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trip report: ann arbor, extra early this time [13 Aug 2008|11:24pm]
-People with 'master key' cards keep walking into my room to do things such as measure the air conditioner and checking to make sure I have drapes.

-I was a victim of racial profiling at the rec building today. I am debating whether to bring this up on diversity weekend. I'm afraid doing so may uncover cynicism about diversity weekend.

-They gave me a macbook. I plan to turn it on several times this year. Macs have no right mouse button; this is infuriating.

-One of the showers is clogged. It somehow became clogged before being used even once.

-Yesterday I walked into the bathroom and there were several old ladies being given a tour of the mens' room. They proceeded to ask me questions, including why I was moved in so early.

-I'm doing okay with my job, but I'm already wondering if I lack the mindset to do some of the more inane parts of it and keep smiling, which appears to be a requirement.

-The current over/under on the average number of hours a week i will work is eight.
be awkward

Smelling like ice cream again [06 May 2008|04:28pm]
Finals went pretty well.

Ceramics B+
Composites B+
Kinetics A-
Materials Lab II B
Economics A

Pretty good I think! My GPA is now over a 3.2, so I can apply to the masters program thingy i've been trying to do. Even my lone B is a fluke. The numbers don't add up; I should have an A- according to my grades and the scale given by my professor, and he gave me a B. Tried to contact him to no avail. This part of the semester was terrible (pretty much that class on the whole, from the first day all the way through to trying to email my unreachable professor about my grade), but overall I'm pretty happy with myself.

The job situation is not so good. American Axle never got back to me. I really, truly had my hopes up for that job. I pretty much had to, because they were the only place to give me an interview. So now I have no job. My stated goal for the summer was to not, under any circumstances, work at dairy queen. So I haven't gone and asked/re-applied for a job there. The family is less than pleased with this. At every family function, people ask me where I'm working this summer. I'm still clinging to "i'm still looking right now, and waiting to hear back from somewhere." I think they know as well as I do that no one is calling me back. It's pretty awkward.

I feel very accomplished for getting my GPA up, but I also have nothing tangible to show the folks or anyone else. I passed a semi-arbitrary line to get to a grade point that most people would consider either 'respectable' or just 'low'.

My plan for the next 12 weeks is to loaf as much as possible. I'll probably try to work at dairy queen again, so feel free to stop in and ask me how old I am.
be awkward

What I have learned, by Charles age 20 [17 Mar 2008|12:56am]
This is my to do list for the upcoming 2 weeks of pain.

Lab Report - 3/18
Composites Exam - 3/19
Ceramics Exam - 3/20
Ceramics Homework - 3/20
Econ 101 Exam - 3/24
Kinetics Exam - 3/26
Ceramics Project - Near end of term
Happiness - End of term?

All of my classes are on the same exam schedule, give or take about three days. This makes for horrid exam-filled weeks, followed by very manageable weeks. This could actually be a very good semester if I don't screw up what I've done so far. Economics is the easiest class I've ever had, probably going back to 9th grade. It's far enough into the term that I'm prepared to make that statement. Composites is also easy, but I screwed up the first exam pretty  badly, so I have to take the class as seriously as any until the end of the term. Ceramics I'm also doing well in. Lab and Kinetics, I don't know; I've only done okay so far in those two.

Other than school, life is good. The hardest part is still seeing everybody I want to see. School really is the thing that shapes my life right now. I'm on such a wire with the GPA and whatnot that it takes precedent over a lot of things i should/want to do.

Then there's the job search. I had an interview with American Axle on friday, this time to actually do something in my major. I hope to hear from them soon, but as I write this, I'm realizing that it's been 9 days already. So I guess if i don't hear from them soon I'm out of the running. The interview was half good and half frustrating. They said I didn't have an exit interview on file from last summer, and they seemed to find it suspicious. I had one, and it was painfully long, so why it wouldn't be on file is a mystery to me. So basically my only potential employer thinks I quit last summer rather than ending on planned terms. Wonderful.

Five more weeks. Let's hope I'm not at Dairy Queen four days a week this summer. And
there's a new Nine Inch Nails album out, and if you like overly simplistic elevator music, it's the ticket.
be awkward

Internships and the women who love them [17 Jan 2008|08:20pm]
I just sat through an hour and a half long presentation from the company I would most like to work for this summer. They're rated very highly by their employees, are privately owned, have a very low turnover rate, develop aerospace-related products, are within driving distance from home, etc. Everything about them is perfect. There are 100+ people vying for what I figure are only a dozen or two spots, but I figure my odds are okay because there were only two engineers, myself and another fellow in my classes. At the end they introduced him as one of their "returning engineers". I talked to the engineer question answerer people at the end, and they said that they only had room for one Materials Engineering intern in their facility. One. And the spot is already taken. Not only did I essentially dick around for an hour and a half looking at PR videos, but I'm back to square one in the job search.

And I'm way more qualified.
be awkward

[12 Jan 2008|01:02pm]
It's been a while. I've been busy, then not busy, and now I'm sorta busy again. I'll start with finals. They were crazy, but they mostly turned out okay. My quest for grad school is still alive. I raised my GPA a tiny bit (.02 to be exact), and it still needs to go up .04 before I can do a 5 year masters program in Materials. I think I can make it.

Christmas was really good as well. I spent time with Kristy and my family, and got lots of cool stuff. I tried speaking to my grandma in Italian a little, and it worked (we could understand each other), but she didn't like that I learned Italian and not Sicilian. That's pretty stubborn if you ask me. As far as cool stuff, I got Warhawk and Assassin's Creed, two very good PS3 games, and mp3 player, a Ruby Tuesday gift card (???) and some clothes. 'Twas very good overall, although I went out of my way to eat at Ruby Tuesday's and got really sick. Just goes to show all of you at home: never eat at Ruby Tuesday's.

I got a job living in the dorms next year. Which sucks in itself, but they're paying to live there. I get to basically do my current job, except easier and with less accountability, in a live-in position. It looks good on the 'ol resume`, too. They're also giving me a laptop to use for the year. Not bad overall. The worst part will be living alone, and being nowhere near where anyone I know lives. I can't even really park by it. It definitely has its downs, but it's saving me at least the 6 grand or so I'm spend on the apartment and food this year, plus the perks, so it's still something I really need to do.

I'll try and post again sooner than last time. Maybe i'll talk about my classes or something. Really, the possibilities are endless.
be awkward

cry cry wah wah etc [09 Nov 2007|06:43pm]
This is a strange time for me. I think i'm just starting to realize that i want to go to grad school. At the same time, I'm finding out that, at my current rate of grade decline, I won't be going to grad school. This is really, really frustrating. I don't want to work in a factory in any capacity. I want a science-y job. I don't want to do steel wire purchasing orders for American Axle. I want to make ultra-composite-nano-hypoeutectic-ceramoplasts in a multi billion dollar facility with white walls where even the janitors wear lab coats and have level two clearance. Seriously though, I want to do something product development oriented in Aerospace or Defense.

Telling my parents this is like trying to explain the situation to furby, only furby now responds to anything and everything with:

"are you eating good? hello? is this thing on? oh it'll be fine Charles. what did you eat for dinner?"

It's true; if I starve to death I can't get a job anyways. They're just looking out for me.

Remember when just having a degree was sufficient? Me neither, but I've heard that there was a time when all of this crap wasn't necessary; all of the merciless mental beating. I once had something of an ego. Nowadays, I am thoroughly convinced that I am retarded. A few times a week, in case I forget, someone wearing a sweater-vest hands me a piece of paper that reminds me. I put more and more out every semester, and my GPA goes down pretty steadily regardless. If I don't get it up this year, I'm pretty much doomed. I think. Or this might all be worry-wart stuff, and having a microscopic GPA on a U of M letterhead might not be such a bad thing.

I used to think that the stuff I'm currently afraid of was okay, but everything I hear about makes me think less and less of engineering jobs in the manufacturing process. Some people from ford came to talk to materials majors last week, and it was really, really sad. They basically told us that they have no time to re-engineer cars because of the emphasis on cost-cutting, and that any of their work could be overruled by "smell-engineers" or "feel-engineers" at any point in the process. They were very clear in that they hated their jobs. I don't want this or deserve this; I have worked too hard. But that's where I feel like I'm headed.

This is complete insanity, I realize, but just writing this all down makes me feel better, so ... thank you.
2 awkward comments|be awkward

[29 Oct 2007|04:26pm]
I wrote most of this last monday, and I just didn't get the chance to until today. That should give you an idea of how quickly the time flies.

Mondays are down days. Pretty much everything for my classes was due today. There's homework due on monday in Thermo and Principles of Materials, lab notes due for my lab class (admittedly not a lot of work there, just had to prepare everything and touch up my notes), and a quiz in italian. Oh boy, let me tell you about that. I made a mistake underestimating that class. I do more work in italian 101 than I do in Materials Science 350, who knew. I spent hours and hours on it yesterday; the class got harder for me pretty quickly. I've never conjugated anything before (knowingly) in my life, and I don't have spanish or any other language to kind of fall back on. It's amazing how often in class people can just answer in spanish and be almost exactly right. No excuses though, except for when I make excuses. Like right now. I really want an A for once. Italy, as a nation, owes me for my horrid upbringing.

Anyhoo, my point with all of that was that I want to get ahead of everything on monday and tuesday, but it's hard to. It's hard not only to motivate myself after turning in a stack of papers, but also to get all of the information i need for that work early in the week. But at this very moment I am relaxing, so I probably shouldn't complain.

There's way more homework this semester, but I really like my classes. I'm not naturally good at italian (kinda funny actually), but it's still a fun class, and I'm definitely not incapable of learning it pretty well. The other classes, the ones dealing with materials, are an absolute beating. It's pretty easy to hate yourself because of it, and a lot of times I do. I'm just trying to get through it, because there really are some very positive experiences to be had, and although I questioned it in my first year, the education here really is worth every penny.
be awkward

Move-in [05 Sep 2007|05:50pm]
I'm settled in at school, I've been to all of my classes once, and I can tell you this
much; it's gonna be an okay year. Like I've said (complained) before, I live on central
campus, about two and a half miles from my place last year (and all of my classes). In
other words, my 3 minute walk to class is now a 30 minute combined walk and bus ride. But at least this place is louder, more expensive, and dirtier, right?

Seriously though, the apartment's not that bad. Everything just takes getting used to. On the plus side, it is closer to social stuff, which would be more of a plus if I, you
know, did anything social.  Getting to football games, aka Drew's weekly motional
roulette, is a lot easier, too. I also live above a dumpster. If you've never thrown a
piece of furniture so far that it crash lands, I suggest you stop by and bring a chair.

My classes look like they will be really interesting but unbelievably hard. I have Principals of Engineering Materials, Thermodynamics, something called "Materials Lab 1" (pretty open ended if you ask me), and Italian. Italian should be pretty easy, given my background and overall sexy voice, but I've also never taken a  real language class. This will test the diversity of my learning abilities. Actually I just hope it's really easy since I'm the only non freshman in it and it's the very lowest Italian course. Materials lab 1 is supposed to fluctuate wildly between being very little work some weeks and "up to 30 hours of work" on other weeks. But come on, is that even possible (I'm only writing this so i can look back on my naievete and laugh/cry) ? Principles of Materials is pretty straightforward, it's the sequel to a class I had last year, and it's just supposed to be more in-depth. I think that will be the easiest engineering class. Thermo is supposed to be one of the hardest topics in engineering, and I've seen other peoples' 10 page weekly homework assignments in other thermo classes, so I'm pretty scared about that one. Still, it should be a good year. I'm starting to know a few of the people in my classes, because there's only one section for most of the materials classes. It's kind of like having a shoulder to cry on, if that shoulder were always awkward and hesitant to hold an actual conversation.

So that's it, wish me luck. Hopefully I'll have more to write about soon.
be awkward

times [10 Aug 2007|12:38am]
[ mood | Blah ]

These are weird times. I'm not really acting like schools soon, even though i only have about 2 weeks left before I move back. Not working and not going to school is pretty much the coolest thing ever. I'm just leaking money slowly and doing absolutely nothing except recuperate for school. I am a 1 month bum. Right now I'm just trying to cram in as much time with Kristy as I can, but I just feel like i'm not spending enough time with other people, or just leading a balanced life in general. My family I especially wish I could see more. In a couple years i won't really see them a whole lot any more (subject to change), so I just wish i could sit down and eat with em most days, and I don't. Instead I feel pressured to see my girlfriend or see people I haven't seen in a while, and that's what always gets put on the back burner. It really sucks. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can just spread the love properly and get back to work and not feel depressed/stressed about whether or not I've seen everybody enough. I have two more weeks to pretend that I enjoy school in any way.

Family is frustrating. Like I said before, I want to spend lots and lots of quality time with them. I just don't want to argue, and that's all we do. This is, in large part, due to the lack of time spent. My parents are gonna spend a certain minimum of time yelling at me, so any more time I spend is the good kind of family time. But to this day they are oh so constraining. Blood is nearly shed over every little thing. A few weeks ago, I went to Chicago with Kristy (okay, I admit, probably not a 'little thing' to them), and my mom literally shed tears over the thought of me being a) away from her watch for what ended up being about 26 hours, and b) with A WOMAN. I always had this perception as a kid (and, to an extent, stayed alive and hopeful on this rationalization of my parents' behavior), that I would hit a certain age and the clouds would break. I would see the light on the other side, and standing there beside me would be my happy family. We would talk about our days and not yell and argue when one of the four of us, all rational-thinking adults, wanted to do something on their own. After all, we all have eachother's trust. Back to reality. I wanted to get away and do a nice one year anniversary thing by taking Kristy to chicago, and my loving mother interpreted this as a one day sex romp and therefore her loss of me as a son. I had to fight tooth and nail for what amounted to one day of stress and poor planning. Things that should be relaxing and enjoyable are made not so by this pressure.

But it was okay i guess. Album

On the school note, I could be living in a cardboard box for all I know. I can't get a hold of the landlord (who'd have thought a guy named Hui Hui would be hard to communicate with!), so I don't know when me/dave/drew are moving in, what's gonna be there when we get in, or even where we get the friggin' keys. I could only buy one textbook online this semester. I feel the need to catch up for previous times by buying absolutely everything online, so this is quite the disappointment.

Call, IM, comment, etc.

be awkward

Free at last, free at last [16 Jul 2007|01:00pm]
[ mood | lazy ]

So the big news is that I'm done with work. I left early because I basically wasn't doing anything. I would sit there all day while everyone else did real work. The best I could usually do is tag along and see what the electrical engineers there do. It's not bad; I have higher hopes, but it's kinda good to know that if I had to, I could do what they do. My parents are pretty mad about me quitting (I prefer to call it 'ending the internship early') because I should save my money up and get a new car. But what they fail to see is that I am entitled to sit on my ass while the rest of the world works. I can see where they think I'm ridiculous and lazy, but I just want one last fraction of a summer. Really, that's it. I see my girlfriend for two days every two weeks most of the year. I got two 'normal' weeks and then did my time at a pretty crappy job. I saved up a bunch of money, and that's good enough for me. Now is the time to loaf. And play videa games, and play basketball.

I went to cedar point on wednesday with Kristy, Huber, and Jesi. It was pretty cool. The weather was really nice and it wasn't crowded. My advice to all of you is to go on a wednesday when light rain is in the forecast.

1 awkward comment|be awkward

Updating in notepad from work [30 Jun 2007|12:05pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

Congrats to one very special Maroon 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme SL for reaching 100,000 miles. Just the other day, the car celebrated by opening its garbage-console-panel-thing in the middle of a trip home from work and then just refusing to close, ever again. It's the little things that make you special, cutlass. You have dealt with my sister's horrible driving, my mom's horribly conservative driving, and my wobbly driving. When I drove your passenger side mirror into a construction barrel, you forgave me. When you made some of the metal that makes up one of your doors 'disappear', I forgave you. When you threw Huber off of your trunk, I high-fived you (i now rescind that high five, throwing people off cars is not cool). When I wrote a creepy ode to you and posted it on livejournal, you did not get creeped out. You truly are Supreme.

Oh and congrats to me for making it through this awful internship. 2 more weeks and I'm out. I've learned a lot, to be fair, but the place just isn't right for me. Pretty much any factory is not right for me, at least now when i'm choosy. The voice of anyone decent or relaxed is drowned out by the enviornment that's been created here by the state of the auto industry. Some days it's not a bad place to work, but other days people get randomly harassed by their bosses for no reason at all. They've said I can come back next year if I want. I didn't tell them no, but it's not where I see myself being next year.

That's all for now. I'm free after July 13th, so have my people call your people.

be awkward

American Axhole and Manufacturing [19 May 2007|03:26pm]
[ mood | tired ]

School's been out for about a month, and i'm sure my half a dozen loyal readers can't wait to hear me talk about it. Chem sucks. I felt like i improved every exam (and even though i didn't see the final exam or its grade, my grade did pretty substantially every time), I still got a C. I was at least hoping for a pity C+ or even a B- if i had done well on the final. If i could do it again i would definitely not fail the first midterm. Well, i do that a lot, I have to cut back. It was also the least fun i've ever had in such a hard class. Chemistry is a hoax, complete with smoke and mirrors. Yeah, I said it. Anyhoo, I didn't do well in any class except campus band (A woo), so my GPA is down to a "becomes a question at future interviews" 3.14. As hilarious as having a GPA of pi is, it sucks too. Every semester i work harder and become a better student, not to mention just smarter. Still, the grades go down. I have a 4 credit 'easy' class in the fall, Italian, so i'm optimistic about next semester's overall grade picture. I have have HAVE (have) to at least hold it steady next year.

The last time I updated, I said I neither wanted nor received an internship. Well, that was a lie. I got one at American Axle, which is kind of on the north end of Detroit. They make axles. I make sleep-starved depression whines from a cubicle next to some kind of oil drilling site they're working on inside the factory. I took it not for love of the auto industry, but because it's a job (2x the pay and 2x the hours of DQ equals 4x the money). It's still going to go on my resume` and look positive, so what's so bad about that? Since I did this, and they somehow hired a Materials Engineer for an Electrical Engineering internship (or a "controls engineer", whatever that is), you can pretty much guess that I'm about to complain about it. On any given day, from 7am to 3pm, I might spend:

-Writing down a message that comes up on a computer screen in the factory for the entire day (this is what programmers are for!)
-Reading engineering manuals the whole day. I've always said that the best way to learn how to control robots is to just do it. This reading nonsense is absurd.
-Shadowing engineers as they "go out into the factory" and help fix broken machines, which by their own admission to me is something a mechanic or tradesman should be doing
-Trying to figure out whether lunch is not allowed or just frowned upon. On my first day I was told we get a half hour lunch, so every subsequent day i've plopped down at the four hour mark and ate a sack lunch. I'm paranoid, but this is beyond explanation. I get dirty looks from the engineers when they walk by and see me eating. I asked somebody if eating at your desk is allowed, and it is. I'm now pretty sure that they don't take actual lunches, but just eat while working, and the fact that i stop reading for 30 minutes a day is uncalled for. Also, I got yelled at for playing free cell on my 9" touch screen computer during lunch. So i'm pretty sure there's nothing close to a break during the day for them. Taking it out of the start menu doesn't delete it, who knew!

The whole thing is just uncomfortable. I'm irritable on weekdays because I am not even close to used to getting up at 5:30. This past week i was convinced for few hours that I was losing my hair, but no, I'm just completely batshit crazy when I get no sleep. The job is not fun and gives me skills in a completely unrelated discipline, if it gives me anything at all. I know how to program in this weird language that literally uses flowcharts as the programming medium. I'm not sure that it even translates to other factories. I'm pretty much ignored by the engineers that are supposed to give me work, which is fine, they're very busy, but then I just get stuck trying to read and re-read books that they've given me and die of boredom. I read the robot manual cover to cover twice, 300 pages (with pictures, but give me some credit). The past couple days have been better in terms of being occupied, but this month's barrier to happiness is definitely this job. The most important thing i've learned from this job is to not take 'this job' if i'm ever offered it. The engineers there all have stories about how once they took one manufacturing job out of college no employer in a cushy design firm would hire them because they had been pegged as "manufacturing" guys. I could write pages about this place, and I probably will at some point if I don't quit.

What else... I got a PS3, then had to send in the cable because it didn't work, then returned the system because it didn't work, and then about 3 weeks later got an actual ps3. On a side note, i have the eBay touch of death. In the past year i've bought close to 800 dollars worth of stuff online (an mp3 player, the ps3, a few textbooks, a replacement computer part) that hasn't worked and had to be returned, or was just a flat out scam. Having just typed 800 dollars makes me realize that I really need to stop buying stupid crap, like textbooks. Anyways, It was really worth the wait, the thing is beautiful. Right now it's just a few games and a ton of potential, but I don't know why you wouldn't spend the extra hundred dollars on a ps3 if you were thinking about making such a big investment in a 360 already. And the wii is fun, but not something I'd want to own. Plus dave has one. The only game I have right now, besides a bunch of demos, is Resistance: Fall of Man. It's definitely a game to mooch off of somebody (me) if you've never tried it.

That's pretty much it. I'm home, so call me if you're bored.

5 awkward comments|be awkward

I'm in a suit [06 Apr 2007|12:56pm]
[ mood | calm ]

School is crazy, but better. I beat the median for the first time in my chemistry class, which means i'm no longer in danger of failing. Materials is going well too. I'm not failing anything, and it only took eleven weeks. My group just had a presentation and it went great, maybe even too great. We went way over and he had to stop us, but i'm honestly happy for that because a) we didn't fall way under, which is worse for grades and nerves and b) I didn't lose my composure and degenerate technical data into Plastic conductivity-sports analogies. The class asks questions at the end of these presentations, and they generally do a pretty good job of making you look like a complete fool, but I thought I did okay (in part because we went so far over that the really really long time allotment for questions was more like a regular time allotment).

I'm really just glad it's over. My jollies these days don't come from doing well, they come from stuff just ending. There's too much anticipation involved; first you study for an exam for 20-25 hours, mostly over the last four or five days, then you freak out the day of and turn into a raging meth addict. Then there's a week or two of waiting for said exam to come back. This is usually when I realize that I did nothing right. It's a terrible feeling in between when you realize you screwed up and when you find out just how much you screwed up. I can't wait to be done. Not just with the year, I can't wait for it all to be over. It's not that college isn't the best time of your life, or your prime as a human being, it's that this is so damn painful. I have been abused so many times by this school that there's no gratitude for the learning experience left. I'm pretty certain that i've learned to be smarter in general due to said beating, and I'm better off for it, but I find i'm average-below average, and I can't stand that.

This is the best feeling. I'm sitting here in a lab next to a bunch of computer science majors finishing their programming projects, and I'm just kinda dicking around, waiting for my last class. I haven't a care in the world for the next 24 minutes. That's the usual amount of time for actual relaxation per week. After that, I'll drive home, catch up, see Kristy, and drive back, and all of that is great, but it's anything but relaxed. For the summer, I just want to be as far from this state of mind as possible. No spring classes, no real thinking. This might be the last opportunity before real life to not shower until 5pm on a weekday, and i'm damn well not gonna waste it on an internship.

I'm done some time around the 24th, hopefully i'll see ya then. Have your people call my people.

4 awkward comments|be awkward

Most Extreme Boredom Challenge [10 Mar 2007|02:21am]
[ mood | content ]

Break was cool. I actually got to be with kristy for more than forty minutes. i spent a lot of time studying orgo, the worst class ever concieved. Chemistry is a hoax, and you've all been fooled. The idea of studying for an exam for 25 hours over the course of a week and then getting 10% below the median is just new to me. That's not normally how i am, i just can't do chemistry. Other than that, my life is good right now. Dave, Drew, and I signed a lease for next year. We're gonna be on central/south campus, where all the cool kids hang. I can't say i'm thrilled (where we live now is 3 minutes from class and quiet), but this is just how things are i guess. The good part is that we are in a pretty cool location, as far as that area is concerned. It'll just be an adjustment for me. I'm gonna miss my rec building.

So what do i do with my time? A butt load of homework, basketball (though more rarely nowadays, more of a weekend thing when i'm here), broomball at midnight on mondays, work the same old job, and play a video game or two. Mostly the sims 2 and some stuff dave has on the Wii, which is pretty cool by the way. I still think it's a novelty, but hey, i'll take a novelty that i can use for free.

My other classes kill me in their own right. Materials science is depressing; i can count down my grade based on the number of points i lose every week. My maximum possible grade goes down 1-2 percent a week. Mechanical engineering is probably the best of the group. It's just one night a week of staying up late and trying to get all the points. It's pretty manageable. Concert band is boring. I knew the music by the second week of class, and i just kind of assumed we'd get new music but we never did.

What do i have to look forward to? Five weeks (or so) of class left, then absolutely hellish exams, then freedom. And the pistons on March 18th.

5 awkward comments|be awkward

School and such [02 Feb 2007|07:05pm]
[ mood | stressed ]

This is a tough stretch for me. There's not much time to see Kristy, and school is once again setting the record for the most homework i've ever had. The weeks are crazy and the weekends are nice. I had my first exam of the term this week, and, well, let's just say it didn't go well. Thursday nights remain crazy, as well. Orgo sucks, but i suck more. Materials science started out a wee bit shocking, but I think i'm settling in. The class isn't really about materials science at all, at least not now and not for a while. I think we're starting with the atom and kinda building up. And by starting with the atom, I mean this:

A particle of mass M decays at rest into two particles of mass m1 and m2. Show that energy and momentum conservation imply that the energy of particle one is given by E1 = (M^2+m1^2-m2^2)c^2/2M.

P.S. If anyone knows the answer tell me. I kinda have an exam friday. Mechanical Engineering is on friday too, but I'm not as worried about it. It's kinda like high school physics but way more in depth. Still, the concepts we do are all tangible things and not atoms moving at or near the speed of light, so it's a bit easier to get.

Continuing on down the complain train, campus band. I sit there for two hours and basically don't speak. I hardly even play. We have five songs, none of which are even as hard as symphonic stuff from high school. There are ten trumpets and i'm pretty sure one of them is good. I'm not saying i should be first, or even playing first, but it was just kinda surprising. I was expecting to be kind of overwhelmed, which now seems stupid of me. No one has any time to practice or play or be good. The director makes a bunch of inside jokes/douchebag remarks that don't settle with me. Not the first time I haven't liked a teacher, but I just had such high hopes. What it really comes down to is that it's not my old comfortable setting, so it's always going to suck. Even if i kinda knew the people around me or the director wasn't a douche, I still wouldn't like it. What I really want is my old comfortable high school band, where the director has a comfortable 16-year-old maturity level, and I have a voice, and so forth. Also, some jazz would be nice. Who wants to start a non music major jazz band?

Work is okay these days, albeit worky. We're a lot busier than we used to be. It seems like we're on understaffed on the whole, but people are just working in the wrong places at the wrong times. I used to just browse the interweb at work, but i honestly haven't sat down and just been lazy at work for what seems like weeks. I know: weeks! I almost want to say something about it, but I know what i'd be told: it's not my fault, or it's not my problem. Nothing is anybody's problem, there is infinite capacity to shift the blame in such a large bureaucracy.

Spare time is still full of basketball. No, I'm still not good. Yes, I still crush Mike Huber on a weekly basis. I watch the office a lot now, too. So should you. Hey, that rhymes. In closing, I miss you all. Where'd you go?

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Everything [06 Jan 2007|01:26am]
[ mood | Happy ]

Where to begin? Oh, Christmas. Ok.

Christmas this year was all the good stuff you'd imagine; family, gifts, extreme frustration, Jesus, and a shiny ladyfriend. I got a shiny new basketball, a bunch of shirts and jeans, Strangers With Candy, Talladega Nights, Anamaniacs Season 2(???), No Doubt's Greatest Hits, Slippers, lotsa money, and gift cards. More importantly, I'm pretty sure I didn't get "the look" when I gave anyone their gift. After Christmas kinda sucked. Michigan got creamed in the rose bowl, and I puked a bunch. Practically everyone in my extended family got sick. 'Twas terrible.

So far, all of my classes seem ok, but pretty hard as well.

Organic Chem - Supposed to be horribly hard, but at least I have a very good teacher, from what I hear.
Physics of Materials - Looks horribly hard, but haven't heard from anybody about the class. All I know is that the syllabus includes "quantum tunneling" and "statistical physics". And there's an Einstein chapter.
Intro to solid mechanics - Looks like physics 1, but more boring. Definitely the least difficult of the three, but it will find a way to be hard at the worst time.

I'm also trying to get into a campus band. I miss trumpet <3.

be awkward

When in rome [10 Dec 2006|11:01am]
[ mood | Sears and Zemansky's University Physics, 11th Ed. ]

Here I am, sitting at home (home home), trying to relax and take a night off. The past few weeks have been kinda crazy, for obvious reasons. In order for me to do better in one class, i have to do worse in another. I can't get them all right at once. I can't focus enough on all of them longer than for a midterm (long enough to bomb said midterm), then it's back to doing the bare minimum. I still don't really know how to study or prepare for big tests. The only class that's any fun is my Political Science class. The assigned reading is actually interesting, we get to see federal judges speak, and we talk about hot-button issues in class. I just can't see it being practical.

Back to reality. A paper due Wednesday, and finals Wednesday, Friday, and Monday. Wooo. I didn't even realize it was so close to Christmas until i got home and saw all the decorations. We tried to put up lights at the apartment, but we were pwnt by the duct-tape-rejecting paint.

Blaaaah i realize the importance of the coming week but half (most) of me just wants to half-ass it and get bad but not terrible grades. After my junior year i'm definitely declaring for the engineering draft early. I think that my skills have clearly been demonstrated, and they translate well to the pros. P.S. did you know that the speed of light is two constants multiplied by eachother?! Hopefully i'm alive on the 18th. If so, i'll be in town, so give me a ring-ring.

be awkward

school and such [08 Nov 2006|01:07am]
School's, yeah... school's... really hard. I do more homework than I ever thought possible. I kinda feel like i'm doing well just by keeping up, but my grades are going down the crapper nonetheless. I'm pretty sure i'm currently failing the materials science class mentioned in the last post. Not because i'm dumb or because it's extremely difficult, but just due to frustrating little problems that somehow add up really quickly. I still want to major in it, I just have to pass this class first. If I don't, i have no idea what i'd do.

Btw, my birthday last month:

Mike huber just kinda put me in the car and started driving. Kept driving, kept driving, where are we? Ypsilanti? So yeah, we went to the 'ol strip club. And by "ol" i mean "what the hell am i doing here this is not like me at all what have you dragged me in to???". I'll say that much; they play fantastic music. I heard at least three Nine Inch Nails songs. Three! I never even hear them on the radio and the DJ at Deja Vu was kind enough to play them. It wasnt just the NIN, either. All the other songs were good. So Mr. Huber finally got me to go, albeit against my will, but at least there was fancy music.

More later i promise.
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Gaaaahhhh [12 Oct 2006|07:38pm]
[ mood | frustrated ]

As much as I enjoy the knowledge and companionship of our beloved international student instructors, I cannot help but think that perhaps there should be some sort of criteria in the communications aspect of their short-lived career.

Steps to becoming a good teacher:
0. Learn the material.
1. Learn the language of the students you teach
2. Overcome politically correct BS statutes saying that i can't comment on anyone's ability to speak the language they're paid to speak

Well, we tried.

Here's what's happening. I really thought I liked materials science, but the more i learn about it, the more i learn i just suck at it. It's still at least somewhat interesting. It's frustrating because I get the concepts for the most part, but the delivery of these concepts is an awkward mess that takes careful presentation to stick. I don't want to be stuck with something i'm bad at/not enjoying, so i need to decide pretty quickly what my future will be if I want to graduate in four years. Other classes are fine. I think i did pretty well on math, and i got just above average on physics, which is not what i was hoping for but still ok. Political science is really interesting, but now i have my first paper of the year to deal with. I should be ok. I'm just frustrated by this situation i'm in.

I just need to go home for a few days. Luckily, i'll have a chance to do just that this weekend(+). It's not even that i need to not do any work, I just need to not be facing my profs every day. Plus i want some pizza. I'm home till tuesday night, so give me a holla.

be awkward

[23 Sep 2006|10:14pm]
Everything's going so fast. It's just like last year but all the more frightening because i'm aware of it from the very beginning. I've been here for 4 seconds Brain Time. It's 9:29 on Saturday and i really just need to go to bed. Wtf. I was a week ahead and then 5 days ahead and then 3 days ahead and now really not ahead at all. What happened? Bah. I'm still doing fine, the stress level is just upped. And then i'll go home this weekend and fall behind all over again. I really can't work at all when I go home.

Today was the Wisconsin game, and a good time was had. The stadium is shiny. MSU will be a good game. This is a frightening, frantic place and I'm just about as far away from the summer and calm as I could possibly be. That grinds my gears. I don't even have time for my favorite stops on the internet. I'm way behind on SomethingAwful, YTMND, Penny-Arcade,... all the good stuff basically. These are the things that would normally make my day most of the time up here, but instead I'm busy trying to get ahead on physics so I can have time to study for exams. You know, of all the ways classes screw you, the worst is when you can't spend enough time studying because of homework in the same class. Seriously, what the hell. I think i'll just go to University of Phoenix online instead. I'm sure it's just as good.

Did that offend anybody?

It's 10:13 pm. I'm tired, office space is on in the other room, and i'll be awakened at 8:00am tomorrow by mating geese (who have literally crapped all over everything in my apartment complex). Good night, 4 remaining readers.
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