Sunday, January 28, 2007

What Would Thomas Pynchon Think?

"Don't Ever Antagonize The Horde," perhaps?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

As of today I've gotten an inkling of all the classes I'll be taking this semester:

U.S. Military History: 8:30 - 9:50 AM
Advanced Inorganic: 10:00 - 10:50 AM
Archaeological Methods: 3:00 - 3:50 AM

Advanced Analytical: 8:00 - 9:20 AM

Advanced Inorganic: 10:00 - 10:50 AM

As you can see, this has its myriad joys and sorrows. Joys--it's slack! 12 credits! No more DeFotis torturing, excoriating, badgering, and roasting me over the slow fire of undergraduate indignity. Sorrows--I have to get up before 8 A.M. four days a week. So, OK, I should have said myriad joys and one sorrow.

Military History looks, naturally, like it has the capacity to hold my rapt attention all semester. There are a bunch of my friends from the ROTC classes I took sophomore year (remember the era of Captain Mensch?) as well as a few other civilians. There are girls--non-ROTC girls--in the class. Maybe my hopes of finding a comely military buff to marry aren't so far-fetched after all.

Chem is Chem. I shall not bore you with the details (yet). Dr. Rice remains the Spike Milligan of my academic experience. I shall quote the first problem set he gave us:

"1) (10 pts) A substance known as THC has a partition coefficient of 7.0..."

Yeah, we know what HE was doing when he was our age. The on-board example today dealt with extracting LSD. Into ether. Who says chemistry doesn't have practical applications?

Archaeological Methods is the pendulum; which way it swings I won't know for a little while. I have been warned that the class is "dry." However, it's being taught by Martin Gallivan, who has never taught it before. He's young, so that's usually an advantage (as opposed to a jaded old anthropology prof), and having not taught the class means he might be more open to trying new and hopefully interesting things. We have some computer labs scheduled for "pottery stylization" and "subsistence/access", which could be fun, or could be Hell, depending on the sytstem we use (I still have nightmares about FORTRAN from this summer). We're also scheduled to go to a dig site, as well as participate in a shovel test. So; we shall see. I feel OK about it.

I'm still flying.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Breathe, Release
on the dawning of my last semester

I know I'll have to let you go one day--
I guess I always knew I'd have to leave
And yet I never learned to stay away.

Would it bother you? Would you ever say?
Would my departure give you cause to grieve,
Knowing I had to let you go someday?

I'd always hoped there'd be another way--
That there might be a reason to believe
Because you never learned to stay away.

But the hopes I had are all in disarray
The tattered web of longing that I weave
Won't stop me from having to let you go one day.

And maybe it won't hurt you anyway
Perhaps all I've ever done is to decieve
Myself that you never learned to stay away.

And in the end, who wins? Who has to pay?
Neither you nor I is so naive;
We have to let each other go someday
And yet we never learn to stay away.

(I'm still flying.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Perhaps a Mission Statement

One of the things we've been doing at my house over break, both as part of the New Year and new beginnings (i.e., the beginnings that will come to pass after May 20th when I get that all-important piece of paper) is gathering together all the artifacts, mementoes, papers, and various other accoutrements that develop over the course of a life. Especially a life like mine, where everything of even slight sentimental value or import is hoarded away or tucked into a journal.

In one case, I found an odd assortment of papers thrust into my middle school journal. They were obviously not a part of it (the cursive was much better, for one thing), but I have no recollection of writing it. This in itself isn't so odd--there are a lot of things I write that I forget about, probably due to a mixture of attention deficit and author's shame. I'm guessing I wrote it when I was about 16 or 17, going through the usual angsty dire straits of any lonely teenager. What surprised me was the tone of it. I wrote a lot of dramatic, angry stuff back in those days, and this was--well, anyway. While it's not the best writing by the standards of the snobby academic I am today, it spoke to me because although my situation has changed, what I wrote to myself back then somehow fits the tone of this New Year. (Come to think of it, it could be even the manifesto of this blog as a whole.)

I think the ability to change myself lies within how I view my reaction. Where can I go with this? Where is my course of action going to lead me? Or, what if my reactions were instead proactions? I want control of my life and to let the side of me I can see help me and guide. That side of me is the Holy Spirit. There are wonderful people in my life that I want to emulate; I can only do this by showing my healthy self, by deciding to let it flourish.
I can make the decision to let myself grow and learn instead of staying in misery, where I am "rooted" down. I have to work my way up. I have the ability to be healthy, happy, and compassionate. A Higher Power will be my guide and my ever present companion. I can see past a situation into where I can could go: I now hope to control these situations for myself, to manipulate and decide on my actions, behavior, and state of mind with whatever comes my way.
I guess I feel like I always do: something I have left unsaid. I think that this it he nameless fear, the "Noonday Demon." I need to say nothing. I only write to cement my thoughts, to record my acts, my behavior, what I do to better myself. I write to realize God's grace and the grace of all the people who love and whom I love.
I have been redeemed today. I hope that every day, I will feel this way. To be able to accept and love my peers, my parents, my family. I am on the way and I have done things I would not have been able to do earlier. I pray to God for strength, compassion, sensitivity, and love. However, I must do my part as well. These things will be accomplished with God's guidance and my own work. I must do this to reach my place of Holy Origin. If I cannot be happy, I can change my point of view and my thoughts.
Look Ahead!

I'm still flying.