Cultural Relatability and Lack Thereof

guardiansYup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got here. You see, I had a great day at Disneyland and California Adventure last weekend. It was so great that after watching Frozen live, I skipped over to Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout and waited in line for about 20 minutes before I realized that the ride was a free-fall ride and I only had one little ledge to hold on to. I swear, I did not know what to do with my body. I had to endure the repeated free-falling for like five minutes, and I was more in shock that I had not given this ride any more thought!! But it was such a wonderful day and I look back on this and laugh. I am pretty much the only person in this photo who has that look of fear. You can clearly tell it is a happy fear, though. I was a really great weekend. A Disney park is the only place I will happily free-fall. (OMG throwback to Flight of the Banshee).  That’s me repping my UCLA Alumni hat too! It was also a good second type of ID for when I ordered a margarita at the wharf near Pixar Pier. I know a have a baby face, but my brain is definitely not a baby. 

The rest of this blog is the frustrating feelings that came out after I came home from Disneyland and starting looking at my schedule for the fall semester. Yes, I am still in college. But now there is a twist! I am an instructor at my grad school. At the end of this academic year I hope I am getting ready to sign an apartment contract in Los Angeles. I hope I am done living in my hometown. I hope I have some type of Disneyland annual pass, or at least plans to go to a new Disney Park. I hope I have so much more than what I feel is only temporary right now. I hope I move! I hope I give myself more access to fun things than are available right now. 

What I originally wanted was a quick two years in grad school so I could try to find different career aspirations and make my way into something even bigger like a PhD program, law school, or something else. I’m still in grad school and it hasn’t been two years yet, but I am about to start a new job as a teaching associate on Monday. I’m not technically a professor, but to new college freshmen I kind of a professor. I also just realized they might find this. LOL. We’re all out here struggling, what can I say?

I took trips to two Disney parks this summer. I went to Disney World in June and I went to Disneyland this past weekend. When I was at California Adventure, I made it into the first showing of Frozen, sat in the orchestra on the right side, and experienced the magic of fake snow pouring down on me. I watched Prince Hans high-five a baby, and I listened to the family next to me sing “Let It Go” in a different language. I am always in awe of the magic of Disney people and how powerful it is for so many. It still manages to surprise me each and every time I experience something new. The show was so entertaining and I was so impressed. I love musicals, and I have a new appreciation for Frozen as a stage show. I am always so inspired after going to Disney parks. My parents find it a little annoying that it’s always on my mind whenever I feel like getting out of town (I live 4 hours away from Anaheim), but I just see Disneyland and the Disney Parks as places that thoroughly entertain me, and I am willing to pay money to get that experience each time. Which is why I’ve been craving to work for Disney in any way since forever!

millenium falcon
me enjoying my time in the single rider queue at Disneyland

My background is in English and education, and now I am considering applying to Disney English in China, because I think it combines my educational training and cultural interests to a tee. I have to wait through this academic year to apply because I am on track to finish my Master’s in the spring, and I definitely do not want to be uprooted and take five years to finish my degree. I’m so close to being done!

My post grad plans are probably going to be something in education. I would really love to try copy writing, technical writing, or any type of writing besides academic, but 12 hours of my day is dedicated to teaching, so I don’t have much time to change career tracks while I’m in grad school for the next academic year. I just don’t know how to talk myself into writing more publicly.

But here I am!

I would like to go to Disneyland Paris. That is all.

The Frozen original Broadway cast recording is beautiful. I remember being right next to the theater on my way to see Anastasia in New York City. More of my friends are moving to New York City now. Should I move there? I am so deep into comedy podcasts like Las Culturistas and Keep It and Seek Treatment… don’t I fit the bill of a comedy-performing college graduate with an English degree but with a weird sense of direction, a lost millennial clinging to her iPhone, a bag of fries in my hand, and the life experience of Cat Cohen’s “Boys never wanted to kiss me so now I do comedy”? I guess I’ve listened to so many podcasts this summer that I think comedy podcast-listening  is a personality trait. I’ve also never publicly performed something that I thoroughly enjoyed performing. I have a novel’s worth of stories about my teenage years as a mariachi performer, but there is a lot of cultural confusion and anger and exploitation that comes with those stories that I don’t really want to share yet because I feel like it is very different and slightly damaging to what needs to be culturally relevant right now. That is how complicated I feel about my time as a mariachi performer. But I’m currently listening to “Love is an Open Door” so I don’t feel like talking about how I felt like being in a mariachi group was exploitative and inappropriate in my youth.

Post-grad is slightly isolating when you picked grad school in a small town. I feel it in every single way. There’s almost no young people here who aren’t deeply ingrained into rural culture that keeps misogyny, illiteracy, and racism going. I think my hometown is a good place to become inspired to be an educator, because you really get to see how lack of education keeps families in hard situations. Also oppression is everywhere it can fit itself; never forget that.

I think Hannah Horvath also experiences  (NOT REALLY?) this grad school isolation feeling when she goes to grad school in the midwest and sleeps in the bathtub because there is a bat in her rented house. I’m not Hannah Horvath, but we all go through career ups and downs. I know the majority of people dislike Girls but after that one episode where Hannah cuts her own hair, I cut my own hair in college. It was fine. Somehow Girls is really relevant to my career path even though every article is 10 Reasons Why You Should Hate Girls

I feel a little weird about being a “college professor” because I was just in undergrad a little more than 1 year ago. I’m so close in age to the students.

But whatever. I’m more irritated that none of these professors are replying to my email about them being my readers for a Master’s thesis. I understand the department is small but the program I’m in doesn’t outright ban writing a thesis. They just act like no one can do it.

And what’s funny is I know my students are already annoyed with me because Black Board does not have my name, class, or any information. They don’t know the name of their professor. I can’t email them anything either so I might have to make my own copies of the 10 page syllabus. Immediately breaking my paperless class rule. Oh well. You get what you pay for.

On another note, Taylor Swift’s new album Lover was just released. Nothing will top reputation for me, and nothing will make me nostalgic for a false experience like every single song on Red. That being said, I love “London Boy” (obviously), “Cruel Summer,” and all the other songs except “ME!” I do have to say that “It’s Nice to Have A Friend” is so haunting that I almost hate it. It’s so creepy and it’s almost taunting to me in this time of cultural isolation. I say this only semi-jokingly but I feel like culturally I am alienated in my hometown despite having this huge online presence. People think I’m too obsessed with my phone and social media, but it really is my only source of emotional relatability with the world. I don’t know people in my closest circles who are interested in the same things I am. And I think in 2019 I don’t need to compromise for others and put my interests aside so that I can….. wait for it…. STICK TO THE STATUS QUO. I have grown up feeling like no one around me was interested in the same things as me!! It has been a lifelong feeling, and now I’m getting more publicly berated and scolded for not putting aside my “niche” interests so that I can listen to people talk about… what…. the spoons in their kitchen? Their dogs? Their kids? I can’t even have a conversation with people because they say “I don’t know that show” and then nothing can progress because it just becomes me ranting about how great a television show is, when no one is going to make time to watch it. 

I get a creepy feeling that ranting is not good on this blog if it’s not a positive rant. So I will stop there. But. I am trying to figure out how I can exist outside of the cultural boundaries that people set up everywhere without realizing it. I don’t want people to look at me and imagine what the rest of my life looks like. I want to exist in a million places and I want people to know that I’m not one thing

Buy Lover.

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