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.

Sometimes, I feel Crazy.

I must admit, sometimes I feel crazy – like my fanciful ideas about being a professional dancer are insane. I just feel that, in my head, I may have glorified the process and hard work.

Like, if I really start to think about it, the logistics of it all, it seems impossible. There’s the reality that, even if I major in dance in college and manage to scrape up enough money to attend summer intensives, I still have to go out and audition and get a job after I graduate. Let’s face it, in the dance world – that’s not the easiest thing to do.

Maybe I’m just getting down on myself, but everyday I hear something new about how college graduates have an increasing amount of debt and can’t find jobs. It’s been ingrained in my head that, because I chose a somewhat expensive school to go to, I have to get a well paying job that will allow me to pay off my student loans. But all I can think about is dance – and dance is all I want to do. It’s the age old question of whether I should choose a job based on my passion or on money.

I think I could do it. I think I could succeed as a professional dancer. But I also think I don’t fully realize the amount of hard work it will take. Like my studio director said, I am aware of the amount of work it will take in my head, but I’m not really fully aware of it because I haven’t experienced it yet.

But isn’t that the kind of attitude you’re supposed to have, if you want to succeed?? You’re supposed to be a dreamer who believes you can do the impossible. I don’t know. But maybe you’re also supposed to have a dose of realism with that dream, so that way when the going gets tough, you don’t get discouraged.

I think I’m just letting “the critics” get to me (I don’t really have any critics, but just some few non-inspirational things I’ve heard from people around me). Ever since I had that horribly discouraging conversation with my studio director, I’ve been fighting to overcome doubts about myself and my abilities. Plus, my parents haven’t been as encouraging as I would like them to be. Yes, they’ll support me in whatever I choose to do, but they also want me to be “realistic”. They tell me not to worry about money right now, but it’s hard not to when half the things about college that come out of their mouth are about all the debt I will have and how expensive college will be.

I guess only time will tell, but I hate having so many unknowns in my life right now. It’s hard to stay positive when there are so many what-ifs to think and worry about. I know it’s not ever going to be easy, but I wish life just wasn’t so complicated.

Also, I’ll be turning 18 soon, which means I can sign up for paypal. I don’t know how successful this venture will be, but I’m hoping to put a donate button on this blog to help me raise money for college and dance. I feel bad doing it. It feels sleazy begging for money from complete strangers, but I’m hoping people will take pity on me. I guess it’s also a pride thing, asking people to help pay for things because I can’t really pay for them myself is a little embarrassing. I honestly don’t think I’ll make much money asking people to donate, but as my mom always says “every little bit helps.”

Be Great

I just read an article about the talent myth and greatness. It was really inspiring because it basically said you don’t need talent to be great – you need obsessive practice. I find this really inspiring because it confirms what I’ve believed in my head for years (but no one else seems to believe). You don’t need talent to become a great dancer. You need hard work. In fact, even an interview in Pointe magazine with the Royal Ballet’s Johan Kobborg confirms it. They asked “In reaching the top, how much is talent and how much is sweat?” He replied, “For me, it was definitely more determination than talent. I know principals all over the world who are actually not naturally talented, but have worked very hard.”

There. It’s a fact. It’s hard work, not talent, that make a great dancer (or a great anything for that matter).

While with dance certain innate abilities (like natural flexibility) can certainly help make your journey to greatness easier, they are definitely not prerequisites. No one seems to believe me when I spout this idea. When I asked my studio director about having a career in ballet, he told me “You chose dance. Dance did not choose you.”

Excuse my language, but what the fuck?? Hasn’t he ever heard of hard work and determination?? Of course, I understand now that there are other genetic factors that would limit my success in ballet (because let’s face it, ballet is sort of stuck in its ways when it comes to body types), I still felt very offended at that comment. It’s like all my hard work I had put in thus far meant nothing, all because I wasn’t “naturally talented.”

Screw that. I’ve always believed that I was going to be great, in some way, shape, or form. I fully intend to do that, whether I’m “naturally talented” or not.

Anyways, back to the article. The article really inspired me to pursue my dreams with absolute, fierce determination. It also reminded me of how much I would have to sacrifice in order to achieve such an ambitious dream. There’s so many things I want to do and experience in college, there’d have to be a trade off. Dance or a social life?? Dance or being able to afford to treat yourself?? There are so many trade offs. I think it’s worth it – but I’d have to be 100% committed.

Like I said, there are other things besides “talent” that would limit my success in the professional ballet world, namely my non-waif like body type, age, lack of pointe skills, and lack of flexibility. Flexibility and pointe work can be developed, but the others I’m stuck with. Luckily, modern offers me a solution to that problem. And I’m still feeling committed to my desire to do modern in college. Modern dancers tend to have more “normal” bodies and there’s no pointe work involved!! Plus, it seems that modern companies seem to be less strict about the age limit of their dancers.

This is just my grand plan. I waver back and forth because sometimes I think, “Oh I wouldn’t like being a professional dancer” and other times, it’s all I can think about. Like I said, I’d have to commit myself 100% to this dream. It’s still up in the air as with everything right now. I’m in a transition period in my life. I still have to find out if I like modern!!

But yes. This is just my little rant for the night. I just want everyone to know – screw the critics!! If you believe you can do it, with enough hard work and determination, you can!! As Fort Minor said, “It’s 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will. 5% pleasure and 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name!!”

^_^

Accelerated Technique Class

So how bout I got recommended for the advanced technique class on Saturday?? That’s pretty awesome considering you have to be recommended for it. I’m so glad my hard work is paying off.

That means I’ll be taking ballet 5 days a week. Wow. What a busy schedule!! I swear, it seems like I have no free time anymore (not that I’m complaining!!)

But since I got promoted, I’ve also been trying to decide if I should go to juniors class or not (a level above me). It makes me nervous because I’m afraid I’ll make an idiot of myself, but everyone I’ve talked to has been very encouraging about it. I don’t know. I might wait a little longer, or email my studio director with my concerns and ask him what hethinks.

And I’ve been in contact with the lady who will teach me private lessons. My parents only want to pay for one lesson a month – which is fine. I can work with that. But it turns out that this private teacher actually teaches one of my Petite 2 classes, so I already know her.

But yeah….I’m moving up in the world!!
It really sucks that this is my last year here. :/

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.