Monday, September 10, 2012

A New Chapter

It's hard to believe it was less than a month ago I was still on the other side of the world and only 3 weeks ago that I started the graduate student life, a life that already feels like the norm. New York has been a dream of mine since I first came here with my best friend almost 3 years ago during the holiday season. There was just something about this city that made me literally fall in love with it. The snow, the energy, the holiday spirit, the passion, the languages, and of course, the food. These things all came together to form a city that has inspired so many stories.

Ironically, my life has become quieter since settling down in NYC. I did manage to fit in a ton of fun things before school started such as Shakespeare in the Park, a comedy show, couchsurfing hang out, and some city exploration, but mostly, I do a lot of reading and hanging out with my new best friend, Jack Chen. Jack and I bonded instantly despite my utter repulsion for his kind. I think it was his persistence...or maybe his kind eyes. Since our fateful meeting 3 weeks ago, we spend long hours in Central Park, by the Hudson River, and the occasional city wandering. I've helped him get into shape. Sometimes, he just sits with me as I read on one of the park benches or accompanies me to church. Now I understand they call his kind man's best friend. He's definitely become mine here in the city. <3

Graduate school is also even more amazing than I ever imagined. I can't even begin to explain how incredible it is to be surrounded by so many people who are just as passionate about education as I am. My professors are all leading figures in their respective fields within education, and though I spend countless hours reading, I actually kind of like it. I've even found that my recent interest in programming has come in handy since one of my classes requires some basic programming with regards to data analysis. I can't believe I ever thought I wasn't cut out for the academic world because this is totally my thing to nerd it out. I absolutely love it.

During a meeting on Saturday night, it suddenly dawned on me that I was going to stay. I can't really explain it except that it was a very similar gut reaction I got when I was certain I would choose UCLA as my undergraduate university. Something stopped me and instead, led me to the acceptance letter from Cal. I'm not really sure where I stand with the whole metaphysical and spiritual realm. I'm still deciding whether or not I fully believe in it, but I just know that sitting there I just suddenly knew that I'd be staying here a lot longer than I had planned. Who knows, maybe I won't, but we'll see. Life has never disappointed me when it comes to surprises.

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