What Did I Do This Summer?

Taken from The Odyssey Online.

…well, certainly not that. Well, maybe a little…

But in any case: with the autumn season in full swing right now, it’s time that I recap what I did this past summer. In retrospect, this summer has got to be one of the busiest, hectic ones that I’ve had in a while; the last time I remembered being busy and stressed was three years ago, when I was in college.

That said, how was I busy and stressed this summer? If you haven’t read my post about my process of getting back to France yesterday, check it out here. Seriously, a large part of my summer was focused on just trying to return to work abroad, and I’ll spare you the story again in this post.

Otherwise, there was also the stress of finding a summer job (or two) to fund my way overseas (and then some). Really, much of my summer was spent working, as I found some odd jobs in the freelance writing industry and also tutored some clients in whatever they needed help on (e.g. English speaking, writing, even French). Frankly, I was earning pennies (i.e. well, more than that, but still not much) for my work, but hey, it added up and now, I think I have a good amount to keep me sustained for the next few months.

Did I enjoy my summer jobs? Yes and no. Again, I didn’t like how I was making so little for so much work, as well as sometimes not being appreciated for my work. I won’t go into too many details of what happened, but basically, freelance writing is not a stable job, as you have no idea whom you’re working for and whether to trust them to pay you for your efforts. I admit, there were some clients I had who never paid me for my work and to that I say they are the scum of this earth- fuck them. But, all of this writing I did over the summer definitely helped me hone my writing skills even more and now, it comes as second nature to me; I don’t experience much writer’s block anymore, and it has even translated over to my blogging here, too! 🙂

As for tutoring, there were some clients who weren’t, well, the easiest to deal with. Not that they were mean or anything, but sometimes they weren’t motivated to learn or just wanted to fool around during class (especially this one client who wanted me to tutor her four, small kids in French and we only got around to two lessons before I decided that it wasn’t working for me). I never got mad at them or anything, but still, it kind of irritated me.

At the same time, though, the 40-50 hours of tutoring that I did this summer also had its rewarding moments, as I also had clients who genuinely wanted to learn. I remember having a few sessions with this woman from China, who was just visiting at the time. She wanted to improve her English-speaking skills and we found ourselves having rather deep conversations about politics, culture, and journalism, which not only helped her improve, but also enlightened me in the process. It remains one of my favorite classes to date, and it was a shame that she had to leave when the summer was over. Any case, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Of course, I’ve already told you in previous posts that I also traveled to Asia over the summer, which you can begin reading here. My family and I went to Japan and Taiwan, the former being our first time. It was amazing, as we experienced another side of the world different from that of the United States and, for me, Europe: lots more nature, lots of awesome food, and in general, feeling more belonged, even in a culture that I didn’t necessarily grow up in. Japan and Taiwan were a delight, and words can’t fully capture how wonderful and refreshing those three weeks overseas were. Plus, I got to travel more than I had when living in France!

I also tuned into the Rio Summer Olympics in August, although I didn’t watch them live (again, I was too busy with my summer jobs). However, the times I did watch them, I enjoyed them! Definitely watched my favorites, including gymnastics, swimming, and track & field, but also found myself watching other sports that I normally wouldn’t watch, let alone enjoy, such as the decathlon and beach volleyball. I know that there was all of that jazz with Ryan Lochte being a troublemaker and whatnot, but Lochte aside, I thought the Olympics went rather smoothly. A shame that Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt are retiring, but still great to have seen them win medals in their respective sports. Btw, I have a huge crush on Aly Raisman, a U.S. Olympic gymnast whom I featured in my post here. Such a beautiful, inspirational young lady! ❤

Also hung out with some old friends from high school and college; we went out to eat a lot, catching up on the good ol’ times and expressing our post-grad frustrations and whatnot. Unfortunately, I also had a falling out with an old friend in which things ended pretty badly (I’ll write more on that in another post), but at the same time, I reconnected with other dear friends whom I hadn’t talked to in months, let alone years, and that was good! Hope to stay in touch with them as we continue to get older and find our places in this big, crazy adult world.

As already mentioned, I ate a lot of good food this summer. From exploring the streets of Los Angeles in my food adventures (first post being here) to trying new and familiar dishes in Asia, my tummy certainly gained some cushion from all of that eating! A bit regretful, but still, delicious! I actually ate a ton of Asian food this summer, and I’ll be kind of sad to leave it behind when I head to France for this year! Granted, there are some Asian restaurants in France, but they’re not very good…

Finally, I also made an effort to read books and watch a few films this summer, although with work I didn’t have too much time to do so. I’d planned to read at least three French books, but only made it up to two (and a quarter); I’ll see if I can catch up in France! As for English books, the only one that I read was Stardust by Neil Gaiman, which I’d borrowed at the library. I’d watched the film version as a kid, and I enjoyed the book as well! Surprisingly, it’s darker than your usual kiddie fantasy novel (although it’s for adults, I believe), but I was thoroughly transported into the story. Give it a go!

For films, I didn’t watch too many, only five. Here are the ones I watched, as well as my breakdown of each:

  • Finding Dory– considering that I wasn’t a huge fan of Finding Nemo as a kid, I was skeptical of the sequel. However, it really surprised me by being funnier and more poignant, and it was a pleasure to watch Ellen DeGeneres’ character navigate the ins-and-outs of the ocean to find her family. Truly a touching film.
  • Mädchen in Uniform (1958 version)– This German film is the remake of the 1931 classic, which is about a girl who’s sent to boarding school and subsequently falls in love with her female teacher. It’s a LGBT film at its finest. Romy Schneider, who plays the girl Manuela, is so adorable and beautiful in this film and the chemistry she has with everyone (including her love interest, played by Lilli Palmer) is remarkable. Even though it’s old, the themes are surprisingly very modern and refreshing; give it a try!
  • Ghostbusters– I already wrote a review about it in this post here, but in any case, it was a hilarious, lighthearted film that paid homage to the classic while still being contemporary with its all-female cast and whatnot. It was a pleasure to watch!
  • Star Trek Beyond I found the first two films great and was looking forward to this new one when it first hit theaters. Granted, I found it to be a bit less serious and more light this time around, but it still was very entertaining! RIP to Anton Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy. 😦
  • Kubo and the Two Strings– At first, I wasn’t really interested in watching this film, but a friend had expressed interest in it, and so I decided to go. It actually ended up being pretty good and surprisingly deep for a kid’s film; I even found it a bit too dark at times for kids to fully enjoy or understand it, but in any case, the story line’s simple but elegant, and the animation technology is well-made.

All right, that’s about it for this post! It’s longer than usual, but essentially, that was my whole summer in a nutshell. I would say that, despite the stress with France, summer jobs, and whatnot, it was overall not too bad and I appreciated it testing me into figuring out what I really want in my twenty-something life. Any case, I’m excited to be moving abroad once more and I hope to continue recounting my adventures over there!

…and let me know what you did this summer; I’d be interested in knowing! Take care, bloggers. 🙂

— The Finicky Cynic

Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic

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6 thoughts on “What Did I Do This Summer?

  1. pizzaatmidnight

    I thought I was the only one who was never a huge fan of Finding Nemo! To me, it seems highly overrated haha but it seems like the sequel is one that I might enjoy more.
    You had quite the summer! Definitely not boring! 😀

    1. Finding Dory was definitely a much better film than its predecessor; I thoroughly enjoyed it! This summer was crazy to say the least, but again, I’m glad everything worked out! Take care. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Summer 2017 Recap! – The Finicky Cynic

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