2010/01 – Bubble

Once each on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I felt momentary dizziness.  It was the worst on Saturday since I was walking down the street at the time, but it wasn’t severe at all.  It most likely was a result of malnutrition, although I eat the most on Friday nights.  It might have been some general circulatory issue.  A brain tumor is also possible.  On Sunday, I thought again about whether I was prepared to die.
 
 
This week has gone fairly well until today, when the teacher’s helper in Korean bothered me about my non-registrance before class began.  I impatiently told her I had instructor authorization, and that I would go right then to bring her confirmation of it.  Professor Damron, of course, had forgotten our earlier understanding, and her response was laden with assumptions of my actually auditing the class…
 
My Viet teacher too, last night, expressed such an assumption…
 
I slunk back to Korean 102 in another sort of dizziness — that of my convictions.  Suddenly I had begun to feel very unwelcome in those classes, which obviously demolishes my argument in support of my attendance: that the instructors had welcomed me.  I had to think, so I left again and came downstairs, here…
 
I had considered sacrificing one or two of the classes as per policy, but having been attending them, I now feel loathe to give up any of them.  The ones I would choose are not the ones I’m registered in.  I would rather go to Korean and Japanese, and next Viet.  The Mandarin I have started to feel is more crucial for me to be able to communicate better sense to the insane mainland Chinese I may meet.  The Thai is crucial because it’s never really taught here; there’s no demand (it’s only taught now because there’s a study-abroad trip to there in spring).
 
At this point, I’m resentful of this whole school, the whole concept of university, which provides so much to so many but refuses to accommodate my personal desires of subject of study.  It’s an enlightened idea for a degree program.  I’m sure I didn’t invent it.  Someday, they will accommodate students who want to study many languages simultaneously.
 
Not today, though.
 
 
At this point, I just want to drop these silly classes… ….all of them.  I’ll get back the couple hundred spent on them.
 
How much would it be…  Let’s calculate.
 
Well, it turns out I’m only spending 70 dollars to reach the tuition ceiling.  That means…
 
10 credits = 207.50 per credit
14 credits = 153.21
18 credits = 119.17
 
This is how far BYU is willing to go naturally (and, interestingly, they do that much in order to entice students to finish school more quickly; apparently they think they’ve found the maximally profitable balance between academic duration [that is, amount of new students that can be accommodated] and semesterly income; who knows what other factors Church patronship adds).  But they’ve allowed me up to 22 this semester (the 21 they’re normally willing to concede would render 102.14 per credit).  So…
 
22 credits = 97.50
26 credits = 82.50
30 credits = 71.50
 
So, in their minds, of course, they’re saving… 572 dollars for disallowing my 8 credits at that price.  (As I explained before, they’re saving nothing, because my classes aren’t actually "for credit" at all.  And then, I’d be smartly saving myself some few hundred if I were to pack in some for-credit classes for my program.)
 
Anyway, all my extra things are only immediately costing me 70 dollars; that is, if I dropped all my audited classes, I’d only get that much of a refund.  It turns out there’s a sub-ceiling for tuition; that must be fairly new.  9 to 11.5 credits have a ceiling, and 12 and above have a 70-dollar-higher ceiling.  Below 9, they’re all 220 per credit.
 
Well, if it’s only 70 dollars… I don’t want to give up my other classes, I guess.   I still dislike my Thai teacher and now my Korean class.  I’ll drop the Korean one.
 
The Viet?  I would barely have attended anyway.  Maybe it would have been 50% of the time.  I’ll just stop going.
 
 
…Well, it’s 70 dollars; it’s hardly anything.  But I really want to just get that money back and give up these stupid classes.  Japanese creeps along very slowly, but at least it’s practice.  Mandarin I naturally dislike, along with all those silly kids in the class who think they know anything about anything, and the teacher and her aides who think they’re actually teaching Chinese.  (The teacher, at least, I seem to respect: Debra Robins from Taiwan.)
 
I know I’d lose time if I lost the practice…
 
What I would have chosen before is Korean, Japanese, and Thai…
 
I know if I give up one, I’ll want to give up others too…  Once you fracture your constructed mindset of obligation, you know… you want to tear it all down and start over at ground level…  I do, anyway.
 
Well, I’ve noticed I’ve suddenly become concerned about the people I see in those classes instead of the classes themselves… so that’s a deviation…
 
I guess I’ll do what I can to go back mentally to the start of the semester and repeat my earlier rational judgements…
 
 
…Stupid Korean (the teacher’s aide for 202 is the same empty-eyed girl who wouldn’t let me visit her class last semester).  Dishonest, arrogant Mandarin.  Ridiculous, ill represented Thai.  Boring, overstudied Japanese.  Poor, unappreciated Vietnamese.  If I only had the right setting, I could study… all of these silly things on my own.

 
I guess this is all more evidence that I want to learn languages for social reasons…  I only want to interact with those who welcome me.
 

This, anyway, is a stupid school with stupid rules — not the ones reviled from without, but those considered administratively necessary from the inside.
 
If my father opposed the government, the police, then my enemies include this weird, corporate educational scheme of this country and its expression on this campus.
 
I’m not sure if I have a better idea at the moment.  How could you sustain free education?
 
Well, I’m willing enough to teach for free, anyway, as much as I have time (and interested people) for, because it’s a thrilling thing to know something and to explain it to somebody, to chase away the fog from the minds of the uninformed; it’s a spiritual work — it’s god-making.  If I ever get trapped in one of these dirty jobs, I’ll see if I can’t hold community classes on the side.
 
-Steve
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3 Responses to 2010/01 – Bubble

  1. Steve says:

    As I went home, I decided to drop everything and do my little 10 credits of linguistics and get As and have all this free time and plenty of room for the internship. It freed me, in a way, even while deepening my ignorance. Then from that decision, I decided to keep the ones I was already enrolled in and cut the others, which would get me a few more free hours. I thought about quitting Chinese and trading in Korean, but, 1), the Korean aides are all hideous to me now, and 2), I\’d save an extra two hours by dropping it since I also go to the 202 class twice a week. So I settled back on just keeping the ones I have. I found Thai and Japanese so useful today that I felt sure I didn\’t want to throw out this chance to study them.It was a nice week and a half, while it lasted. I felt like a student…—In the library, I met Ndeshi (from LDSBC) and walked with her a while. Then I saw another face… much older than I remembered… In fact, it had a different shape altogether; the angles were all different; and I had to stare hard at it to recognize it at all. It was one I thought I should have known well……I don\’t know what to say. …I guess time can really change people…

  2. Hannah says:

    why can you insist on writing blog entries. i gave up long time ago

  3. Steve says:

    Hmm…1) I like the idea of condensing the complicated web of a person\’s lifetime of decisions into reviewable, traceable form2) I think I\’m personally at a unique and crucial stage in life that I want to be remembered3) I think I\’m important, or at least representative of something important4) History is known by records5) I like being able to argue different views of things in the thoughtful medium of writing6) I want to express and explain certain messages to certain people, whether or not they ever read or receive the messages

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