This post came out of the blue today when I got some awesome news from Kim Joon. I was so happy that I felt the need to write, even if it wasn't necessarily on the same subject!
As a college student, there are many things to worry about. Grades, what to major in, roommates, and what type of ramen to make for dinner are just few on the long list. Recently, another item has been added to my list, my career choice. My mom has really been pushing me this entire summer to weigh my options and start narrowing down a few choices. I took her advice and now I’m swamped with ideas. I thought that I should include a short blog post about some of my ideas and trouble!
I’ve always been one to get ahead. When I was a junior in high school, I researched nonstop about what I wanted to major in. Most of my friends were out partying and putting that off until they got to college. A lot of them still haven’t decided now that I think about it! I chose anthropology because it is basically everything that I could want to study. When I was a senior, I slacked off. I applied to a bunch of colleges but was not able to go to my dream school because of financial difficulties. That set me back a bit. One good thing was that I managed to get enough credits (thanks to the IB program!) to be a semester ahead in college! In the spring of 2011, I took an amazing Cultural Anthropology class that was taught by my favorite professor. She had various exercises throughout the course that made us go out into the community and get to know people. One of the ethnographic exercises that I did covered a formal Lolita tea party that was one of the biggest events of the year for the community. Even though this was my own community that I was covering, it still allowed me to take a step back and really observe how my friends interacted with one another in a formal setting. The next exercise focused on how the 4chan board /cgl/ (Cosplay and Gothic Lolita) is a speech community. I’ll post both of these exercises soon! These exercises really opened my eyes and showed me that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to research and report on different subcultures! If I could make a living doing this, I would be in heaven. A Teacher’s Assistant did a presentation later on in the semester about popular culture in Korea. He focused on how popular music idols like DBSK and Big Bang influenced their followers. Studying pop culture was quickly added to my list after that lecture. I really regret not composing myself more and not asking the right questions when I talked to him.
If it weren’t for my “forced” minor in Spanish, I would definitely be minoring in journalism. I went into college with enough credits for Spanish classes to be halfway through a minor. If I were to drop the minor now, I would have wasted so much time. I’ve decided to take journalism classes as electives to see if this is something that I really want to do. My passion definitely lies with researching subcultures and pop culture! I wouldn’t mind writing for a newspaper or an alternative lifestyle/fandom magazine, or even doing research for documentaries! Unfortunately, I’m not seeing very many career choices where I would be able to express my love that would lead to a steady paycheck. I really don’t want to end up working in a cubicle in corporate America. I want to be out in the real world, interviewing people and seeing how other people live life. We tend to fear the unknown while we should be learning more about it. Education is the key!
During my search, I’ve found several blogs and documentaries that are worth noting. All of these have inspired me in some way. The first blog belongs to the Otaku Journalist, Lauren Rae Orsini. Lauren’s blog covers anime, gaming, and fandom in a unique way. She doesn’t just interview people, she participates! She takes the time to understand why this is happening and truly what it is. She has made many posts about how to get into a fandom journalism career that have been helpful to me. She documents what she has struggled with, bumps along the road, and also interviews other journalists that have valuable career advice. You can find her blog here (http://otakujournalist.com/). I found out this morning that my boyfriend Kim Joon commented on one of her blog posts and she replied back. He sent a link to this blog for some reason. I think I’m going to be sick with nervousness. So Lauren, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for all you have done! You have truly inspired me and others and I will continue to follow your blog!
The next post that really inspired me did not come from a blog. I found an article in Vanity Fair about FURRIES. Yes, furries…in Vanity Fair. I was not expecting this! The article is about a furry convention that a journalist attended for the first time and his perspective on some of the events that occurred. I was doing research for my own project on furries when I stumbled upon this piece. I went to my first furry convention with Kim Joon in the spring of this year. I not only wanted to figure out what this was all about, but I also wanted to help connect Kim Joon to his fellow furries. It’s always nice to have people that have similar interests in your life. The link to the article can be found here: (http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2001/03/furries200103).
The next, and last, link that I want to share is something that I have just recently seen. I absolutely love documentaries. I will actually choose documentaries over most other types of movies! A friend of mine gave me the link to a PBS documentary called Four Days at Dragon Con. Dragon Con is the largest comic and gaming convention in the south east. It spans 4 days over Labor Day weekend and takes place in Atlanta. I feel really lucky because this year will be my first time attending! I also don’t have to book a hotel because my dorm is within walking distance of all the action! When I watched this documentary, it made me even more excited to attend. Many people are in elaborate costumes during the event. I feel as though I should cosplay (dress up as a character from a comic book or an anime), but my sewing skills are lacking and I don’t have the time to tackle a project like that. I also probably won’t cosplay for a while after my last fiasco. More details to come at a later date. The documentary also has interviews with cosplayers and details some of the struggles that they have to go through to achieve costume perfection. This documentary can be found at (http://video.pba.org/video/2065738625/).
Thank you all for reading and putting up with my ranting! I feel much better now that I’ve written this down. I don’t own any of the blogs or links that I mentioned! Please check them out!