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FALL 2010 — FALL 2012:
1. lol totally not writing a thesis
2. why would anyone do that to themselves

WINTER BREAK 2012:
1. wait should I write a thesis?
2. no, I’m not capable of writing a hundred pages.
3. why would anyone do that to themselves

SPRING 2013:
1. huh. psych research is pretty cool. that study I did on Spanish-English bilingualism and shame was fun.
2. what else do I want to research?
3. I really like being Arab, so maybe I should do something related to that.
4. OMG PALESTINE
5. I just got back from Aida. this is perfect
6. wait how do I even do a research study on Palestine
7. I should probably make this more specific.
8. what if I included emotions? emotions are cool.
9. based on the seminar on emotions I took last semester, the ones that interest me most are humiliation, pride, and hope.
10. combine that with Palestine and I have a research topic?
11. how do I even do this here
12. maybe I DONT have to do it here??
13. wait…….should I write a thesis?
14. nah I wanna have a social life senior year
15. but……..Palestine
16. maybe I’ll toss the idea around?
17. my professor loves the idea.
18. I’m starting to warm up to it myself.
19. omg there’s a grant for students writing theses on diasporas and transnationalism
20. THATS EXACTLY WHAT MY THESIS WOULD BE ON
21. shit how do I write a grant proposal again?
22. oh, right. words.
23. *fingers crossed*
24. (much back and forth)
25. I GOT THE GRANT!!!!!!
26. I guess I’m writing a thesis.
27. cool! cool cool cool.

SUMMER 2013:
1. specifics. interviewing Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Lebanon on the emotions humiliation, pride, and hope. what could go wrong?
2. time to get plane tickets with my grant money!
3. BOOKED. roundabout flight map traveling to two different airports in Cyprus but worth it.
4. I’m so excited to go back to Palestine!
5. wait. I can’t cross the Cyprus border to get from one airport to another?
6. it’s ILLEGAL???
7. why did no one tell me this??
8. wtf north Cyprus isn’t even a COUNTRY???
9. thank god I got insurance
10. it’s not COVERED?????
11. fuck.
12. time for plan B.
13. Palestine for 2 weeks at the beginning of August, 2 weeks in Lebanon afterwards. solid.
14. I *guess* I should just enjoy summer until then
15. *enjoys summer*
16. time to go to Palestine!!! I even packed my bags efficiently.
17. damn, middle seat.
18. hi JFK airport! hi queen Alia airport! hi Ben gurion airport! I can’t wait to be at Aida in time for Iftar!
19. I have to be interrogated? okay, but I have someone waiting for me
20. what do you mean I’ve been denied entry?
21. *sobs uncontrollably*
22. okay cool yeah search in my underwear while I’m crying
23. when can I sleep? maybe they’ll take me to a hotel.
24. why am I getting into this sketchy van? at least it’s light out.
25. wtf where am I? is this a jail? there are bars on the windows and barbed wire fences everywhere.
26. I can’t take my toothbrush with me? cool
27. thank god for teddy bears.
28. oh okay np it’s chill if you push me into a room that smells like urine and smoke
29. maybe now I can sleep
30. nvm the mattresses are made of duct tape and smell like pee
31. oh. I have roommates.
32. shit I need to take my medicine. they told me to go to the office when I needed them.
33. oh. there’s no door handle. lovely.
34. well, my fists hurt from banging so much and all I’ve gotten is the middle finger from the guard so I might as well try to sleep.
35. *sleeps, somehow*
36. the door is opening. it’s a guy. I’m in my underwear. fuck.
37. hold on guy lemme put my clothes on
38. alright yeah that’s cool if you ogle me while holding your crotch
39. oh I guess it’s outside time. sunlight! maybe I can forget I’m here for a little while.
40. lol jk I guess it’s just an outside jail, considering it’s a concrete park with a chain-link dome over it.
41. I guess the 10 minutes of outside time are up. back to the room!
42. sweet, I’m banned from Israel. which means I’m banned from Palestine.
43. aight say hi to my great-gram for me; she’s buried in Haifa
44. oh how kind of you to escort me to my plane seat.
45. I can’t get my passport back until I pay for my deportation flight back? seems fair.
46. thank god for family friends in Jordan.
47. and thank god for shisha.
48. *inhales deeply*
49. good ol’ USA. I missed ya.
50. no point in griping. I’ve still got research to collect in Lebanon!
51. good ol’ Lebanon. where the customs officer knew and idolized my grandfather and proceeded to tell me “welcome home.”
52. I like feeling welcome. it’s a lot better then being deported.
53. oh geez, I’m audio recording this interview literally in the street of this refugee camp. I’ve already had 3 near-death experiences with motorcycles.
54. *more interviews occur*
55. *rides around in bulletproof car*
56. back in the states…and only 3 more days til move-in?!?
57. bye Winchester!

FALL 2013:
1. hi, Wesleyan.
2. holy shit I’m a senior.
3. ahh I’ve still got 9 months!
4. eh I’m busy this semester. I’m not taking classes next semester so I’ll leave the brunt of my thesis for the spring. 2014 carina can deal with it.

SPRING 2014:
1. FUCK YOU 2013 CARINA
2. alright how do I thesis
3. I’m so tired. maybe I’ll take a quick nap.
4. *7 hours later*
5. hmm. I’m still tired. oh well, it’s not like I have class tomorrow.
6. *repeats until after spring break with some instances of work*
7. wait. thesis is due in 3 weeks?
8. GODDAMMIT CARINA
9. okay. I can do this. I just need a stress-free weekend.
10. *has extremely stressful weekend*
11. all I want to do is take a bottle of whiskey/wine to my face
12. BUT I CANT BECAUSE IM ON ANTIBIOTICS
13. focus, carina. you have to get this draft in.
14. this isn’t so much a draft as it is detailed bullet points, but the idea is still the same, right?
15. I guess I’ll find out at my advisor meeting on Thursday.
16. *has meltdown in front of advisor*
17. I NEED WHISKEY
18. I just need to go to the library and stay there until I get a good amount of work done.
19. wow, I was actually kind of productive today! 43 pages!
20. maybe a full draft by Tuesday IS doable. I just have to keep up this pace.
21. *sleeps all day saturday*
22. I’m so ashamed.
23. # of days since last thesis meltdown: 0
24. WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF
25. why can’t I go out tonight? because thesis.
26. alright, I’ve earned a break. time to watch some community.
27. Joel McHale’s upper body is god’s gift to mankind.
28. I wish I could stroke it.
29. okay I guess I should get back to work.
30. oh but the next episode already started…it would be rude to shut it off.
31. dammit hulu
32. I think I’ll just go to bed now and wake up early to be productive and do work.
33. I’ll multi-task! I’ll write this blog post while I try going to sleep.
34. wow, thesising is a lot of steps.
35. I am falling asleep.
36. yhsnk uku dir resding

Georgia on my Mind

Aaaaaaannnnnddddd we’re back. First Monday back and we have almost made it through. It is certainly a tricky transition from the long days of sleep and general laziness to the jam-packed craziness that is life at Wes. Yet despite the return to the Connecticut cold, it is beginning to feel like Wesleyan spring. It is pretty wild that we only have a few weeks left ahead of us…but plenty of time to dwell on that later.

Game Time

Game Time

Rewind to spring break. First off, this was probably one of the most needed breaks that I have ever experienced at Wes. The first half of this semester was tremendously hectic, and some time of rest and relaxation was absolutely necessary. However, before getting my week of R&R at home in Amherst, I went down to Georgia with my Ultimate Frisbee team (Yes, try to contain your shock, I play Ultimate Frisbee. Sometimes I even run and catch the disc. I know. Hard to believe. But it’s true). Growing up in Amherst, MA where Ultimate Frisbee is very competitive and generally a huge deal, I never had anything to do with it. However, I joined the co-ed team Throw Culture my freshman year, and have had a blast ever since.

Sorta playing...

Sorta playing…

Every spring break, we drive down to Georgia for a huge tournament called High Tide. The drive is about 17 hours, and each car completes an elaborate scavenger hunt, makes the necessary stop at a Waffle House, and other road trip-esque adventures. Thousands of students head down for this tournament, and we enjoy a week of Frisbee, sun, beach, food, etc. Our team rents a house on Sea Island, a beautiful gated community that for some reason allows a bunch of Wesleyan college kids to enter for the week. Our house is fixed with its own pool and private beach….it’s fabulous. The stories from the week are endless and silly, and honestly not even worth going into detail. Sorry…you kind of had to be there!

Here are some pictures, though:

Roommates go to Georgia!

Roommates go to Georgia!

Spring Break Week #2 was much lower key. I spent the week at home with my parents, brothers, and dog. I also had various interviews for summer internships and jobs (blazers and pencil skirts…the whole nine yards!). All in all a lovely break!

That’s it for now. No deep or personal reflections for tonight…I’m still in that vacation state of mind.

Until next time!

Two weeks seems like an extended break, but when you break (hah) the time down it really isn’t. Especially if one or both of those weeks are spent on vacation, in one sense or another, so you’ve only got so much or no time to “get shit done”. Which is why I am making perhaps a bit too optimistic a list to keep it all straight, but here goes nothing:

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Flan is delicious.

But that’s not what this is about.

(Unfortunately.)

I know. I know, friends. It’s time to talk about that thing which gives college students anxiety and is eerily similar to applying to college all over again — SUMMER INTERNSHIPS!!!

x

 

There is no real reason why a dog with a party hat and a tennis ball is in this post. Think of it as a happy mood stabilizer to counteract all the rejection letters and feelings of inadequacy that wash over you like caffeine rushes during Finals Week.

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I’m not sure if I’m still acclimating to life back at Wes, or if from now on I will just have this forever-condition of not really clicking back in. I still feel weird about it. Perhaps since I took a semester to be in the real world (well, relatively, because being in Japan for study abroad isn’t exactly “real”) I popped the Wesleyan bubble for myself and now cognize the fact that there is indeed a much larger world out there that I kind of want to really be a part of, too. I mean, I need to get working on my farm ASAP, so I have sufficient time to screw up and actually figure it out by the time I pass it onto my loved ones.

Either I’m bad at Search Terms, but it’s way harder than it should be to find a picture of a little’un on a farm. Seriously. At least soon(ish) I’ll have my own stockpile of my own babies on my farm.

 

 

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PUPPIES! And stuff

Firstly, this is pretty hysterical

Hormones of Wes

If you’re looking for some good, Wesleyan humor, this is exemplary.

So mostly this posit is going to be about puppies, one in particular. I did do other stuff. Like go to sign house last and play with Kate and Daniel. And all the roomies. But most of my life right now= puppy.

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Eric decided to impress all my guy friends by jumping off the porch onto his back and making snow angels…. Which got my friend Jack to do it as well (less gracefully). It was moderately entertaining.

 

 

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Then, I can’t remember which weekend this was, but I took countless shameless selfies at Kate and Daniel’s. I think mostly because Daniel also had out his camera and was taking some candids/ model pics (?…)

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<3<3<3<3

IMG_8412 Then Daniel and Kate both rocked the jean jacket over the rain jacket look.

BUT BESIDES THAT! PUPPY TIME! GUESS WHO GOT ONE…..

?

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I believe that I have complained about this in a previous post, but sorting out a summer that promises to be fun, beneficial, educational, and possibly even lucrative (but let’s be real, probably not) is extremely difficult. As the month of February draws to a close, and all of those March 1st deadlines are right around the corner,  I realize that I have dedicated an absurd amount of time and mental energy towards summer internships and job applications. A few weeks ago, I was being interviewed for one of these summer gigs when I was jokingly asked if I had “the sophomore condition” because of everything listed on my resume. I’ve heard many things about sophomore year, and the phrase “sophomore slump” definitely gets thrown around, but I had never heard this time of my life be referred to as a condition! Though it struck me as odd, I filed the thought away and continued on living my Wesleyan life of all-consuming homework, dance, J Street, internship applications, work, yada yada yada.

In many ways, I reject the idea of a sophomore slump because by-and-large I am tremendously happy to be where I am. That being said, sophomore year spurred many changes in how I feel about  Wesleyan and other commitments in my life. Basically, this year amped up the intensity level to a profound new level. Without the safety net of a being a first year student and having endless time ahead of me to explore and grow as a student and human, I realized that I had to focus my ambitions a bit more explicitly. Academically, this was manifested by the declaration of a major (Government and Certificates of Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations woohoo!). In my extracurricular life, I was suddenly finding myself in leadership positions that I had not necessarily expected. I have always struggled to self-monitor how many commitments I claim in my life, and have generally worked under the illusion that if 24 hours in a day did not give me enough time,  I would simply add a 25th! Fun fact about that method: it doesn’t work. As I felt myself swimming in the newfound intensities of my academic, social, and extracurricular commitments I suddenly feared that I was suffering from a “sophomore slump” because I didn’t feel enthusiastic and peppy 100% of the time. I want to stress that I am extremely passionate about the commitments I have made this year. From tour guiding, to dance, to J Street, I have voluntarily dedicated my time and efforts to hold a meaningful place in each community. However, as midterm exams come out of nowhere, I feel tremendous pressure and a cloud of doubt that I can possibly complete all that needs to be done. It is under this shadow of pressure that I remember the notion of a “sophomore condition.” I am not in a slump, because no matter how worn out or exhausted I may feel in the moment I am confident that I love Wesleyan and all of the projects to which I am committed. However, I am facing a new phase in my life where I must balance certain anxieties of the real world (jobs, internships, THE FUTURE) with passions in the moment at a level of elevated responsibility and leadership. Perhaps I am only speaking for myself when I say that this is a “condition” to which I must adapt.

 

 

Summer at Wesleyan

First of all, I had zero interest in staying over the summer until a last-minute decision at the end of my sophomore year when the opportunity arose and I kind of just said that I’d do it. I didn’t really know anyone well that was staying, and with a significantly reduced population on campus (mind you, the people of Wesleyan make Wesleyan what it is to me), it would just be a sad shell much like any other university grounds. But almost immediately, I was proven drastically otherwise.

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What is a thesis, exactly? 

Dictionary.com defines it as follows:

[thee-sis] noun, plural the·ses

“A dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.”

I’m afraid I must disagree.

You see, the acclaimed, award-winning website CarinaIsAmazing.com provides this definition:

[thee-sis] noun, plural the·ses

“A life-draining force that consumes one’s soul slowly but painfully, akin to the massive parasite Lavos in the incredible game Chrono Trigger.”

I think this definition is far more accurate. Any definition that includes a Chrono Trigger comparison deserves a Nobel Prize of some sort. If you disagree, then you must have either never written a thesis or played Chrono Trigger. Or both. In which case, you should definitely do the latter so that we can start/continue to be friends.

In all actuality though, thesising is rough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’m doing it, but there’s just SO much to do!!! There’s a ton of prep work you have to do before you actually start writing. My advisor wants a first draft by the end of February, too! I’m feeling pretty hopeless…I need to start thinking more like The Little Engine That Could (it’s a movie now???!?!?!).

That aside, life has been mainly good. Lots of ups and downs, but overall satisfactory. Last week, my parents and I peaced out to Colombia for 8 days to visit my cousin and have a work retreat, which was lovely. We were in Bogotá for 3 nights and Cartagena for 5. They were both great! I had no idea how big Bogotá was…it has 8 million people! It’s super high up too–2600 m. Because of this, it alternates between being warm and fairly chilly. But it was still a welcome change from the snow back home.

Cartagena, on the other hand, was hot hot hot! It was great to do work outside (in the shade, of course…I’m not exactly the picture of a sun child) and get a nice ocean breeze. I was surprisingly very productive, despite the beautiful weather and the many daiquiris I ingested. The food was great–my parents and I went to a new restaurant every night. The trip was very helpful for my Spanish as well! All it took was one day and I got right back into the swing of things.

The BEST part, though, was seeing my cousin Cristina (aka Keeks)!! We hadn’t seen her in forever! It was so great to catch up and spend the day with her. Plus, don’t we all look alike?

(L-R) Mama, Me, Keeks

I think we do.

On the second night we were in Bogotá, Keeks took us to this crazy place called Andrés DC. It’s several stories high and it’s a combination restaurant/bar/club. The food and drinks were delicious, but the entertainment was kind of weird. Still, look how pretty this cocktail is!!

I drank a drink that could’ve housed a miniature mermaid. I am sorry.

Unfortunately, on Valentine’s Day, the day before we left, my essentials were stolen. Phone, credit card, ID, the works. Luckily, my passport wasn’t one of them!!! It’s still a hassle though. I was on the phone with 6 different companies canceling cards!! I had to use my passport as my ID, and I look very sad in it.

I got a new phone on Monday though and only had to pay taxes!! Thanks AT&T. I got an iPad mini too (taxes only!) but my dad took it -__- He already has an iPad!!! I bet you he still hasn’t even opened it.

All in all, in the grand scheme of things, all those things are replaceable. The one thing I was worried about was that I hadn’t backed up my phone recently and I was terrified that I had lost all my Kandourisms (my dad’s nickname is Kandour…this will make sense shortly). You see, my father is the most unintentionally hilarious person I know. He says things that he thinks make sense, but in actuality…they don’t. At all. So, for the last 4 years, I’ve been writing them all down. They always cheer me up (and my mom!) during sad times. The idioms he gets slightly wrong provide us with endless entertainment and make our already enormous love for him grow even more (Example: he will say, “Fill me up!” instead of “Fill me in!”).

Thankfully, iCloud exists, and it had backed everything up already!!! I was SO happy. After canceling the credit cards, losing my Kandourisms was really my main concern. It even made up for Saturday night! We arrived back during the snowstorm, wearing the warmest things we had brought with us to Colombia. For me, it was my mom’s sweater and heeled booties. Suffice to say, it was not enough. Our house is only accessible via a large hill (and then another hill) that is quite difficult to ascend in a snowstorm sans snow tires. And of course, the taxi did not have snow tires. So, halfway up the hill, my dad decided that we should just get out and walk the rest of the way. With our suitcases. Without gloves. In the blizzard.

It was not fun.

But we made it back safe[ly] and sound[ly]. And now, I’m afraid I must get back to toiling away over my thesis. I shall, however, leave you with an amazing YouTube video that you should watch immediately.

Smooth McGroove is an amazing musician who does a cappella renditions of video game songs!! I’ve always wanted to form a group like that on campus, but I haven’t had the time (or the skills….). Anyway, he is worth checking out a thousand times (and then some). This is one of my favorites: The Dark World Theme from A Link To The Past (one of my favorite games). It’s flawless. I love it. Listen to all of them.

With that, I’m out!

Until next time,

Carina (+thesis)

My BFF Ema is going to YALE for grad school!!! So proud of her <3

Mom Time

Happy Monday everyone. It’s definitely gearing up to be one of those weeks where Monday feels like it should be Friday so you get to Wednesday and start asking yourself how it is possible that it’s not the weekend already! It was especially bad this morning when I reevaluated the homework situation from this weekend and realized that a whole load of NOTHING had been done. Naturally, I should be spending these lovely two hours of free time writing an essay comparing Zionist and Arab nationalism, but let’s be real…blog post and gym it is!

This weekend I procrastinated in the single best way I know how: I invited my mom out for a visit. Being from Amherst, MA (about an hour away), I chose to come to Wesleyan with the concern that I was too close to home and that my parents would visit wayyyyy to often. I guess this was a bit self-absorbed considering that I have two little brothers and my parents probably have their own lives, too. Regardless, this was so not the case, and my parents have actually never come unannounced or simply to drop in. Nonetheless, throughout freshman year I never once felt homesick or as if I wanted my parents to come hang out for the day. I have always been a fairly independent person, and the transition from high school to college never felt particularly jarring. However, as a sophomore, I learned one very important fact:

 

Parents visiting = FREE FOOD!!!

 

But much more importantly, it hit me this summer as I was living without my family in Tel Aviv that it’s possible for me to both miss my parents AND be entirely happy with my independence. This may sound obvious, but I am realizing that it was something of a process for me to reach this point. Recently, I have been tremendously overwhelmed. Second semester hit like a hurricane from Day 1, and I feel as though I have been running a marathon of academics, work, and extracurricular activities ever since. It was so lovely to have my mom come for the afternoon. First, she sat in on my dance rehearsal (and was grooving to the music and tried to start videotaping. All in all pretty embarrassing…). Afterwards, we went to Brew Bakers to chat. Sometimes, all you need is a good long talk with Mom (actually, I call her Ima because she is Israeli). I hadn’t even realized I missed her so much until she arrived! Maybe homework had to be put on the backburner, but having this time with Ima was exactly what I needed.

 

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First day of freshman year (woohoo Butts!)

So everyone, call your mothers! And have a great week:)

 

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