hurricanes, power outages, philosophy and hollywood

The past few days have been a bit rough, given the recent hurricane the destroyed the peace in the country. Afternoon classes were suspended on Tuesday and the hurricane hit the city on Wednesday. I definitely missed the cold weather but having no electricity is a fucking nightmare. I immediately ran out of battery with all my gadgets and I was forced to endure an entire day without electricity and internet. Luckily enough, a shopping center just a bus ride away from my house was open the other day so I decided to pack my laptop, iPad and phone. I honestly looked so desperate just sitting there in the middle of the floor as I charged my laptop at the cinemas. 

Unfortunately, I was faced with the task of working on the abstract and outline for my final intro to philosophy paper. It was supposed to be due on Thursday but that’s actually the day I started working on it. Due to the lack of internet, I was forced to buy books for my topic. I bought Game of Thrones and Philosophy and The Republic. Needless to say, I am currently broke.

Now that the electricity is back on, I’m focused on finishing my outline so I can finally submit to my professor via email. But since I spent the last four hours playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, I would have to submit it tomorrow evening. The reason for my distraction with this game is that I found a cheat to give me infinite K charms and cash which is absolutely fantastic. I am currently a B-list celebrity so hopefully before I fall asleep, I get to be an A-lister!!

Wow okay. I’ve been quite the busy bee this week and that’s going to continue until the next week. Granted, I’m continuously sidetracked by Modern Family but it’s a welcome distraction. I only had one class today so I basically spent the entire afternoon at home. This is ironic since I am nowhere near done studying for a midterm tomorrow. Also, intro to philosophy midterm grades were released a few hours ago and mine is just damn depressing. I scored pretty high on two papers but I didn’t do the bonus one so my midterm grade is a fat zero. Of course, there’s still the fourth essay and the final paper to think about but I pray to almighty divine providence that at the very least, I get a 3.0. Here’s to hoping that I figure out a topic for my final paper which is 25% of my final grade. Hooray.

“I am jealous of those who think more deeply, who write better, who draw better, who look better, who live better, who love better than I.”
— Sylvia Plath (via lesbianymir)

(via acidicmoons)

I always start the day with a pretty motivational vibe and I’d be ready to tackle schoolwork… but then, I get distracted by films or tv shows.

Today’s distraction is Modern Family Season 1.

Every person at this satellite library is either studying or writing notes and there’s me… using a couple of Jean-Paul Sartre books as a pillow.

added responsibility

Today my student org held a welcoming event for the newly accepted junior officers and I’m happy to say that I got into the committee I wanted! I’m currently a junior officer for the human resources committee but I’ve still got the entire term to go through for the training program. I’m pretty happy with my committee because it honestly seems like the most fun and the officers there are pretty weird and hilarious. Basically, what we do is to compile all of the officers’ schedules and determine which ones should be present in different activities and events. We’re also the one in charge of sending text messages to every member of the organization to inform them about the events and whatnot. 

This is an added responsibility and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a bit stressful but fun filled year ahead.

I shall go listen to the whole 5SOS album and then do my philosophy paper. 

"Beat Generation" Informative Speech (Rough transcript) 6/25/14

(I obviously can’t control what happens with this but hopefully, nobody gets this)

Good afternoon, everyone. I’m K. P.  and today, I will be talking about the Beat Generation. Now, one of the recurring stereotypes presented by media today is the so-called “hipster”. Usually, a hipster is characterized as someone who enjoys clothing, music and activities that are obscure or not considered to be mainstream. They are portrayed by media to be heavily interested in alternative culture, independent films, vintage fashion and diet of vegetarian food. But how did this stereotype come to be? Where did the notion of being a hipster come from? Some of you might think that it originated from the hippie movement of the 1970s but it was actually derived from the Beat Generation in the 1950s. In this presentation, I will be talking about the origin of the Beat Generation, its central elements and impact on American culture and society.

To begin with the first point, the Beat Generation was composed of a group of friends who first met at Colombia University in New York. They bonded over their vision to counter their professors’ conservative, conformist and rigid literary ideals. Jack Kerouac, a founding member, used the term “beat” to emphasize their beatific and sympathetic qualities. Kerouac, together with Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, formed the literary movement later known as the Beat Generation.

The first founding member is Allen Ginsberg who was nicknamed to be the “Heart of the Beats”. According to Nathan Carter, Ginsberg had a romantic writing style that featured social commentary and a desperate need for social acceptance, which in fact, is a reference to his sexuality. His most noted work is a poem entitled “Howl” which underwent a heavily publicized trial, to be further discussed later.

Second, Jack Kerouac is characterized to be the most vulnerable Beat writer, being an unfortunate subject to harsh criticism during his literary career. He unwillingly became the de facto spokesperson of the Beats. His most noted work is a novel entitled “On the Road”, which Josh Rahn described in his biographical essay as a, “philosophical travel narrative which blends stream of consciousness, drug vision, and profound observation into a generational statement that resonates to this day.”

The last founding member is William S. Burroughs who is described to be the “embodiment of the spirit of reckless abandon for which the Beat Generation was known for.” In Bill Morgan’s biography entitled “The Typewriter is Holy”, Burroughs continuously struggled with alcohol and several drug addictions. His most noted works are “Naked Lunch” and “Junkie”, both of which are quite interesting to readers for his style, use of language and innovation.

My second point talks about the central elements of the Beat movement. First, we have the rejection of materialism. We have to remember that the Beats lived during WWII and the economic boom that resulted after the war prompted the rampant rise of materialism among Americans. The Beats questioned the growing importance and dependence on material objects. They believed that capitalism was destructive to the human spirit and conflicting with social equality. Second, majority of the Beat writers, like Ginsberg and Burroughs, identified as homosexuals or bisexuals. Their literary works included many references to homosexuality and were typically self-portraits of the writers, which meant they challenged social prejudices against homosexuality. Third, the Beats rallied against the established conservative literary tradition. Beat literature was more straightforward and expressive which stood in stark contrast with the clean formalism of early 20th century Modernists. Lastly, Beat writers experimented with different drugs, such as marijuana, LSD, heroin and peyote, mainly to explore alternate states of consciousness. According to Bill Morgan, the Beats would try to document their experiences with drugs and some of their noted works, like On the Road, Junkie and Naked Lunch, were actually written under the influence of drugs.

Despite being viewed by American society as a bunch of reckless, drug-addled and hedonist delinquents, the Beats did have positive impact on American culture and society. As I mentioned earlier, Ginsberg’s controversial poem entitled “Howl” became the subject of a heavily publicized obscenity trial in 1956 and this actually became a turning point in American literature. The poem featured the underside of America, like drug addicts, prostitutes, robbers, etc., foul language and references to the use of illegal drugs and sexual practices. Ginsberg won the trial and this somehow ensured that literature would be immune to the kind of censorship that hung over other forms of art. As a result of this trial, the scope of literary standards was broadened immensely. The Beats also contributed to the widespread awareness of environmental concerns into the mainstream population. Support for gay liberation was also one of the advocacies the Beats fought for. During their time, homosexuality was considered a mental illness and through the rise in popularity of Beat literature, this helped gay communities shift their label from mentally ill to nonconformists. Ginsberg was the foremost Beat writer who actively participated in several gay rights movements. Finally, the Beats served as the voice of the younger generation that is plagued with the choice of whether or not to conform to society and are on the road to self-discovery. Travelling and other seemingly hedonistic and spontaneous activities became immensely popular among teenagers as they tried to emulate the Beat lifestyle. The Beats promoted the spirit of writing through sympathy, social commentary and vision of freedom.

To summarize, the Beat Generation was truly a unique time in American history, filled with writers that promoted freedom of expression and creativity and rejected conformity to society’s prejudices and materialism. Although the Beats started out mainly as a literary movement, they had a huge influence on American culture and society through their open support for social issues that were once considered taboo and overlooked like gay rights and environmental consciousness. Going back to the “hipster” stereotype, although an off-set of the Beat Generation, it lacks the intellectual backing and resolve that the Beats once had and were known for.

what to say

So much has happened in the past three days that I don’t know where or how to begin. Naturally, it would be logical to begin with Monday. Now, I was called up for my impromptu speech that day but thankfully, it was a substitute professor who was very nice and generous with the grade. I got through my impromptu speech alright and the class was dismissed 15 minutes earl. I spent the next 45 minutes literally fangirling with this substitute professor about Game of Thrones. He’s quite adorable and I just wanted to pinch his cheeks when I casually mentioned I had the complete season four and musical score. After that, I went to have dinner with my friends which was also fun. I just realized that we were a really big group. There were seven of us that night and it’s quite funny to acknowledge the fact that we weren’t really a legitimate “circle” of friends. We mainly hang out because we all commuted and our classes ended at the same time.

Anyway, yesterday was a holiday which I spent fully freaking out over my informative speech. I received an email from my speech professor saying that he approved my topic and outline and that I should be ready to present on Wednesday (today). I found this to be a bit ironic since I submitted my outline at 1 in the morning last week and I only submitted one whereas he clearly stated in his instructions that we were supposed to submit two different outlines. Anyway, I got approved and I spent the whole day yesterday memorizing and making my powerpoint presentation.

My topic is about the Beat Generation which is very dear to me but could be quite boring to my classmates. I was fortunate enough to have my speech in our usual classroom instead of the speech laboratory which was in fact a lecture hall and much more intimidating. Out of the six or seven students that our professor notified about today’s presentation, there were only two of us who showed up in corporate attire, ready to present. Of course, I was forced to go first and all I kept thinking about was that I just wanted to get it over with. Our speech had to be filmed and I tried my best to ignore the camera pointing right at me in the middle of the room. I also got the chance of having a clicker for my presentation which was kinda cool. 

In my point of view, my speech was a bit rushed and messy. Everyone was paying attention, something I was very surprised about since I figured that once I went onto the platform, some would start playing with their phones. I got the opposite treatment and had around 46 pairs of eyes watching my every move. I may have forgotten some words and I stuttered at times but I was able to get through the whole speech without any major embarrassment. 

My seatmates assured me that I came across very enthusiastic and confident. They found it amusing how I was holding a copy of my speech but I never did look at it. I just looked at the projection of my powerpoint and I would immediately pick up on the next point. Another thing that came as a surprise to me was how interested people were in my topic. I guess I got them hooked on the hipster stereotype in my introduction. I definitely heard some positive noises when I reached the topic of homosexuality and experimentation with drugs which was cool. 

Overall, I’m satisfied with my presentation and the fact that I talked about the Beat Generation definitely helped with it. I’m very passionate about them and to be able to share some information with the class was enough for me. 

I’ve got to start on the shit due tomorrow but I will be posting a transcript of my speech on here. (Also, a friend of mine tripped face-first on the floor of the train as we were getting in. It was so funny that I knew I had to include it in here somewhere)

camerondallas:

I need to take my sexual frustration out on someone

(via trust)