Tag Archives: Thoughts

Nostalgia led me to live in the moment

As the full moon illuminated the little patch of cemented jungle she calls home, I stood there with my shoulder on the fridge; Kanye West talking about family business in the background.

Right in front of me were photographs of a past that I still miss dearly. To my right was a picture of us on our first date, a tour of a historical estate overlooking Biscayne Bay. To my left was a filmstrip of us goofing around at the baseball stadium, posing with Viking hats and a blow-up tiger and kissing each other as if it were the last time we’d ever get the chance.

On a normal day, I would’ve given these images a cursory glance and then resumed consumption of inane Internet videos and memes. But a different fate awaited me tonight – a run-in with a bittersweet longing for bygone years called nostalgia.

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My Personal Statement: “Investigator”

This is a short writing assignment from my IDH2003 Leadership Seminar course, which I’m actively progressing through in my third semester of college at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. The idea of the assignment was to write a short piece in which one acutely defines one or more goals that one is pursuing as part of a life journey. Though the content may change in the future, this version accurately describes my present vision for the years to come.

My name is Tomás Monzón, and I am an investigator. I’m obsessed with language, communication, relationships, living spaces, machines, transportation and the overall working order of things in the natural and man-made worlds. My life’s journey, in fact, is to conquer all these obsessions by knowing all about them and appreciating them, from the comfort of a lawn chair atop several acres of land that I’ll have purchased by the time my journey gets to a certain point. The land will become my project: on the weekends, I’ll work on a custom home, and during the week, I’ll be working double duty, investigating stories for a newsmagazine and working at a computer support company. Completing that journey, however, will force me to expunge the fears I have of being disappointed, of being upset about things, and of disappointing others. People near and dear to me have taught me that keeping myself from negative emotions by blindly concentrating on the positive is to lead a life devoid of true vivacity. I’ve got to learn how to accept negative emotions and how to act on things, people and situations that aren’t to my liking. My life’s journey, and my personality of an investigator call for these personal obstructions to be eradicated in order to allow myself to realize my full potential and make my contribution to the world at large.

Moving to WordPress / New Blog Series

For the longest time, I’ve hosted my blog on Blogger.com, namely photo 4because I wasn’t as aware of its shortcomings several years back when I chose it, especially when stacked against the array of features and the higher quality user interface that a more refined blogging platform like WordPress offers. 

To that end, I’ve transitioned the blog over to WordPress. You can already see the beautiful new layout (one of WordPress’ default templates), a photo-centric design choice that I hope to populate with my best snapshots.

3rd and final journal cover-page-001
The cover for the last volume of the journal I had to keep.

I’d also like to announce that the next several posts will be a part of a series called New Directions: Reflections from My First Semester in College. These writings will come from a nearly 60 page journal I had to keep for my first semester English class at Miami Dade College’s Honors College. I took the obligation of having to keep the journal as an opportunity to reflect, more often than I otherwise would have, on the happenings and ordeals of my first semester in college – a time worth reminiscing upon.

Enjoy, and as always, thank you for reading my blog!

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My Intentions for the Spring Semester

One of my intentions for the Spring semester is to approximate myself towards – but not necessarily

Getting distracted in class. 

Sunflower hats aren’t particularly my
favorite type of headwear,
but they make a weird picture. Gotta
brush those teeth though.

Party, party, party!

An older shot, taken on an afternoon where I’d
proudly bought an office chair at a thrift store!

Messing around with the front-facing camera on my
newfangled iPhone 4.

pinpoint – the major that I want to pursue in the years after my stay at the Honors College. Although I am a journalism major (effective through next semester), I have signed myself up for classes that reflect my interests and not the pathway’s curriculum. 

Specifically, I have selected basic Reporting with Professor Lane (which fulfills my interest in journalism and newswriting, which has been one of my career aspirations since high school), Introduction to Music Theory with Professor Alan Ngim (which fulfills my interest in musical composition and learning how to play a musical instrument, both of which have stemmed from my fascination with jazz and my desire to involve myself in the arts in a form different than journalism) and C++ Programming with Professor Jack Lusby (which fulfills my growing interest in computer science and will introduce me to any work opportunities that may come from pursuing a computer science curriculum). 
My parents have criticized my choice of curriculum because they feel it deviates from my historically classic choice of interest (journalism) at the expense of money and time. While I sympathize with their arguments regarding the use of those two valuable resources, I would like for them to understand that I see college as an opportunity to find myself, to try everything that I want to try, to spend time learning about subjects and realms of life that I have a cursory interest in.
They might blossom into fascinations, infatuations, or even aspirations.

The second of my intentions is to be at peace with my social needs and aspirations. Throughout high school, I was a “popular kid”. Though it’s a term that’s difficult to define, it was a phrase that was used by acquaintances and close friends of mine alike to describe me in the context of our student body. People knew me, to the point that I often returned hellos to people I wasn’t even clear on whether I knew or not. Certainly the phrase had some veracity to it – else I wouldn’t even bother writing about it. 

High school is over now, though, and I am now surrounded by a group of people that, if my perception is correct, cherishes those who have resolve and wish to accomplish things greater than themselves. I relish the challenge, simultaneously because it would palliate my restless desire to belong, and also because it gives me an excuse to be recognized for things I would likely pursue anyway. I see other Honors College kids, most in their second year of study, creating and promoting big community projects like scholarships and food drives and … well, they make me smile. 
Whether their motivation is solely the recognition of other classmates and faculty or whether it’s also an earnest desire to do something is dependent on them … but they’re doing something regardless, and that’s noble enough. 
Therefore, to be at peace with my social needs and aspirations, I will do my best to find groups of people (Honors College kids, regular Miami-Dade kids or even Miami-Dade faculty) that share my interests, I will seek social and community ills that merit attention and I will publicize and promote all the work that I may engage in in the process of remediating those ills. It’ll really be a treat to be able to consider myself to be a person like this … the “popular” label from before will just be a cherry on top.
Finally, my third intention is to do well in all my classes in the next semester. This may sound like a cop-out intention, but I’ve decided to prioritize it because my credit load for next semester is relatively large (20 credits spread across seven or eight classes) and I’m aware that it will take a lot of concentration, focus, and simply put, hard work, to excel academically between all these subjects. My study habits so far have proven to be effective, so they will continue to be my main strategy for accomplishing this intention of mine. I want to succeed in the Honors College and in my college endeavors in general, and doing well academically is without a doubt one of the largest portions of achieving that success. Hence, I hope to pass!

Fantasy of Being in the Denouement

SW 56 ST, a main Miami thoroughfare that runs right outside
my apartment complex, on a cloudy yet stunning afternoon.

I have a fantasy, which I try to make a reality as often as possible, of being in the denouement of something. It gives me giddy pleasure to be the least one to leave a classroom on the last day of school, the last one to be on campus after everyone’s left to their homes, the last one to witness a coworker’s last day of work, the last one to leave a newly defunct facility or home. I’m not quite sure why, but I’m always looking for ways to be the last one to leave from something.

During the week of finals for the fall semester, for example, it would give me great pleasure to be the last one to leave from the Honors College lounge after the last day of finals.

Maybe the fetish stems from having an appreciation for the feeling of nostalgia, and for the history of something. The most touching part, for me, of the history of a building or society or vehicle or group is its end; I’m always fascinated by how things come to an end, why they come to an end. In doing research for my term paper about public transit this semester, for example, one of the most touching anecdotes I came across was about the night the last trolley car ran in Miami. In the late 1920s, a lonely trolley car rumbled to the car barn as some officials from the transit agency were sitting inside, experiencing the last ride. One of them played his harmonica, lending an overdramatic and picturesque tone to the last night of active trolley service in Miami.

I don’t know why these things fascinate me, but they do. Maybe I’ll find out someday.