Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Don’t worry, I’m not dead; I just sometimes wish I were.  Depression jokes are comic gold, no?  No, huh?  Well that was a terrific start.  

Surprisingly enough, writing in my blog is not an indicator of my death, but actually of me living my life to a greater capacity.  That is to say, I’ve been busy.  This has mostly to do with my recent graduation, which was a relatively uneventful event, considering it was supposedly a great milestone of my life.  I have a bit of a hard time with such events because they never feel as sentimental or important as I feel they should.  The combination of my high excitement threshold (for the non Sorensen speakers this means that it takes a great deal to elicit an excitement response) and how quickly I adapt to novel situations means that most everything feels ordinary.  Now that’s depressing.  Not as depressing as wishing for death, but certainly not encouraging.  

The best descriptors for graduation are undoubtedly long and boring.  But to its credit, the ceremony was actually much less long and less boring than I had anticipated.  In fact I nearly didn’t go because of these factors and my attitude as described above.  But I figured I’d rather regret losing 5 hours of my life by going to the event than risk not going and regretting that for years to come.  I certainly wasn’t entertained for the five hours, but I don’t really regret going.

I don’t know if all college graduations are done this way, but we had two separate graduations.  The first was with the whole graduating class, which was just over 6000 students.  The second was with just our college, which was probably around 1000 students.  So the 5 hours were split over two days, making each event bearable.  

You may be wondering why 1/6 of BYU is in my college.  This is quite a sensitive subject.  Thanks for bringing it up, you jerk.  We Neuroscience majors don’t have a department to call our own, just the Neuroscience Center.  This program was started by Biology and Psychology faculty, who are not only in different departments, but different colleges.  So the Neuroscience Center is regulated by the Biology department for 3 years, then Psych for 3 years and back and forth.  This fall we switched over to the Psych department, much to our chagrin.  Although the Psych department originated the program, we now only take one psych class and about a dozen bio/chem classes.  So we don’t really associate with that department at all, and now they control us.  This means we don’t get to graduate with the people we’ve gone to class with for the last three years, but instead a bunch of psych majors.  This wouldn’t be too bad, since I have some respect for Psych majors (though I do maintain that this is the major everyone takes if they can’t decide on what they really want to do.)  What angers me (and all Neuro majors I’ve ever spoken with) is that our association with Psych puts us in the College of Home, Family and Social Sciences.  Neuroscience is definitely not a home or family science, and not much of a social one.  We’re Neuro majors, we’re not social.  We sit our rooms and memorize neuroanatomy.  The other majors in our college are Marriage, Family and Home Development, Social Work, History and Anthropology.  How well do we fit in here?

I realize of course that you don’t care about this, but it’s a big deal to my major.  We consider this an extremely rigorous and difficult major.  We’re biased of course, but this is what we think.  I won’t debate the difficulty of the other majors mentioned, but at the very least everyone should agree that they don’t have much to do with Neuroscience.  Home Economics is not brain surgery.  Brain surgery is brain surgery.  Even putting aside all our arrogance concerning our major’s superiority, we don’t want to sit and listen to all these other students graduate.  1000 of the 6000 BYU graduates are in this college.  40 are Neuroscience, the other 960 are in these other majors.  We would much rather listen to the 100 bio majors and be out of the ceremony quick and easy.  Ok, that’s all the complaining I’ll do, about this particular subject at least.

They read the names fast enough that we were out pretty quickly.  I found all the marching pretty ridiculous, but if it makes people feel like the ceremony is important, so be it.  The speeches were relatively good, and some were even as brief as I would have wished.  So as I said, long and boring, but it could have been much worse.

I had a pretty decent family turnout considering their distribution across the continent.  Three siblings and one parent isn’t too shabby for a Sorensen event (4/11 is better than you’d expect, and if you include nephews and nieces it was 6/15.)  On an unrelated point, there needs to be a word for “nephews and nieces.”  Let me know if you have one.  Perhaps neips.  

Packing wasn’t terribly enjoyable, but was easy.  The hardest thing about packing is deciding what to bring and what not to, and since I had to pack everything I owned, it eliminated this step.  The cleaning inspection annoyed me as only cleaning inspections can, but it is now over and done with.  I just had to get it all into the U-haul we rented and was ready to go.    

I said my goodbyes to Provo.  I have mixed feelings for that city.  It’s so easy to ridicule; it is laughable in so many ways.  But I have a lot of good memories there, and have left behind many friends.  I even reconciled with my ex (and reconciled is not a euphemism.)  The goodbyes were kind of hard since all I could say was “Have a nice life.”  In reality I won’t see most of these people ever again.  I will probably never have reason to return to Utah, and they won’t have reason to come wherever I will be.  I’d feel better if I knew where I’d be next year, or even what I’ll be doing next month.  But everything is uncertain and I’m not being the leaf in the wind that I should be.  

This absurdly long entry makes me sound like I’m simultaneously depressed, frustrated and anxious.  I’m not really.  For one thing, I’m writing about events from a week ago.  For another, I have no emotions.  But that makes for boring writing, unlike this fascinating gem of post-collegiate angst.

Song of the moment: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Richard Cheese


Emily said...

I have no regrets about missing my graduation. None at all. Maybe that is because I had an inferior major, so graduating was not an actual achievement.

Also, I can't figure out your family ratios. 3 sibs+1parent should be 4/11 and when factoring in in-laws and neips, 6/16. Right? Maybe this is where my history major failed me.

Catherine Elizabeth said...

Glad to see the blog back in action.

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