It’s been a while

Well my last post was so negative that I have had a hard time convincing myself not to drop this site all together. After spending some time thinking about it, I decided not to make such a rash decision. I’m going to keep it and give it another go. I’ll be making some new rules to my posting style though to prevent such a long and silent period.

My verbal temper tantrum was uncalled for and somewhat overblown. I now realize the importance of keeping every post on the positive side. When you start submitting negative posts and giving into the desire to rant with uncontrolled frustration and criticism, not only do you lose credibility from a readers perspective, you tend to start losing credibility towards yourself. From here on I’m going to make it a goal to not only pick up where I left off by continuing to use this site, I will also try my best to keep everything I write very positive.

I’m also going to try and post more often. I’m thinking once a week would be a healthy start. Haven’t decided a good time to write once a week. Maybe I’ll make it a Saturday morning thing. I’ll test the waters a bit.

Anyway. I didn’t want to make this a long post. Just a quick thing to get this concoction of a site rolling again. I’ll try a more complete update within the next few days.

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A different start

Disclaimer: This is basically a Pity-Party-Post. Save yourself from my mere journaling and read some cool stuff on Quora.

Well … I didn’t get a chance to write about Alaska a whole lot. Pity. I really wanted to. Oh well. I’m back up in the UP right now. Just started my third semester here. So far so … good? … I wish I could say that more confidently but I can’t. This semester has had a rather abnormal start from all other semester in my college educational career. Due to the combinations of poor planning skills and a crunched time frame, things were not set up to run as smoothly as they should have. I was unable to set up residency before my arrival and have been relying on my sister’s good graces for shelter. I was also unable to find a decent job this semester and so decided to accept my invitation to my previous sub-par job. Some of my friends are gone. The classes I am taking appear to be of a greater challenge as well. Basically …. I’ve got myself in a mess. A big tricky mess.

Granted, I’m sure out there probably even in this city there are many people who have it worse than I do. I tend to complain more than I believe I have the right to. But still, all I can think about right now is how badly I want out. This sucks. I’m basically homeless, without a stable decent job, and school is kicking my … well … my gluts! It doesn’t help that school was also doing that less than two weeks before now in Calc 2.

I believe I wrote a brief post about that a while back. If I didn’t, I’ll summarize. I chose to take an accelerated Calculus 2 course during the summer which had a class every day of the week for two and a half hours for five weeks straight. Yes, it sucked. It really really sucked. Long story short, this class took away most of my summer while upsetting the majority of my family which led to someone being kicked out which festered some resentment towards my education. In the past, I have never been deeply motivated by school. Good grades are great, but I have never valued them beyond the avoidance of the embarrassing experience of bad grades. A pat on the back doesn’t feel that different to most of the 4.0’s I have received. (I’ve probably written about that in the past as well) My point is …. well … that class really burned me out.

Although I did indeed pass the class, I didn’t do it with flying colors. I consider what I received as a bad grade. (Some say passing is good, but I set my standards high so I don’t completely succumb to my lack of 4.0 motivation) Because I gave so much and came out feeling poorly, that class left a few wounds that are still a bit tender to touch. It’s one thing to spend a school years away and get to see your parents periodically on breaks and the start of the summer. However, seeing them grow distant from you because of a class you chose to take, that’s a pretty painful thing to swallow. I had to go up north feeling that these wounds I feel are still mutual between those closest to me. My mother and father expressed how much they missed me. Saying goodbye was not easy when I came up north. My eldest brother who has always been the understanding and encouraging one in my life twice spoke the sly remarks of a forgotten brother who wanted to see that he still mattered.

So in a nutshell, that class has left me pretty resentful towards school in general. I usually never struggled to get excited to learn new things and meet new instructors. This semester, however, has come with it’s share of heavy baggage. I truly miss my family. I regret having treated them like shit. They mean more to me than this stupid place. I will probably go to my grave saying that I do not belong in school. I am a laborer. My heart lies with the tasks and duties of a smaller group. I wonder how often a doctor smiles in comparison to a garbage man.  The world is what you make of it, not what it makes of you. …. That’s enough. I’ll dream more about simpler careers in the morning. For now, I better get to sleep, I have to be up and ready for class in five hours. ……

Thoughts on my mind.

   So …. I have been trying to come up with a rough plan with my life. That alone is pretty weird for me. I mean, I’ve kinda just grown up taking life as it came at me. Now I’m trying to guide my life to a goal! It’s kind of weird knowing that you want something like this. The thought that makes you think if you don’t get it, than nothing else matters.
    Here’s kind of the deal. I need to save up. I need to stockpile money like I’ve never done before. I need scholarships, internships, jobs … Anything I can get. … I wish I could blert things out but this dream of mine requires some careful planning and …. Well … A little secrecy. If it all goes well, I’ll be both terrified and blissful.
    I’ve been thinking I should stay up here in Marquette for the summer. After all, my job isn’t horrible and it leaves room for other jobs and stuff. If I could get a couple more part time jobs, maybe a local internship, I’d be set. I could pay bills and save up! Of course, life always has its unexpected hurtles. How do you plan for those though. The only thing I think I should do is make a decent plan from the options I have, then stick with it. Take the path till it takes me. Sweep myself into my future. … Ok that’s enough climactic sentences that make little sense.
    Katrina’s (my darling’s) dad is coming down from Alaska this summer to grab more personal items for their new home way up there. (Actually it’s technically more west but whatever) I’m not sure who or even how many people would be interested in riding the 6 day drive up with him. I certainly I’m though. I would love a drive like that! I never (ok rarely) tire of driving. The idea of riding for so long and on the scenic routes to Alaska no less. It truly sounds incredible. There’s just one catch. (Aside from their might not being room) I would be spending 6 consecutive days in close proximity to my girlfriend’s father. …. Yeah. ….. Why do I want to do this? Well aside from the natural intimidation that comes with my position, I don’t feel all that uncomfortable with that. Let’s face it, I have been blessed with meeting, getting to know and falling in love with his little girl. If there’s anyone who can relate to the deep connections and feelings I have for Katrina, its him. I’m still uneasy when I’m in his presence but at the same time. I’ve done my best to maintain respectfulness, honorable intentions, a keen ear and all around gentlemanly behavior both not only while he’s present but also (and sometimes more importantly) outside his presence. Maybe I’m crazy but I’m thinking I might have done an ok job at that. He doesn’t seem to hate me and so …. I think that’s a step in the right direction. Right? .. I don’t know. Life is a box of pending f*** ups. Lol. Maybe I got that qoute wrong. I can’t help it. I’m an overly pessimistic fellow. I should have got some homework done instead of writing this post but eh … I wouldn’t have got much done. Not enough anyway.
    I think I’ll go to sleep now. Maybe I’ll have pleasant dreams of the future. Who knows what it holds.

    You know what happened after God made Saturn?
     He liked it so much, he put a ring on it.

    HA! Alright. I’ll sleep now.

Christmas break (part 2)

   There was a couple pretty major things that happened on and after Christmas. My sister Emily is now engaged to a gentleman she met here in Marquette and had grown close to. That came as a surprise to most everyone in my family. The proposal was a little awkward (a trend that I am beginning to see is not so uncommon) with a misunderstanding of gifts under the tree. My father had grabbed the small parcel thinking it was a small gift from my mother. She promptly opened it at the same time as another gift was being opened by someone else. This caused a bit of suspense when she gasped and we had to wait for the unobservant people in our crowd to quit talking. It all turned out well though. Drew soon saw his moment and promptly dropped to one nee and proposed. It both warmed my heart and left me slightly unnerved. (not exactly sure why) Especially when my Katrina gave me a look that suggested desire. ….. All in due time, my dear. …. This event left me startled but fairly pleased. Drew is a nice fellow who seems to have a serious interest in taking care of my sister. This is more than I could have asked for, all things considered. Nobody’s perfect, but I have grown more fond of the fellow. Especially since the other major thing that happened over Christmas break.
   It was the day after Christmas. My family had just had Christmas with my Grandparents and they had left to go home. It was only some family members and friends remaining. I was upstairs with my sister Skyping my friend. (Well my sister was actually. They seem to have taken a liking to each other. I was waiting eagerly for Katrina’s return from her trip away earlier that day. Suddenly my sister’s phone rings. I see that it’s Katrina so I answer it. “Hi babe!” I say in a chipper tone. “Peter!” She says to me repeatedly in a breathless terrified voice, “I’ve been in an accident!”. My heart dropped so far and so fast I couldn’t think straight. “What? .. Where are you? Are you hurt? Where are you?” I began speaking fast as I held back the building panic in my chest. “Past Minard Mill” she said sounding as though it was difficult speaking. I was halfway downstairs by now and soon lost reception there. Without thinking I grabbed my phone. Told my mother and those present that Katrina had gotten in an accident then headed for the door. My father jumped to his feet and said he was coming, Drew did the same. The three of us slip on some winter garments and race out the door. I’m dialing up Katrina as I hop in my truck. I hand the phone to my dad and he talks to her as I drive. He’s speaking in a calm and soft tone. My thoughts are racing. I kept thinking of how she sounded when I spoke to her. I didn’t know if she was standing outside the wreck on the phone or pinned in a crumpled car dying. The word terror does not fully express my feelings at that time. “Slow down, we’ll get there” My father says in a calm tone. I realize my mistake and begin to regain my senses while trying to calm myself. We didn’t know where she was at but I knew it had to be close because she was headed back to my house. Suddenly we round a bend and see a car pulled over and two figures standing on the opposite side of the road. There’s a faint glow like headlights coming from down in the ditch. A feeling of slight relief rushes over me as I see that Katrina is visibly unharmed and standing. I drive around and pull. Without thinking I jump out and run to embrace Katrina. She’s crying and holding a water bottle. The gentleman who stopped after seeing headlights in a ditch sees that he is no longer needed and starts to walk away. Someone says thank you and that reminds me to do the same. “Thank you!” I say over Katrina’s shoulder. I wasn’t ready to let go. In that moment I was slowly beginning to realize who I couldn’t live without. I realize now that it wasn’t just Katrina who almost died that day.
   After I am satisfied with my embrace, I guide her to my tailgate to sit while I survey the damage. Dad and Drew are already gathering items that had flown out the windows. One of the items was her Macbook. (Other than a new dent, it seemed to be unharmed) It was a single car accident where she had lost control coming around a left curve. We assume hydroplaning or maybe a layer of thin ice was the cause of it. The back of the car must have started drifting as it came around the bend but soon got caught on the inner edge of the curve as it slid down into the ditch. The right side of the car smacked into the tree blowing out all the windows on that side plus the back and crunching part of the windshield. The car had spun around ending up facing the opposite directions she has come. The mechanics of the car seemed to be fairly unharmed but the damage to the body plus a bend in the frame told us that Stanley (the car’s name) was done. We talked things over and decided that my truck could pull it out. So we hook up my tow strap, turn on the 4 wheel low and crawl it out of the ditch. Stanley was still drivable so my dad drove it home as I fallowed. Feelings of sentiment pass over me as I see the car that was wrecked and yet left my girl nearly unharmed. Katrina walked away with a number of bruises and a bump on the head but nothing of serious consequences. God was most definitely looking out for her little angel that night and I was given a revelation. I did not spend a day away from Katrina till I had to leave for my job back up north, and that was no easy task. That Sunday, as she sang in the church choir, she never sounded more beautiful. Every moment from then on seemed to have more light in it. I don’t want to ever experience something like that again but I should probably thank it for showing me who I truly love.
     There’s not much else that happened over Christmas break. I got to celebrate New Years Eve with Katrina and my parents. Most my family members left to “go have fun” but Katrina and I watched The Princess Bride with my parents. I thoroughly enjoyed that.
I left on the 5th without tears or severe heartache. I know who I love and I think she truly cares about me. That, honestly, is all I need. I don’t know what this new year holds for me, but I’m thinking Katrina will be a big part of it.
   Wish me luck this semester. … I can’t believe I have to retake Calculus.

Here’s a recording of an angel singing after her accident. Pity the quality wasn’t great.

Christmas Break (part 1)

Well … A lot has happened since my last post in November. Basically all of Christmas break and then some. In this new year I have decided to write a post at least once a week. I’m hoping that won’t be too difficult. Perhaps if I concentrate on making my posts a 5 minute activity rather than a 15 minute one. That would most certainly make this easier. But still, I have a lot to catch up on so … here goes.
   My classes ended with a pretty good bang this past semester with pretty good  grades. I did fairly well in all but Calculus, which I dropped and will be retaking this winter semester. I didn’t quite get a 4.0 on all of my classes but considering the major challenge in them, a B and an A- aren’t as bad as I had expected. I’m greatful and somewhat motivated to do well this next semester. My plate will have a lot more on it but for some reason I feel more capable. Perhaps my life has suddenly become more clear to me as of late. I think this Christmas break had something to do with it.
   Christmas break started a little later than I would have liked due to hours that needed to be filled at Target Mobile (where I work) after school ended. I moved out of the  dorms and stayed with my sister while I worked the week after school ended and before I wanted to leave on the 20th. It all turned out well though. I had time to get most my Christmas shopping done up here and made a little extra money with the extra hours. I also made a little extra for a number of phone sales.
   I drove home on the 20th with my cousin from Michigan Tech. Although I enjoy driving alone on the long trek back home, George is a fun guy to be around. Especially when we get talking and I end up learning things from his … dare I say … somewhat superior intelligence. It seems like I always learn something fun or mathy while riding with him. We arrived late that night. We said hi to my family and I said hi to the family Yorkies. Both of which I hadn’t seen since Thanksgiving last month. The next day I got to see my girlfriend Katrina whom (despite the great love I carry for my family) I had missed most since my last visit. I had drove to her house to have lunch with her and her sister. I’ll spare anyone reading the warm sentiments that were experienced with this long awaited connection. Something that provoked a “gross” from Katrina’s sister Alex who doesn’t seem to care about such things. (At least not openly) 😉
   That evening Katrina, her sister and most everyone in my family plus some friends all went to see the new Star Wars. This was a lot of fun but I’ll have to refrain from talking about it till I have time for another post. I might go off on a tangent here if I start picking apart my opinion of it. All that I feel I need to say now is that I liked it and look forward to seeing it again. (Hopefully before school starts)
   The days leading up to Christmas were exiting enough but my post is getting a little long for all trifles that went on between then and Christmas. On Christmas morning I woke up at about 9am. A very late time compared to previous years. Perhaps this is a sign of me growing up. …. I would doubt that though.
   The gifts were all very nice. I’m proud to say that Katrina made me lemon bars for one of her gifts to me. A delicious treat I value quite highly. Hopefully she likes the watch, gloves and other small things I got her. I wanted to make her something carved out of wood,  (Something I did almost every year for those close to me) but alas, 4 days was not enough time to make something. I will try for something like that next year. Or perhaps her birthday if I can manage that. I was also given a homemade quilt by my mom who had (unbeknownst to me) been gathering material for it since the summer. It truly is a work of art. It is space themed with a stary blue nebulas like background with a wood like fabric dividing the scene into small squares. This gives it a look something like a window with many cross beams stretching horizontally and vertically across the quilt. I love it very much and look forward to showing it off to my friends in the dorm up here.
   I enjoyed my Christmas tremendously. Seeing my family all together again with the general happiness that  Christmas seems to spark was a welcoming sight for me. Especially since I hadn’t seen that since … well …. last Christmas. There were some pretty major things that happened later on Christmas day and later in the fallowing week that I must also address, but this post is getting a bit long so ……..
End of part one.

What a wonderful weekend

      Well, I got to come home and it’s been awesome. After the seemingly endless 8 hour drive from upstate, I finally arrived at my humble home. After hanging out with the family members that were there and snuggling with the yorkies that I missed so much, I began to prepare myself for the arrival of my girlfriend who had no idea I was coming home. I had begun planning on making the trip over a month in advance, I just never thought the day would actually get here. My girlfriend was running late to the “movie night” at my family’s house. So we had dinner while we waited. After what felt like ages to me, (but was probably only a little while) she finally arrived. I patently waited quietly in the pantry with the flowers while she was greeted normally and placed the pie she brought on the kitchen counter. Barely containing my excitement, I peeked out the sliver of a crack in the slightly open door and listened to the beautiful voice I had not heard this clearly in 47 days. Finally, my mother said the words I had been waiting for. “Katrina, could you grab the plates out of the pantry? I think they’re on the second shelf.”  I stood their frozen, not knowing what to expect. She opened the door abruptly headed for the second shelf from the bottom. With puzzled and concerned look on her face, I watched as her eyes slowly climb the shape of my dark and mysterious silhouette. The realization of who she was looking at struck her so hard, I thought she might fall backwards. With one hand over her mouth and the other finding the stool that was supposedly nearby she slowly stepped back and eased onto her seat. I emerged from the pantry shivering with excitement. I had finally seen the expression I had been dreaming about since I first day I fantasized the scene. Without baring it any longer, I embraced her. I can’t remember the last time a hug felt that good.
     A lot of other things have happened this weekend including two thanksgiving dinners. I wish I could write more about them tonight but I’m beginning to get tired and I need to be up to go to class with Katrina. I’m hoping to see my favorite math instructor I had when I was attending the local college. It’ll be so nice to see her.
Goodnight.

Well that’s interesting.

So, I think I’ve figured it out. According to my miniscule amount of research, I might be dealing with a form of depression.
  “What?” I thought to myself. “This is crazy. Who am I to start labeling my issues as an actual disorder?” I think you’d be right in saying that. I honestly don’t have any right to diagnose myself with a real issue that has destroyed lives. What could I, just a poor college student, have in common with someone actually struggling with depression? This time in my life is so short and silly when you think about it. I have a lot of stuff to be grateful for. I’m sure many would say to me “you haven’t seen how bad life can get.” and I would have to agree with them. Who am I to put myself at a level of those who I’m sure would give a lot to be in my shoes. I feel guilty and compelled to express a deeper respect for those less fortunate than myself. I need to stop complaining.
…….
  However, dispute the fact that I hate saying I’m having an issue with depression. I have no better definition to apply to what I’m experiencing. I have been feeling down to the point where I can’t focus very easily, I struggle with simple conversation, (Haha, yes I’m an introvert but I mean more than usual) music doesn’t effect me as much, smiling feels pretty hard and awkward and …. well …. the last thing that really has been bothering me is uh ….. well ……… I’ve been having a strong desire to uh ….. cry. This is completely weird. I’m sorry. It’s just that I would get thinking and seemingly every negative thought would come rushing to my head in a big storm of unpleasantness. Like what the heck? Why does the future seem so hopeless? Of course it isn’t! Why are you worried about that? It’ll be over in one month! Just every idea has ether a sad memory or a pessimistic ruling on it.

  Ok. So you get the idea. I think I get the idea too. Yes it’s a minor form of depression. Yes it’s proving to be a problem but it is something I can take care of. I’ll snap out of it soon. I’ll just need adjust my schedule a bit to accommodate more reading time, bike rides and other relaxing things. Wish me luck.
Goodnight.

Troubled night

I have been having a rather troubled night this evening. I can’t quite place a reason why. I feel an extreme weight. Something I do not understand fully. I have had a lot on my mind these past few days. The future looks like a giant question mark most of the time with very little promises towards my hopes and dreams of the near future. I keep chugging away as the days roll by but I keep getting the feeling that before I can graduate, I’m going to reach the inverted U curve of my intelligence and this reach a barring point for my career. There are days when I wonder if I should drop out of this race entirely and seek to establish my own place in the computer science field. I have no idea how I would achieve that and so the idea is quickly shunned. However, I can never fully erase that thought from my mind

I am not very good at school. Especially (it would seem) this semester. In my previous post I had said something about my struggles in my math class. (Calc, to be more specific) Sadly my grades never improved. My instructor recommended that I drop the course and thus prevent the risk of damaging my GPA. That really hit me hard. I have never failed a class before. I have come close, but never failed. Although this is technically not a failure in the sense that it isn’t a failing grade, I know it would have been and so that’s how I see it.

Although school kind of is my biggest worry, I still have lots of other problems I think about frequently. Money is a big issue. Especially when I am trying to save and I keep seeing everything I make go out just as quickly as I can bring it in. The hardest part about me struggling with my troubles that cause my … (dare I say) … depression, is that it makes me shut up a lot when I’m being talked to about it. My dear girlfriend Katrina, whom I love so much, has to persist to get me to just say what’s wrong. To be honest. I’m not even sure what’s wrong half the time. Sometimes I just feel so down about everything I can’t pin point an issue I would like to talk about. I need to work harder on communicating.

I can’t concentrate on a post right now. It’s 3:30 in the morning and I can’t keep my eyes open.

 

Poor grades

So it turns out I’m not that good at math. Maybe it’s because as a homeschooler, I spent much of my childhood avoiding schoolwork rather than practicing. Or maybe it’s because I have not been applying myself fully to my studies. Regardless, I am seeing myself do worse as I climb the mathematical latter. I have never gotten a 4.0 in a math class. Most have floated around a 3.0 or a 3.5. I would say that the reason I do poorly is more likely my lack of diligence and desire to apply myself. Admittedly, I have done very little homework throughout my academic career. As an auditory learner, I would say most of what I learn in school is what is said in a lecture. I will recall more from what my instructors will say than from any other method. Especially if there are anecdotal stories or real world applications included in the lecture. Granted, reading, practicing and all other forms of learning do benefit me. I just simply learn and retain more through listening.

In my calc class I was struck rather hard when while taking a quiz, I could not recall any of the proper concepts for the problems. I was completely lost and resorted to writing down as much chicken scratch as I could while hoping it looked somewhat legible and relatable. I was pretty upset. I expected a 0 and would not have had any hard feelings towards my instructor if he had given that. I know I don’t apply myself fully. This is my problem and no one else’s. If I could become the true master of my motivation and be able to involve myself passionately, I have no doubt that I would be the student raising my hand to present and explain to the class a complicated problem.

One of the things that bothers me most is what I do to my instructors. Granted, not all the instructors out there are effected by a low scoring student, however, most of my math instructors have been extremely kind and empathetic. The ones I have had the pleasure of working with each seemed to have the ability to find the smart but lacking students. I do not wish to go so far as to label myself smart, but I do not believe I am one of those students who doesn’t care about school at all. I would say with a fare amount of confidence that all my math instructors have been, and are, truly wonderful people. It is because of them I have been able to climb a ladder I was never seemingly meant for. It breaks my heart more to see a disheartened instructor look at me before a test with a look of inevitable disappointment.

My girlfriend’s father is an English teacher who I have the honor of knowing. Recently I saw a post about how poorly scoring students effect him. He spoke about the disappointment and feelings of failure towards doing his job. I would just like to say to him:
Mr. _____, you are doing your job. There are just some students who struggle with learning. There is nothing you can do except be there for them. If you base your skill on the pupils who fail you, you will always have disappointments. The mark of a truly great teacher not just one who can connect and recognize students who do well, but also the students who want to do well but don’t try hard enough. So be comforted, for I feel this is where you stand. However, do not withhold too much disappointment. It is in this disappointment you and all other teachers reveal, that pushes myself and people like me, to try harder.