Life updates and winter quarter reflections

I’ve been studying for phonology ALL DAY and I’m super done so I’m just gonna take a break and write a few life updates. I haven’t been writing on here at all this quarter, which is my bad but also it’s been such a crazy 10 weeks eep

Highlights of the quarter

  • Taiwanese Culture Society’s night market!
  • Went on a dorm trip to visit Delancey Street, which is this rehabilitational alternative for substance abusers and convicted criminals that gives them vocational training. Really really cool place, been thinking a lot about punitive justice systems and punitive justice in general.
  • LTS dance set was a really really amazing experience and it was wonderful to try and use dance in a political and meaningful way
  • Body paint party at Phi Psi and dancing my feet off all night
  • Been doing a lot more deep talks with friends and more intentional socializing
  • This quarter I’ve started conducting linguistic fieldwork with one of my professors and that’s been a blast! My professor is studying the way immigrant children labeled as English Language Learners interact with science curriculum and the specific language we use in science and science instruction. 5th graders treat me like an old person and it’s really weird lol
  • I got into this class called Dance in Prison for next quarter and I am so PUMPED! We’ll be teaching hip hop dance to youth in the San Mateo Juvenile Detention center and the class is taught by a lawyer and a dance professor and it’s gonna be amazing.
  • Won the Lunsford Award for my research presentation on heritage language loss in East Asian American youth which felt really good because I had been having a lot of doubts about my ability to work with language and needed some needy-person-validation
  • Almost died in my me-and-15-PhD-students-seminar, but I’m really really proud of my final project and I have been SLAVING over this paper for the past two weeks so look out for that, will share soon. I wrote a mini-ethnography on the construction of identity for Asian American urban dancers
  • I will be in Berkeley this summer working at a nonprofit publishing house! Really lovely combination of all of my favorite things, plus I can dance in Berkeley! Yes!!
  • Met with the pre-law advisor for the first time! She’s really cool, but now I just feel super behind in prepping for law school. She also suggested taking a gap year before law school which makes sense, but I tend to like to go go go…so we’ll see?
  • I am about 4 classes away from finishing my major! And one more class until I’m done with my minor. Yay! Afterwards, I’m hoping to spend the rest of junior/senior year doing a coterm in sociology or an honor thesis in education, but we will see if I can get into either lol. But am feeling good about Linguistics and Poetry and academics in general 🙂
  • I’ve been teaching Gabe little bits of Chinese to prep for when he visits Taiwan this summer and it’s going hilariously well
  • I constantly get to work with and study with some of the most legendary people in the field of Linguistics and it baffles me that they are willing to spend time teaching me and working with me and gonna take a moment and just appreciate Stanford for it’s mind-blowing good faculty
  • I read Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan, which is about the Feb 28th massacre in Taiwan and the book was lovely and heartbreaking all at once, and it inspired me to try and be more intentional about learning Taiwanese culture/history
  • Mom and Spencer came to visit for parents weekend and it was so so good to see them again. Spencer is literally a head taller than me now and I’m not going to pretend to not be salty about that
  • PHOTOS FROM ECC MADE ME SO HAPPY LOOK AT THIS literally have never been prouder


Not so great parts 😦

  • I got freaking FOOD POISONING the day of my dance show, and spent the entire day in the hospital on an IV drip. Literally was vomiting up to an hour before the show lol. I made it through but wow that was rough
  • I felt very dumb all the time in my seminar. Which is good, I understand that I need to feel dumb sometimes, but it felt very hopeless sometimes and felt like the intellectual gap between me and everyone else was unbridgeable. By the end I think I was keeping up fairly well, but that was painful for a long time lol
  • Got to a point where I really hated my own choreography lol and had to get over it because I had to clean and block
  • Had a bit of a writer’s crisis because I couldn’t figure out what type of poetry I wanted to write anymore so I just wrote really generally terrible stuff


  • So my mom came for Parents’ Weekend and we were talking and I found out that I was labeled as an English Language Learner from kindergarten to about 3rd grade which I just straight up never knew.
  • Turns out I was supposed to get a TB test when I first came to college and just kind of never did…. lol getting it next Tuesday sorry Vaden
  • I have an active fear of free time and free time makes me sad
  • I do not like Phonology lol

Overall reflections:

In all honesty, this has probably been the hardest quarter I’ve had at Stanford thus far, and it was tough. I spent a lot of time on everything but constantly felt like I wasn’t giving enough to each thing, and then also just felt exhausted all the time. Lots of grumpiness, lots of feeling like the dumbest person in the room in my seminar (which is true, everyone in the room had a good DECADE of higher education on me smh), lots of feeling burnt out. I had a point in the quarter where I felt like I was just doing everything I did because I did, not because I wanted to, and generally felt unpassionate about EVERYTHING from writing to dance to linguistics to human companionship. But I’ve been de-slumping for the past few weeks, and rediscovering all the things I love, and it’s been quite lovely! Hardest quarter, but definitely also the quarter in which I’ve grown the most and learned the most about myself and the world. I feel myself growing more and more socially engaged and politically engaged, which becomes evident when you look at my classes for each quarter, and I’m happy with this development!

Growing up is weird, and I realize at some point I’m going to stop saying growing up and start saying growing old. Yikes.

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