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Davis, California

Friday, September 17, 2021

Column: Preface

Financially fit
I’m a quarter late and a quarter short, but here I am with my generic introductory column. Hey, if you read my columns last quarter you were probably wondering where this awkward smiling Asian guy with lazy eyes showed up from and why he was so darn mad at technology/the world. Hell, who am I kidding? You probably don’t care, can’t remember who I am or this is your first time reading my column. Or a combination of all three.
If you liked my column last quarter I have some unfortunate news. This time I’m returning to the world of print under a different guise. Yes, instead of squabbling about my rampant confusion and dismay over society, I will instead attempt to give tips about pinching every pretty penny your pallid paws can procure. The tips will come next week as I figured I should really give a brief glimpse into myself having now become a columnist for the second quarter running.
I like long walks on the beach, holding hands beneath the sunset and equestrian animals. Actually, that’s not accurate, I just say that whenever people ask me to tell them about myself. Male, Asian, 6’1,” brown eyes, black hair, weigh 167.7 lbs., needs corrective lenses, shoe size 10.5, homely — ah, fuck. Now I’m just reading off of my driver’s license.
It’s actually a daunting task to talk about oneself. Sure, there’s a canned list of answers that one can just rattle off errantly whenever one meets new people. But is it genuine? Does it capture one’s true essence? Or is it just how one would want people to perceive them?
Let’s try this one more time. I’m a senior economics major, minoring in writing. I’m actually going to graduate at the end of this quarter. My Asian parents half coerced me, half raised me to take the economics path. Even though I truly loved reading and writing whilst growing up, it was more or less ingrained and instilled upon me that they were fruitless pursuits and things that I could only do for enjoyment and in my free time.
Some of you may be thinking, “You’re 21 years old now! You can be your own person, follow your dreams! Spread your wings and blossom into the smart, mature woman you were meant to be!”
Alas, it is too late for me, sisters and brothers. For I agree with my parents wholeheartedly. I acknowledge that writing – at least in my case – is not a very fruitful pursuit and there’s nothing much that I can gain from it other than my own personal pleasure. It’s quite apparent in my writing style. It isn’t anything ground shattering, or earth breaking, by any means.
Excerpted from his novel, Factotum, Charles Bukowski put it far better than I ever could:
“And I wanted to be a writer. Almost everybody was a writer. Not everybody thought they could be a dentist or an automobile mechanic but everybody knew they could be a writer. Of those 50 guys in the room, probably 15 of them thought they were writers. Almost everybody used words and could write them down, i.e., almost everybody could be a writer. But most men, fortunately, aren’t writers, or even cab drivers, and some men — many men — unfortunately aren’t anything.”
That’s why I’m here writing my miniscule little column for this newspaper. Of which, I probably get 16 readers on a good day. It’s more than enough, really. To know that people are actually absorbing and taking heed of my thoughts and ideas. I’d like to hope that I brightened a day or two in the process. Or at the bare minimum cracked a smile.
The ghost of a smile?
In the midst of writing this column, I actually realized that this may be the last period of time I get to write anything that will get published. After this it’ll be back to my little Moleskine diary and WordPress blog. But I honestly don’t want to get too introspective or sappy for this column, because it just isn’t professional.
There you have it. Everything you need to know about me. I have folded and condensed myself into this skinny 20 inch column, wrapped it up nicely in butcher paper and delivered it to your very doorstep complete with ribbon and bow. Or on a rack outside of your classroom. Same thing.

ANDREW POH is missing his passion for writing; help him find inspiration by contacting him at apoh@ucdavis.edu.

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