The Californian Garmo Lives Life

My Life as a gay Armenian-American living in California.

Future Stops – Education September 29, 2008

As my life is being tossed around like crazy with unemployment, I have sat down and thought about what I want to do with my future, education wise. 1 degree no longer cuts it in this world. This is why I am thinking about going back to school eventually and getting a few more degrees. I will (hopefully) work for at least 2 years before going back to school, but I may do it sooner if I can’t get a job. Here is what I want to go back to school for:

  1. B.S. in Computer Science
  2. B.S. in Physics
  3. Ph.D. in Mathematics
  4. Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics
  5. B.S. in Electrical Engineering
  6. B.S. in Chemistry
  7. Ph.D. in Molecular Chemistry
  8. B.A. in Philosophy
  9. Ph.D. in Computer Science
  10. B.A. in Dance

And probably in that order also. I know it will take me a while, but what is an Armenian to do in this world, but grow to the wisest state he possibly can? Who knows, maybe this list will eventually grow to extreme lengths, but I’ve decided I won’t stop, not now, not ever. After Dance, who knows what new things I will come up with that I am interested in. Maybe Queer Studies, or Armenian Studies. There is so much to learn and so little time. So I am off to continue my studies.

The Knowledge Seeker
-The Cali Garmo


The Family September 9, 2008

Filed under: family — thecaligarmo @ 12:00 pm
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So naturally Armenian families are generally large. I used to think that my family was fairly small. It consisted of my mom’s side where I had 1 uncle, 2 aunts, and 4 cousins. On my dad’s side I had 3 uncles and 1 aunt, and 7 cousins also. I naturally also had my 3 grandparents and 3 younger brothers. All of this changed when I got introduced to my dad’s side of the family up here in Nor Cal.

I was introduced to my dad’s cousin up here in Nor Cal and I immediately became fresh meat for the Armenian community up here. I’ve already been to one dinner party in which I met over 10 people and learned the names of over 10 more and how each person was related to each other and what each person did. My family more than doubled in size in one day just by opening up my eyes. And this is only my dad’s side! I asked my mom about the rest of her side of the family and apparently they are all scattered throughout the world. Most are either in Jordan or Iraq and my mom doesn’t know about their statuses or something has happened that she doesn’t know about. I feel like I am missing a part of me with them so far apart. My dad’s side seemed pretty cool though. I see better now where he gets certain characteristics and where I get some of mine. Naturally during this family gathering I stayed in the closet in order to first test out how liberal they were. They seemed to be socially liberal and economically conservative, but I still haven’t figured it out. Even though they seemed cool, I still stayed in the closet. Oh the woes of being a gay Armenian. Maybe one of these days I will tell them, but for now my lips are sealed.

-The Cali Garmo


The Bay Area September 1, 2008

Filed under: california — thecaligarmo @ 10:00 pm
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So on Saturday, my boyfriend and I took a trip down to San Jose and to San Francisco in order to see the sights. Well, we went to San Jose to see the tech museum cause we are just geeky like that, and then we went to San Francisco to have some food. It’s sort of funny how the cultures of the two cities can be so different even though they are only about an hour apart.

San Jose had the feel of a laid back culture. It felt like you can do what you want, when you want it, and no one would really care. San Francisco on the other hand was extremely busy and active. It seemed like people were rushing you to get things done in order for progress to continue. Naturally, San Francisco is a much bigger city than San Jose, but I would not have expected that big of a divide to exist.

Another divide is in the gay culture. In SF everything was gay. My boyfriend and I did not feel awkward holding hands and walking down the street. In fact, in a town where 15% of the population is gay [reference found here], it’s almost expected. San Jose felt different though. It felt like, even though they were ok with LGBT people, they didn’t want to see it in public. I’m sure that was generally not the case and it’s probably due to misconceptions, but that is sort of what it felt like.

So now it becomes a question of where should a gay Armenian live in all of this atmosphere. There are more Armenians living in the San Jose area, but more gays living in the San Francisco area. My solution to the matter? Move to somewhere directly in the middle. I am Armenian and gay, and with that I must choose my cultural boundaries carefully. So I am living in a location not too close to the gays for the Armenians not to think I’m gay and I am living in an area not to Armenian so that I can occasionally make myself more gay.

So the Cali Garmo is on the move! Look for him in your local Silicon Valley neighborhood somewhere between SF and San Jose!

-the Cali Garmo


A change of heart August 25, 2008

Filed under: education — thecaligarmo @ 10:00 pm
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So I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a while. In fact, I knew I wanted to be a math teacher since the ripe old age of 8. This happened due to my falling in love with math and teachers in my second grade year at my first ever public school. Since then, I have worked hard to achieve my goal of becoming a teacher. There have always been the random flings here and there that never amount to anything such as drama or dance, but I am now getting into a fling that is much more than a fling. It not only has a full set of devotion behind it, but also the intellectual curiosity that seems to keep growing in me.

Now for me this is a new concept, changing paths. Once I lay down a path I usually go for it with all of my heart and don’t stop on the way, but this time it’s different. As I’ve started my credentialling program, I’ve been having a serious case of change of heart. It seems every second day I am finding more and more reasons why I no longer want to become a math teacher. Why maybe the goal I set out so long ago couldn’t foretell that I would grow up and want something more out of life. Todays thought is that teaching doesn’t feel like a real job. I know you are working over 12 hours a day, but you make so little money you can’t afford to do anything with it. So, y mind begins to wonder.

The hard part is mainly comes from my Armenian side. We are a very stubborn people and it’s difficult for me to let things go. My intellectual side helps me out with this as my brain can control my instinct so that I don’t do stupid things all the times, as tends to be the case with many Armenians. So my stubborness is telling me to just stay with the program. That I basically chose it and so I should stick with it to the end. Finish the credential year, then finish my masters year, then work as a teacher directly after without any break in my life at all. The intellectual side of me is pleading for more knowledge. My credentialling program is feeding me nothing. I have yet to feel like I am learning anything. I feel like I sit in boring class after boring class learning stuff the common human already knows. I want to go out there and learn stuff. The amount of math and physics and computer science that I can be learning instead of sitting on my butt ‘learning’ about education is astronomical. I could have written a whole book about mathematics in this amount of time. And I know that cause I’ve done it.

So what do I do? Do I let my intellectual curiosity take over and leave the program to enter the real world in order to quench my thirst for knowledge? Or do I stick with my plan from so long ago, and be the stubborn Armenian I am, and just live with it, and accept that this is life?

-The Cali Garmo