How Do I Dance with a Coyote?
Since asking the Universe for help a few weeks ago, it has been a strange experience, day-to-day. I’m far more at peace with myself than I was before, but the experience is exposing a lot of the contours of my psyche.
Answered Prayers are Scary
I wrote this last night, late.
I’m sitting on the porch as I write this, listening to the rain on the metal roof. The thin sheet metal really magnifies the sound of the rain, and makes it seem like the sky is falling, even in moderate rain.
Last Sunday night, I was working on a paper well into the night. I say working, but it was more like trying to move the words on the screen by sheer wishpower. I can’t call it will power, because actually writing anything seemed pretty much impossible. I suppose I could call it won’t-power. Anyways, I managed to get some momentum going after midnight, and finished a reasonably good draft at around 4 am. I had had too much coffee earlier that evening, so I wasn’t able to rest very well, even after the paper was done. I also had an exam on Monday morning.
So, come Monday morning, I was feeling pretty off-kilter.
The Cold of Space
So, last night was the first cold night in my new space. It was not comfortable. The room isn’t particularly drafty, but like many homes built 100 years ago, it has no insulation. It has an open crawlspace under the house, and single-pane windows. I’m not surprised that it got cold, but it was (literally) a wake-up call.
I’ll be setting up the room’s gas heater this evening, and I’ll probably need to look at some heavier blankets.
It’s quite the contrast to weeks of triple-digit temperatures.
This is my first post from the Tumblr Android app. Sorry it’s not more exciting!
A Little Pressure
I’ve been continuing to struggle with my gremlins about school. It’s a familiar feeling from long ago. When it starts to look like I might not be able to succeed in a class, I find myself avoiding it, but also avoiding thinking about it. It is like I want to make it go away by ignoring it. Right now, the course it is showing up with is my programming course. I’m not a skilled or fast programmer, so the homework takes a long time to complete, and I’ve missed a few assignments so far. We’ve reached a point in the course where the information I need just isn’t readily accessible. Reading the chapters of the textbook is not easy, because the material is very dense.
It’s easy for me to get discouraged in this kind of situation, because I’m used to information making sense and integrating right away. I’m not used to having to study and review information for it to “stick”. I’m starting to learn techniques for that, and I hope it’s in time to save my programming grade. I think I will write to my professor to see what suggestions she has.
On the other hand, I’ve figured out the game of my physics and engineering courses, so I’m not worried about those at all. I’ve heard that my physics professor is one of the hardest ones at A&M, but I really like him. He has given a large number of assignments, but they’re all designed to help with understanding and retaining the information. Just doing the assignments has been enough to keep me in a strong position in the course. My engineering course is largely an introductory course, but it does have a fair amount of homework and lab work. Since I’ve studied electronics in the past, it’s largely review for me. This has kept that course from put too much pressure on me.
Studying and playing with electronics components, though, has re-awakened my interest in electronic circuits. In the past, I’ve either not had the money or the time to explore and experiment with circuits. Now I have an incentive to free up some time in my day to tinker with circuits. I’m thinking about getting a big bag of components from Jameco to play with. Building a few example circuits in class has really given me something to think about and look forward to. I need to get my lab space put together in my room, and start thinking about how to set up a little lab space in my new house.
Mike Check, Tiny House
So, 30 minutes of writing a day, or thereabouts. That’s what I’m shooting for. I want to keep the writing wheels a-turning. I suppose I suffer from that self-critical gremlin that says “Why would anyone want to read what I write?”, because it feels like such a chore to come up with something to write. Once I get started, though, it doesn’t take much to keep me going.
The Story Begins Again
I’ve begun many journals, and even a few blogs, with lamentations about previous journals and blogs that I’ve begun and not continued. I’m not going to do that here.
This weblog began as an idea that I should chronicle my re-entry into the world of Academia after being out in the world for a few years. OK, more than a few. This gives me an interesting perspective on the whole academic machine and process. Some of the time I find myself immersed in the wonder of learning new things, like I am a kid again. Lately I have been feeling very overwhelmed by the volume of work, from a diverse range of sources, which I’m not used to. Oftentimes I find myself feeling like the old man telling stories about when he was a boy.
But first, some background:
I originally came to Texas A&M University in fall of 2003. I enrolled in an Electrical Engineering degree plan. I don’t know why. I think I thought it was interesting. I went through all the motions of registering for classes, meal plan, dorm room, the works. I went to the orientation for freshman. When classes started, I even went to classes!