Regarding your last post, I think one of the hardest things for me is to be separated from everyone back in Palo Alto, especially my family. I’m powerless to help while I’m on the East Coast.
I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this on your own. There was one girl who committed suicide my freshman year, but since she was a senior, I really had no connection. I can’t imagine what it would be like if it was someone in my class.
However, the world continues to turn, and now I must wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day. I hope you didn’t forget to wear green.
A few days ago, when I was doing the typical introductions with people, I said that I was probably going to study Chemistry, even though I would like to be a writer. They said, “then why don’t you just study English?” And I thought to myself, why don’t I just study English?
I have to admit that I feel a good amount of pressure to study something “relevant.” After all, English is right up there with Philosophy when it comes to the number of jokes people make about the subject.
However, I think a deeper insecurity lies in the fact that I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in the uniqueness of my perspective or my writing. I am a second (and a half) generation Asian American at Harvard, but my ethnicity is probably the least of my identity. I am a Christian, and although that separates me from a lot of modern writing, it places me firmly in the majority in terms of canonical authors. And I don’t feel that have a particular talent for writing. While there are plenty of jobs for mediocre chemists, there are probably fewer jobs for mediocre writers (at least jobs that I would want to take. I don’t want to end up writing tabloid fodder).
After receiving some feedback, I will be putting the chemistry lessons on hiatus, as they seem to be a bit too complex to encapsulate in a blog post. Instead, I will be broadening the educational section of this blog to cover other things that I’ve been learning.
In my freshman seminar on autism, I’ve learned that the DSM, which is the guide to mental disorders, has recently removed a host of disorders, including their symptoms under the heading of autism. Therefore, there isn’t Asperger’s Syndrome anymore. The switch has been a bit contentious, because there is a big difference between people with what was formerly called Asperger’s and those with severe mental disabilities. This change in the definition of autism has accounted for some of the increase in autism diagnoses, but it also makes it more difficult for service providers to determine just what services are needed. Autism was already a broad category before the definition was changed, and broadening it further doesn’t help.
Yes, I know I’m late. I haven’t had wifi for a couple of days so I’m a bit behind. But I suppose now you get to have your revenge. Hit me with your best shot (Dada Dada Dada Da).