College = Insanity

Since coming back to school after Christmas break, things have been insane!! I’m in love with all of my classes (except one) but the amount of work I have to do has significantly increased.

I have so much reading to do. I have 2 linguistics classes this quarter, and they both assign about a chapter a week to read. Add on top of that my French culture class (which I’m not taking voluntarily) that has even more reading every week, and it seems like the work never ends. I already have a 2 page paper to write for my French class on the reading we did this past week (which includes a 260 page book and about 26 pages worth of independent articles).

Not to mention, I also have a quiz on IPA (international phonetics alphabet) on Wednesday which is a very scary thing for me. In this linguistics class, the majority of the people there are linguistics majors, but this is my first exposure to actual linguistics – and IPA, is confusing. But I suppose I’ll survive. I just was not prepared for this much work this soon into winter quarter.

Things aren’t all bad though. My boyfriend moved on campus this quarter instead of commuting which makes spending time together a lot easier – which is convenient because we have 2 classes together and LOTS of homework.

I’ve also been thinking about what I want to do with my degree after I graduate. I know I’m only a freshman and graduation is really far off, but I feel like not having some sort of plan is impeding my selection of classes somewhat. For example, I want to learn another language other than Turkish, but not knowing what I want to do after graduation makes the selection of that second language more difficult.

After thinking about it a bit, right now I think I’m leaning towards being a translator after graduation. It seems like a good occupation for me. I enjoy writing and proofreading/editing and I enjoy languages. Plus, I am very good at working alone (in fact I prefer it). So it seems like translating is a good fit for me, I just don’t know where to get started with it – like what kind of courses would be a good idea to take. OSU has a professional writing minor….but I don’t know how helpful that would be.

In terms of a second (technically third language), my boyfriend has suggested learning Uzbek, because it is the only other Turkic language OSU offers, and apparently Uzbekistan is another up-and-comer like Turkey. Plus the nice thing about focusing on Turkic languages is that they are all very similar, some are even mutually intelligible (“speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort”). So by learning Turkish and Uzbek, I would be able to understand basically all the other Turkic languages, and in turn have lots of opportunities for jobs – hopefully. ^_^

One other question I have though, is if I become serious about this translating thing…does my current major really help me with that?? Right now I’m an international studies major with a concentration in the Middle East. I just don’t know how relevant that is to being a translator. I mean, it could be very helpful. A major like that could open many doors to job opportunities (though not necessarily in translating). I just don’t know. I am just a freshman, so I have a while to think about it.

So that’s where I’m at right now, super busy and contemplating my future. :P Obviously I want to master Turkish a little more before attempting another language but yeah, those are just thoughts running through my head right now. Yay college.

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Forecasting the Future

I started thinking about the modern dance class I will be taking this fall, and that inevitably led to me thinking about majoring in dance and trying to be a professional dancer.

As sad as it sounds, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no future for me in professional dance. And here are my reasons why:

1.) The economy.
Even the best dancers don’t make a lot of money compared to other jobs. As superficial as it sounds – I need money. I already can barely afford to go where I’m going to college. I need to be able to get a good job after college so I can pay off my student loans. And the job market for dancers is slim.

2.) The stigma.
I’m just not sure I want to have to deal with fighting off the stigma associated with being a “late starter.” Even in a much more accepting genre of dance like modern, I’m not sure I want to have to fight every day to say “I can do this.” There’s a lot of job instability in dance, and I don’t want to have to worry about auditioning for new companies. Not to mention having to worry about your body and constantly be under scrutiny for your weight and appearance.

3.) Other Interests
While I passionately love dance, I still have other interests. And unfortunately, they conflict. I like international affairs, I want to travel. I want to learn foreign languages. Having a career in dance would conflict with several of these interests. Dance is a sacrifice, but I’m not sure if it’s a sacrifice I’m really willing to make.

4.) Other Limiting Factors
As much as I hate to admit this, I will probably never be as flexible as a professional dancer. I know anything is possible, but I’m just not a naturally flexible person. And in my mind at least, no one wants to hire an inflexible dancer. And don’t forget my obvious lack of technical practice. Again, anything’s possible. I could get my technique strong enough in 4 years, but you’re talking a lot of man hours. Again, it goes back to that sacrifice thing I’m not sure I really want to make. I want to have a life in college, not spend every waking moment in the dance studio trying to improve.

So I know that list was depressing, but it’s just me trying to sift through the facts and realities of being a professional dancer. But don’t think this is me swearing off dancing. Oh no!! Never!! I will continue to dance, as passionately and enthusiastically as I always have. But I’ll do it instead without the pressure of being a professional.

Yes I’ll attend dance performances, and let the professionals do the work for me. I’ll take dance classes in as many genres as I want. Maybe my opinion will change in the future, and I’ll decide all those cons I just listed aren’t reason enough not to go for it. But right now, that’s where I am.

I love dance.
I always will.
It’s just now I’ve decided to enjoy it as an amateur.

Positivity

So…I’ve been being pretty negative recently and I had a realization just now when I got an email from Rhonda Byrne, the author of the Secret.

I don’t know if you know anything about the law of attraction or if you read my other posts about it but…that’s what the Secret is all about. And I don’t care if you think I’m crazy, but I believe in it.

Anyways, the email said that the more you worry about how you’ll accomplish your dream, the more you push it away. It communicates to the universe that you don’t really believe it can be done. And I feel that’s what’s been happening to me.

I mean, I basically had an emotional break down last week worrying about my future and if I could ever, ever be a professional dancer.

So basically, my revelation is this: stop worrying!! If dance is meant to be, it’ll happen on my own. Right now I just need to focus on school and not worry about the future. I’ll be a better person for it.

But this is my realization, and I’m going to try my hardest to put it in to practice. Hopefully I’ll get my affirmations done here and start saying those religiously again. They really help. :)

I’m Still Heartbroken

I still want to be a professional dancer.

I know I said I was okay with it. That I had decided being a professional was not for me. But I was lying to myself.

I still want to dance professionally so badly.
But it just seems impossible.

I know what I’m capable of, I believe I can do it. But who will teach me?? No one in their right mind would want me, or accept me into their program.

I’m already dancing 5 days a week but I don’t feel like I’m getting any better. We don’t have the money or the time for private lessons.

It just seems so unfair.

I’m tired of everybody telling me that I can’t do it, that its impossible – but I just want to dance!! It breaks my heart to think of not doing it, but there seems to be no other option.

I hate myself for not starting earlier. I wish I could go back in time and start as a kid.

I feel like no one sees my true potential but me.

I feel like with proper training, in 4 years, I could be ready for a professional career…but all the good schools are too far away and too expensive…and we make too much money for scholarships.

I just don’t understand it. Not at all.

I don’t think anyone understands how much this means to me, or how much it hurts.

It breaks my heart.

I’m glad that’s Over??

So I had my meeting with my director today to discuss everything. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I feel like that wasn’t it.

I feel more encouraged about taking more classes this year, but as far as everything else goes…I don’t know.

I mean for starters, he said he didn’t see any natural talent in me. Part of me feels like, well how can you tell when I’m only dancing twice a week and doing easy stuff?? Like, I feel like I have potential to be talented, but I haven’t been challenged enough so far to see if anything’s there. But I don’t know. Maybe he’s right. He’s been a dancer for quite a long time. I suppose he’d recognize talent. He says, right now “I have chosen dance, dance has not chosen me.”

As for a career and all that, I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not?? It all just depends. He says I don’t have a ballet body, which is fine. Seriously, how many people do?? That doesn’t really bother me. But I want to get into a pre-professional program. And I feel like if I work hard enough this year, I can. He’s supposed to give me the contact information for a private teacher. Maybe I’ll be able to show him that I really can do this.

I don’t know. I feel like his prognosis was probably a little grim. I feel like he didn’t answer everything…even though I don’t know what’s left to ask.

Blah.

I guess I’m just feeling a little confused right now. Like, if I don’t pursue dance, what else is there for me to do?? There’s nothing I’m interested in. I’m open to trying other kinds of dance, like maybe trying to get into a modern company. I guess it’s just a waiting game, a work hard and wait game.

I’m just half and half right now. Half of me feels like I’m better off going to college and getting a normal degree in a field where you can actually make money. And the other part of me just wants to dance. It’s very conflicting. I feel like I could be good enough to get into a local company that’s not as picky, where I would still get paid.

I don’t know what I want anymore.

Dancer Appreciation Pool Party

So today was the last day of summer intensives and to celebrate, we had a dancer appreciation pool party.

It was fun for the most part but I found myself getting bored to the end because I don’t have that many friends. Still, it was nice to go swimming and [attempt to] be social.

I met a girl there who is in the same situation as me. It was great to know that she struggles with some of the same stuff I do – like making friends (its hard to make friends when everybody has grown up with each other). She actually recommended a private teacher to me. Stupid me, but I think I may have forgotten the name!! But, it’s no big deal. I can always ask again.

But that’s really exciting news for me, this lady appears to be pretty cheap. I really think I need private lessons if I hope to achieve what I want this year.

In other news, I need to email my studio director about meeting with him but I just can’t figure out what to write. I don’t know how to word it or how long it should be. I don’t want to spill my guts in the email but I don’t want it to be too short either. I’m going to work on it tonight.

Also, I’m going up to Columbia this weekend to buy new pointe shoes. I’m so excited. I really think getting better pointe shoes will help make pointe easier and less painful. I’m hoping to do a lot of classes on pointe this year – since the Joffrey really emphasizes strong pointe work.

But yeah. I’m really tired right now. And sad that summer intensive is over – because that means the clock is ticking down – which scares me a little bit. But we’ll see how it goes. The future is only scary if you make it that way. :)

first day back and already feeling like this??

I don’t know why but today I am just feeling really depressed about ballet. I don’t know if it’s because its my first day back after a week break or the looming reality of all this, but my dream is feeling unattainable and impossible.

I know that’s not true. But I guess, suddenly, I’m realizing how much work it will take for me to achieve my dream. I feel like I need private lessons. Group classes do not address my needs properly.

I don’t know. I have to figure out when I’m going to talk to my studio director and go from there. I’m sure he will have plenty of advice. I’m just afraid that when I talk to him, he’s going to shut me down and tell me its impossible. That would kill me.

I know I can do this. I just need some help from other people. Obviously, I can’t teach myself well enough. And I need to have a more intense schedule. Only dancing twice a week won’t cut it.

The main thing I’m nervous about is pointe. I don’t understand why it seems to be so hard for me, and then for others, it’s as natural as walking. We’re supposed to be going to Columbia this weekend to get new pointe shoes, so maybe that will help.

Blah. Don’t you just hate the unknowns in life??
But right now I need to try my hardest to keep a positive attitude. There’s nothing more crippling than a defeatist attitude.

But I’ll just have to see what this year brings.

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