29 August, 2005

Synopsis

Well, I figured this was going to be a bit more difficult than the last two semesters, but I didn’t expect it to take effect so quickly.  Part of it is the fact I never got my sleep cycle straight from fucking off so dilligently over the semester break.  Going from what I was doing to getting up at between 5:45 and 7:00 every day has left me dead tired at night.  I haven’t even been able to stay up long enough to watch the Daily Show at 10 pm.  I get home, do the required reading and whatever other homework I have, and by the time I get done with that, I am ready to collapse onto my bed.  My body isn’t really tired, but my brain hurts from stretching.

I haven’t gotten around to answering any notes or asking any interview questions; hopefully I can catch up this weekend.  I have tried to keep up with my favorites, but often I find myself lacking anything intelligent to say, so I don’t leave a note.  The times I have written anything, what I had written sounds stupid to my own ears.  I am sort of frustrated with myself, lately, and when I get like that, it sort of tints everything I see.
My Philosophy professor is a big hippy; I think I will love the class.  He is teaching us from The Enchiridion by Epictetus, a Greek stoic philosopher.  I had never read him before, but I find myself in agreement with him, so of course he must have been brilliant.   I have always been pretty much of a stoic, myself, though I took it too far in some areas; well, I didn’t take it too far, I perverted it.  The concept of stoicism is that there are things outside our control, and we shouldn’t let them control us.  There are things that used to get me emotionally charged that I pretended I didn’t let control me, but I wasn’t really stoic about them, I just got good at stuffing the emotion down into my subconscious.  That is not stoic, that is foolish, but I didn’t know it at the time.  I do believe that there are things that we cannot control, and accepting that fact removes their power to control us; I have always had a problem with the wisdom of telling the difference between what I could control and what I can’t control.  Epictetus says that everything external to the mind is outside our control.  I do believe that we can change the world, just not on the sweeping scale that I once thought possible.  I used to think if I just tried a little harder…  Live and learn.  Anyway, I like my philosophy class. 
My Principles of Speach teacher is a bit disorganized, but not as disorganized as my history teacher the first semester.  She is new, also, so it is not incompetence so much as inexperience, so I forgive her.  We do a lot of class discussioon, and I am shocked that I still get nervous standing up and talking in front of people.  I thought I had that particular weakness beaten years ago.  I guess I got out of practice, and now I have to go through the jitters all over again.  I can’t believe that I was able to talk calmly and rationally in front of command sergeants major and generals, having the confidence even to argue with them if the situation warranted it, but I am back to getting nervous in front of students who have spent less time on earth than I spent in the Army.  It is my punishment for being a hermit for a year, I suppose.  I should be happy that I have gotten this far, instead of berating myself for my lassitude, but my frustrations tints my outlook.
My English professor is pretty cool.  We are reading and discussing a book called Nickle and Dimed right now.  The majority of our writing will be research intensive, and I guess the book is to help us put some of that research into perspective.  Today we had a discussion which was lively and made it seem more like a sociology class than an English class.  We talked about the American Dream and the working poor and corporate America, et al.  I really enjoyed it, even though I was embarrassed that I talked so much.  I have a distinct inability to keep my mouth shut when I have an opinion I want to express and it has been solicited.  Even though many of my classmates may have agreed with me, I need to remember that it is not just me who is trying to learn how to better express myself.  How ironic that in speech I clam up, and in english I must remind myself to be quiet.
My Object Oriented Programming class is still in the review stage, so I should be thankful for that, I haven’t really had to do much with it this week; I should probably be using this time to try and get ahead, but I won’t.  I’ll be lazy, I suppose.
My Calculus class is hurting my brain.  I can’t even figure out how to use my calculator.  I have a TI 86, and the manual absolutely blows.  My instructor couln’t show me how to do the linear regression we were supposed to be doing (which is a statistical function; I have not had any statistics at all, but here is where I learn, I suppose) and so I tried to find a tutorial online, but I still kept coming up with errors.  Finally today I went to all of the math and computer science professors, even the Dean of Sciences to find someone to show me how to do it.  I was about to scrap it and go spend 40 bucks on another calculator, when one guy was able to show me where the error was coming from.  I have a new yoda.  Other than the calculator difficulties, the class is taking me about two hours of studying per day just to stay on top of it, and we are still in what is supposed to be review.  I can’t believe I tried to take calculus in High School when I was smoking so much dope.  I must have been high to think I could handle it.  I was, and I couldn’t.  That is probaly why it is so confusing right now.  But, if I can’t get my mind in gear with it, at least I will know now that my chosen major is not going to work.  I refuse to accept that I can’t do the math, though.  I can’t do it easily, but that is ok.  I wanted a challenge, and now I have it.  Yay.  

So if you don’t see me around for a while, I am still here.  I am the little nerd behind the pile of books.

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