First week of the spring quarter, and I have almost settled in. I still have one more class that begins next week. I am looking forward to this class because one, it only meets five times in the quarter and two, it is my collaboration class that will incorporate everything I have learned in the department of World Arts and Cultures. I hope that I have some classmates in their that I have met before, it would be a lot more fun that way.
Today, I had two classes: (1) Field-based research methods with Professor Ryan Koons and (2), History of Hip-Hop Dance with Rennie Harris. Both classes run about two hours, and each offers a different insight into art and art making. My first class has to do with ethnography, and the writing of ethnographies. The second, obviously, has to do with history but it deals mostly from an oral history and background of slavery, slang and ebonic culture, and also the perspectives of African-Americans within the African and America diaspora. I would have thought that my second class would be fun and engaging, but it actually is a little boring for me. I imagined us, the class (students), engaging in discussion with each other as well as the professor, but instead we are sitting down quietly as the professor pontificates and rambles on about his experiences as a “touring artist,” and his theories on what he believes hip-hop to be and why it is the way it is. I don’t find it fun. Most of the time I am eating or staring off into open-space. Often times I’ll scan around and check out my classmates apparel, hair styles and fashion. I pay particular attention to the women and the way they take care of themselves, hair, feet and all. I don’t know why it’s important to me that a woman takes care of her feet, her hair and her body, but it does. I admire the body. I believe it to be the most beautiful creation on the planet. It bothers me and makes me cringe when people do not take care of themselves. Here, I am, the hypocrite who tried to killed himself and utterly failed! Still, I admire the woman and her attributes and the eyes, feet and hands are what strikes me the most. It is, what I believe, a work of art.
In my Field-Based Research Methods class, my professor Ryan Koons is quite eccentric and flamboyant. He is a gay man, and quite open about it. He often inserts a comment regarding his husband and his personality or the way in which they live – I find it quite amusing. This class is probably my favorite because it has to do with writing, but in a more meta-physical way. The class is about writing and how we, “ethnographers,” use writing as a tool to describe either a culture, or individuals, or a group of people. One of our first assignments, which is due next Wednesday, is to turn in 10 sites/people, in which we will be writing about. The first idea I had was to write about Oakland Raider fans in Los Angeles, but after realizing the season is over I have decided to do brainstorm other subjects. Another subject could be the Messianic Jews in Los Angeles. I could title it: What does it mean to be Messianic and a Jew? It would be a cross-cultural analysis of religion and culture in practice. Another idea would be to highlight my admiration for blonde women. I could do something like, The Blonde Women and Aspirations at UCLA. The study would focus on blonde women and their educational pursuits. I also like the idea of researching and possibly interviewing students of mixed heritage. It is near and dear to my life, and I would start by unpacking my own understanding of mixed-race individuals and communities. I also like the idea of death and suicide and its aftermath. Where are the people who are struck by suicide, and what are there stories?
After my first class I went to the Veteran’s Resource Office. I like going here because I get to spend time with fellow student veterans. It’s my home away from home. I noticed today how bored I became in between my classes. There is four hours in-between my first and second class. I finally managed to will myself to get to the gym after I debated in my mind whether or not to go. I went and worked on my legs, as well as shoulders. I ran into a cute blonde. Her name is Julia. I also ran into Joshua. He’s a musician. I saw him with this cute girl and they were working out together. I could tell he was into her because he touched her lightly a couple of times and they laughed at each other when she performed the exercise wrong. It’s times like that when I wished I had a girlfriend, but whatever. This is my destiny to be here, now, alone.
Now I return to a place of solitude. A time of peace, where I can zone out, write and listen to my music.