bro Dude

Rant coming in which I blame straight women for the number one evil in America: the bro dude. I'm sure these specimens exist in other countries around the world, but the American bro dude is in a class all his own. Not to be confused with the genus "meathead", the bro dude is often observed wearing his tan cargo shorts, white sneaks with the low-rise socks, an Abercrombie t-shirt, and his favorite-sports-team baseball cap, this "man" hardly qualifies as human.

As I sat on the Blue Line yesterday heading into the city, on a day when the Red Socks were playing in town, I was able to witness the idiocy of a small group of said creatures. This pack consisted of four gentlemen, one who was morbidly obese. Side note: I always feel as though the bro dude pack makes sure to ally themselves with one overweight specimen of the same mentality. Moving on, these creatures were in rare form on the train, each carrying a Poland Springs bottle that was clearly filled with clear alcohol. What ensued was a train car-full of people witnessing these fools in their natural inebriated habitat.

(not the creatures from the train, but the same sub-type)

Perhaps it was a defense mechanism that caused these guys to begin calling things aloud in the car. "Next stop, your mom!" one of them said. Seriously? Or maybe it was their need to display their dominance as a species that made them announce "Grab ya kiddies to go pet some shaaaaks!" at Aquarium Station. 

What caused this hyper-masculinity in American men?

My theory into the evolution of men into this sub-species is that their evolution was aided by straight women. Or more like, today their continued presence is fueled by straight women who find these qualities attractive in a mate. The big question is, how did men evolve from gentlemen of some degree from the turn of the century to distant, leather jacket-wearing men of the mid-century, to the bro dudes of the end of the century and present? Was this evolution of men over the century aided by the projections women put out of the type of men they were attracted to?

Nevertheless, what these bro dudes successfully do is alienate members of our society and perpetuate roles that one must fall into. For one thing, the bro dude perpetuates the role of subservient women. By treating women solely as objects of desire and remarking on the "hotness" of a specific woman, it keeps women in a cyclical role of submissiveness. This can be seen in the genus "platinum blonde bitch" which is the typical creature of mate for the bro dude. 

The bro dude also portrays a mold that all American men must fall into, and while this mold which has existed long before the bro dude walked the earth, the bro dude does nothing to combat it. The bro dude goes to push the idea that men need to be hyper-masculine and that being any other way is "abnormal" (see genus "gay male"). While many cultures uphold roles that men are "supposed" to fit into, such as the breadwinner, the warrior, or patriarch, the bro dude and American society push these roles further. While other species of the bro dude exist in countries around the world, you also find greater acceptance on men who do not fit the bro dude mold. In Europe and many Asian countries, masculinity and "manliness" is not solely measured in how many muscles you have, the uneducated way you speak (words like, "yeah man", "what up", and "-in instead of -ing"), or how many girls you can get with. Furthermore, these cultures produce men who treat women with more respect and admiration, and are not as quick to judge a man who does not fit the bro dude mold as "queer" or different.

Most bro dudes will grow out of this lifestyle choice and become full members of society upon entering their late twenties, but sadly that's not the case of all men. Some bro dudes in the family "asshole" continue to uphold this lifestyle and outlook on masculinity much into their later years. Furthermore, since this classification of man is relatively new to American society, the findings are not extensively conclusive.

Next we'll take a look at the elusive, yet trashy genus "platinum blond bitch."

Friday, July 8, 2011

History in the Making

First, to start: the spot I had removed was not cancer :)

Moving on, today is a historic day in the making. In America, today marked the final space shuttle launch in the history of America's space program. The shuttle Atlantis launched successfully this morning bringing supplies to the Space Station and ending an era of space travel. I'm eager to see what innovations NASA will have in store for the future. Sadly I myself did not get to witness the launch live because I met my friend in town for lunch, although I was streaming NASA TV for much of the pre-launch system checks this morning.


Second, this evening at midnight (East African time) South Sudan officially became the newest member of the world community, gaining its independence from Sudan. While the creation has been nearly six years in the making, it wasn't without bloodshed and turmoil that brought South Sudan into existence. Furthermore, South Sudan has long strides to make, and is hailed as the "least developed country" in the world. South Sudan faces creating a sound Constitution, building infrastructure, and lowering infant mortality rates, while improving clean drinking water, education, and rights for its citizens. The eyes of the world are on you, South Sudan - you can do it :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Media-Starved

Enough about me - I'm tired of talking and harping over my life and the changes sweeping it. Back to the news, world developments, and stories. And no, I will not be discussing Casey Anthony, because until this afternoon I had never even heard of her before, and I don't agree with showcasing her trials and tribulations (literally). It's only a matter of time before our media-starved outlets grab her story, interview the hell out of her, and then turn her story into a grief-stricken Lifetime film.

Instead, I bring you this news article from the BBC explaining how one Indian state is going to extremes to curb population growth. The health officials in this one state are giving out prizes, such as cars, to citizens who sign up to be sterilized. It says that they expect over 20,000 people to sign up and contribute to limiting India's growing population - which is set to surpass China by 2030.

While I think the prize aspect is a bit gaudy, I think it provides a needed incentive for those wishing to (in my eyes) perform a public duty - which is upholding and protecting the future of their state. Population growth is a  pressing issue and seeing that the world as a whole already fails to feed all of the mouths that we have today, I can only imagine how difficult that task will be in the future. Furthermore, it is the duty of nations such as China and India (which together hold about one-fourth of the world's population) to gain control of their populations. China already fails to feed and care for it's 1.6 billion people and Chinese society has been showing a great divide between rich and poor.

On the flip side, I can see that it is a big choice for people to make, to give up producing offspring and someday having a family, but that is not always the dream of every person. And as long as sterilization remains a personal choice, I believe it's a non-issue.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Changing Directions

This Fourth of July weekend has proved to be a very thoughtful time for me. Drinking, eating, and fireworks aside, I was able to discuss and self-reflect on some of my plans for the future. With my abrupt end with Teach for America, I've been faced with determining my career path earlier than planned.

I've figured that I'm not throwing teaching out the window. I've completed half a Master's in Education, and I'm going to see to it that it's carried out to completion at a school here in Boston. A Master's in Education will allow me to continue teaching as a career path while I work to finance my further studies and research on the path to becoming a full-fledged historian/professor. I'll teach while working on my PhD in the coming years, and then hopefully perform research and attain tenure as a professor someday.

The academic/professor lifestyle really attracts me. For one thing, I love writing and performing research, and if I'm able to do that for a living while focusing on topics and research that appeals to me, even better. While the road to a PhD is long, expensive, and trying, and the payout of a historian and professor can often be poor, I believe this is the path I'm destined to take. After working closely senior year of college on my thesis with my favorite professor, I became attracted to the academic career path. She's able to perform research on topics of her choosing, attend and display findings at conferences, and even travel to complete research. Add lecturing and teaching seminar courses at the collegiate level to that, and it seems like a very ideal job in my opinion.


This Teach for America fork in the road is just that: a small hurdle to climb over to moving forward. It in no way ever steered me off my path, and in the end, I'll have more experience to bolster my qualifications.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Week Removed

I've been in Boston now for one week, and I can't stress how much my life has changed for the better in this short period of time. My life went from stress and overbearing "programs/work" to enjoying life, being positive, and enjoying my location. Gone is the stress and uncertainty caused by Teach for America, gone is the boredom and loneliness, grime and disgust of Philadelphia, and gone is the negativity that permeated my life as a Teach for America corps member in a city I did not enjoy.

As I said, it's only been a week but I've already caught up and seen most of my amazing friends, signed for an apartment in the city, and put my feelers out for continuing grad school. I can't stress enough how much happier I am living in Boston (albeit living at home in Boston until August 1st) - a city that seems far more open and cheerful than Philadelphia, a city with a better climate and temperature than Philadelphia, and a city with a class of people far above those who live in Philadelphia. It's amazing to be back on the coast and have the ocean and ocean breeze around me. The air is significantly cleaner, and the beach provides a much needed aesthetic to my life.

I'm swearing off programs forever.