Category Archives: Updates

Dream Research Project Update!

Due to interest from people in various areas, I have updated this research project to include meetings via phone or internet. I am hoping to have the first meeting within the next week or two, before 2/18/15. For more information on the project please see my previous post or visit my Dream Research Project page. I have also created a private facebook group where I will be uploading files and opening discussion for the design of the project. If you would like to join, please visit the groups facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/liminaldreamresearch/ and request to join. All updates will be posted on the group page. Also, if you are not on Facebook and want to participate, please email me at lday@email.jfku.edu and I will send you more information.


Adventures in Book Shopping

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I got these books last night after spending about an hour in the science section of Dimple books (http://www.dimple.com)…Yes I know I have an addiction. At least I wasn’t at the free bookstore (http://www.bayareafreebookexchange.com), I would have had 3 times this amount. So here’s my story: it’s about 10 minutes before they close, and I want to look at the philosophy section briefly, so I’m trying to carry all these books in my hands, I have them in a stack when I see a book I want to look at. I don’t really want to put the ones I’m carrying down so I kind of lean them against the shelf so I can pick up the book. As I’m doing this two guys come into the store. One of them says he wants to show the other one a book. As they walk by me one of them speaks, so I say hi. He asks why I’m holding the books like that and if I work there. I explain that I’m just trying to carry them so I can pay for them. He picks up an astrology book, opens it, and asks what my sign is:

Me: Scorpio

Him: Oh well we’re a perfect match!

Me: What is your sign?

Him: Libra

Me: Okay… (thinking: Right…not sure Libras and Scorpios go well together…but ok)

Him: I bet you have more books than friends.

Me: (gives him confused look while trying to read the back of the book I had picked up) Why do you say that?….What’s that supposed to mean? (I should have said: While that may be true, I have found they are much better company than most people.)

Him: (awkward silence) So you should give me your number. (He pulls out his phone.)

Me: (Seriously? shaking head) No, sorry.

He (thankfully) walks away.

So yeah, weird encounter aside, I’m excited about my new books :) Especially Bride of Science by Benjamin Wooley and Nature’s Numbers by Ian Stewart. The books I found seem to have certain themes. For a lot of the day yesterday, I was doing some research on genealogy and am very interested in learning my history and where my ancestors came from and then I find the National Geographic book on Deep Ancestry by Spencer Wells and Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade. Also, the nautilus symbol seems to keep reappearing for me: 1. We recently talked about it in one of my classes. 2. I recently discovered this magazine and blog called Nautilus (http://nautil.us) 3. It’s on the cover of the Nature’s Numbers book and a Sacred Geometry book I found. So maybe there is some significance to it for me. The other theme I saw was the intersection of art and science which has always inspired me, but even more so after having re-read the book that sparked my interest in science (see last post) Properties of Light by Rebecca Goldstein. So definitely excited to get started. Now all I need is lots of time…

 

 

 


My Story So Far

So, I want to tell you a story…

Actually sort of a recap of my life for the past year and a half since moving to California.

I remember how when I told people I was moving, they were always more excited than I was. I had no interest in moving here, it wasn’t really something I even wanted at all, it was something I felt I had to do, some unknown force. (Especially since I avoided California when applying to schools as an undergrad due to fear of earthquakes.) But this graduate program felt like something I needed to do. What I was excited about was going back to school (too bad it’s not quite what I had expected). And in hindsight, I realize I should have done a little (a lot) more research, and a little (a lot) more preparation. It’s hard to know what to expect when moving across the country on your own without family/ friends (although for me, it’s not the first time…I was seventeen then, an undergrad-with very few things…but I digress) to one of the most expensive areas (SF Bay area) in the country when you’re broke and dependent on an unknown (at the time) amount of student loan income, in a recession with unrealistic expectations of the length of time it will take to find a job in your field…

After two months, I put all of my things in storage and left my ridiculously expensive shared apartment and my jerk of a roommate whom I found on craigslist and chose as being the better of two unappealing living situations (the other having been less expensive but with four other people who didn’t seem to get along very well), having had only 1 week to find a place to live for me and my cat… (not to mention how pet-unfriendly most places in the area are…) and went back home (Chicago) for a month, where I subsequently lost, and found said cat, and decided to give California another try. This time with a little more insight (still nowhere near enough). But at least I was able to find a slightly better living situation (month-to-month lease, my own bedroom/bathroom/yard, but still shared, and still way too expensive for a struggling unemployed grad student with too many bills.) While I was home, I had told myself I would find my cat, find an apartment, and find a job. And within 2 months I had done all three. Although in hindsight, I should have been a little more specific…

I got a job tutoring high school students in math and science part time, which was cool for the most part…the kids were great….but it would have been nice if they paid me on a regular basis…

So at this point, I was ready to leave, move back to Chicago, Philadelphia, anywhere at all. And if I hadn’t gotten my current job, I would have…but apparently it seems to be in the cards that I stay, at least for now. And even though my grad program isn’t quite what I thought it would be, I have learned a lot (mostly about myself, which I guess is why they call it Consciousness and Transformative Studies). I’m still not sure if I will finish it, but I’m taking it one quarter at a time…

Even with my job, I couldn’t sustain life in the Bay area, so I moved to Sacramento and am definitely much happier there, even with the commute. I really don’ t mind the drive, but for me an hour commute isn’t terrible…(in Chicago, it usually takes about a half hour to get anywhere anyway so I’m used to that). I’ve noticed that most people seem to love San Francisco and the Bay area. I am not one of them. They’re definitely great places to visit, but not places I want to live…(SF = expensive tiny apartments, multiple roommates…I like my privacy too much, even Oakland and Berkeley are not much better); so now I have my own studio apartment in Sacramento and I feel much more at home :). It’s more suburban than I’m used to, and I may move to midtown when my lease ends, but my rent is affordable and no roommates (Yay!)

So I made another vow; to stop focusing on the problems in my life and know that everything will be okay. I have food to eat, a place to live, a job…that’s all I really need. Every problem, I think, has a solution and life is about finding them. The solution may not be obvious and you may have to be creative, but it’s there.

A couple of months ago, I started a full time temporary day job thinking it could be a solution. Because, although my rent is now affordable, my total expenses have not decreased much (the law of conservation of expenses has converted it into gas for my commute). Well it definitely helped, but not in the way I had hoped. I worked there for a week and a half before I quit. I found that I could not work a full time day job, part time (30 hour/week) night job and go to school. The work was boring, tedious, and I was so exhausted I could barely function. But in that week and a half, I learned something. It was because I hated it so much, that it made me realize everything I love about my current job (never having to set alarms and wake up early, not having supervisors monitoring my every move,  having free time during the day…)  It made the negatives mere annoyances (non-compete clause, ten hour shifts (as opposed to twelve), etc.). It helped me truly understand that I am lucky to have a job, especially one that I enjoy and that allows me to go to school. And I am definitely grateful, because a lot of the people I worked with there don’t have the luxury to quit.

So now I look forward to going to work (I work as a sleep tech). And I started taking math classes at another school as well during my free time during the day. I’m currently taking a Linear Algebra class (which is where I quit math as an undergrad) here’s to hoping I can get through it this time around…first math class I have ever had difficulty with and I took Calculus through Differential Equations…conceptually I love it (vector spaces, etc.) but I can’t seem to finish the exams… This summer, I’m taking Discrete Structures and a few courses in my other grad program probably on psychology of consciousness and starting my research project. I’m also working on writing a sort of fictional memoir as well as  starting a science literary project and preparing to apply for PhD programs… I think I have finally figured out that I am a philosopher after all and am looking into programs in Philosophy of Science (neuroscience, physics, cognitive science, etc.) because I love to think about this stuff… (and if I got to do that all day, it wouldn’t be work).

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference on consciousness in Tucson, which was very interesting…I will post my thoughts on that very soon… So until next time…

Latasha Monique


Fragments of a Fading Dream

So I’m pretty excited! I’ve been working on self-publishing a book of my writing including some of the poetry that you see here. It will be called Fragments of a Fading Dream and it’s a collection of some of my writing throughout the years on various topics such as dreams, illusion, reality, consciousness, science, love, etc. I am publishing it as an e-book as well as in print and it will be available for purchase via all the major e-reader sites as well as in print on this website and Amazon.com. The cover art is tentative, still working on it… Let me know what you think.

 


decisions decisions decisions…

As I sit here contemplating my future, I’m wondering if I ever really gave it a chance. I’ve been planning my escape for as long as I can remember…
Am I just running away again
or are things different this time?
At least this time maybe I’m a little wiser…at least that’s what I hope…
I just know that something needs to change and maybe this is the catalyst…