By this time next week I will have completed my last final examination going towards my graduate degree and likely my last bit of school-related work ever. The end of the school year cannot come soon enough! I've had a few ideas for posts (primarily something about the Met exhibit's theme, which is, by its own definition, about Orientalism), but I have lacked the will to actually write. For now, here are a few things that have been on my mind as I've prepared for my last set of exams.
There was a deeply sad story published today by ESPN, it is mainly about a college student's suicide and it was, indirectly, also about Instagram and how it might implicitly encourage people to present a heavily edited version of their lives and what that depiction might obscure. It is hard for me to fully understand how social media has changed since I started college (almost a decade ago, which is itself a scary thought). Despite a considerable amount of time spent blogging, mostly at other sites over the years, I generally feel a bit behind the curve when it comes to new social media platforms. I have fun browsing Instagram, but I find that I hate being in front of the camera. I'm also not particularly dedicated to uploading other photos either, perhaps partially because I generally don't get a lot of likes even from real-life friends that use social media.
I do remember, however, some of my own "fear of missing out"-like social anxieties from college. Back then, an average person who liked to take photos (with a digital camera, not a smartphone) might upload photos twice a month or so at most. They'd be less edited, I think, and would generally be more realistic about all the awkwardness associated with going to college parties. I would get anxious when friends posted pictures from social events I had not been invited too. Long story short, college was a deeply awkward time for me, and I feel that most of my friends agree with that assessment. If I had gone to college in the age of Instagram, it probably wouldn't have been a good influence on me.
|Because tigers are not native to Japan, depictions of tigers in traditional Japanese art were modeled on housecats and imported tiger skins.|
On a lighter note, the Japan Society's current exhibit on depictions of cats in Japanese art is fun, but small. One of the great tragedies of my life is that both K and I have moderately severe cat allergies, which means that cat ownership is not in our future. (This probably distresses me considerably more than it does him.)
Also, it is Mother's Day this weekend! Sadly, I've been away from home every Mother's Day since I started college. I always send a card, though my gift-purchasing has been a bit more uneven. I feel completely sheepish, and I should be, though my mom is the first to insist that I not worry too much about it.