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. ……

Music Void

    Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Lol. Sorry about that Katy Perry reference there. It just so happened to be the first lyrics that came to my head. I was just thinking. I haven’t found any new great music to listen to. I’ve been dealing with the same ole music that I’ve been listening to for the past few months. I really need to work on expanding my library. I just don’t know where to begin my search for more good music. Owl City hasn’t written anything in a while, OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons are getting old and Beethoven is dead. I really should invest more time in my passion for new music. Don’t get me wrong, I love my current collection of music. I will never cease to name several as “my favorite songs”. I just feel so tired of the same art I always listen to. It makes me feel as though I’m failing at something. Like I have an obligation to work harder to find and appreciate the amazing art that is out there. If only I had a place where someone understood the art I truly loved and could recommend for me. If only the musical sound that makes me grin and shudder could be heard by another. That’s the funny thing. We all have those moments where a song hits the spot. Where the song in its perfect “sound” seems to synchronize with our passion. The sound that for a moment makes us stop and listen. The sound that makes us happy. Those moments, those feelings, they may not always be exclusive, but we all process them differently. If only someone could see what the intricacies I hear behind certain songs felt like to me. They would truly have the key to my heart. To truly understand a person is something even I fail to comprehend. How would you do it? I imagine spouses have something like this. Not just a love, but an understanding. I truly caring and patient understanding. Something that serves both of them very will. Serves them by seeing the complications of the spouse and standing there when needed. Gosh, how cool would that be. I’m getting side tracked.
     I basically would like to know what to listen to next. After a Twenty One Pilots concert, I wouldn’t mind listening to more things like Guns for Hands, Migraine and Fake You Out. Those songs have some pretty cool sounds. …. I don’t know. … these posts are getting worse. I should try revamping the blog and write about something good.

Looking forward.

    Have you ever had a desire for something amazing? Have you ever wished you could do something great? Have you ever had a feeling of being truly alive at the thought of pursuing a dream?
    I have always considered being a pilot to be one of the greatest honors in the world. I can remember being rather young and watching a small prop plane fly over our farm. I thought of of the person controlling that machine and stared with wonder at the skill involved. In my eyes a pilot deserves nothing less than admiration. Not only do pilots perform the art of controlling marvelous planes, but they have had to work hard in order to earn that right. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that all pilots, regardless of how well they perform flight, deserve admiration.
    I have always yearned to get my feet off the ground. The higher the cooler. That was the rule in my book I lived by. I have always loved anything that had to do with getting my feet off the ground. I climbed a lot. Trees, ropes, silos, roofs, barns, anything. I climbed everything my parents approved of and everything they didn’t. Sometimes I wonder why I’m not dead. Seeking the adrenaline I would occasionally climb to the lookout window at the peak of our loftless hey barn and hang by one hand off of the small platform mounted there. This was by no means impressive seeing as the height was only about 60′, but I think it helps make my point. I love heights.
    So what does this have to do with piloting? Well aside from the obvious relation of my love for heights and a plane’s purpose to climb heights, I honestly don’t know. I can not say for sure whether or not I would actually enjoy flying a plane. I myself have never ridden in a plane. I don’t even think I’ve ever touched a plane! I’m not scared of getting on a plane. I just never got the chance! Even an airline. I grew up in a family that never really travelled. This in some ways was a blessing and in other ways a sore spot for me. I’ve always been jealous of the people I knew who were flying somewhere. From my dad getting deployed in Spain for 6 months to my Grandparents making trips to Mexico. I have always just wished for an opportunity to flying somewhere. Even if it was just for the ride there and back. I’d give a lot to do just that. But here I am and the highest I have ever been was probably the Willis Tower in Chicago. (Not really accounting for sea level) That was pretty sweet by the way.
    So what am I going to do with these yearnings and dreams and wishes to do something great. I think I’m going to try to make some steps. Maybe take an intro flight soon. That would be awesome. However, I can’t be irrational here. I have to think look into this before I can truly know I need to do it. I’m pretty sensitive to criticism which makes me listen to the dream crushers of this world sometimes a bit too often. This could be problematic for the career.
    Frankly, I have had dreams. Dreams where my wish to achieve them made me feel alive. Dreams of something amazing and dreams of doing something great. But piloting has not yet consumed my dreams. I cannot be sure till I invest some real time with it. I want to be sure that what I love is right for me. I want to understand that what I am feeling is a true passion. Until then, I am not ready. For now, I think I’ll pass on watching the new Captain America.

All I really want in life.

When it all boils down to it. There are very few things I truly desire in life. Now before I go on, I must clarify. This is not to be a list of the items that fallow the statements “It would be wonderful to have that” or “It would be nice to live there”. Although those that list can be important when it comes to motivation, it is still a very secular view of how I tend to perceive success. Financial wealth is a luxury and a bi-product of hard work and dedication. I admire many of the people who were able to climb this ladder to the top because they were inspired to work hard in life. This is not what I value. Wealth in my eyes goes beyond the material standing. Wealth is not strictly what you gain, but also what you gave. When I say I have very few things I desire in life. This is the approach I have. I wish to leave my mark on this world. I wish to make a difference for the better. Allow me to elaborate.

Now I feel that the statement I made above “Wealth is not strictly what you gain, but also what you gave.” this has been said before. I cannot recall who but I dare not take credit. This statement however highlights what I believe it means to be truly successful in life. To succeed with how many lives you have touched. Another (perhaps butchered quote) comes to mind. It requires a bit of an anecdote, so bear with me.

There is a man who is sitting on a log with two children on his lap while a few others stand beside him. This man who we know nothing about is laughing and smiling as he seems to entertain the children all huddled around him. As you observe this pleasant sight, someone says “Now there’s a man who is truly wealthy”.

     I could have swore I read this somewhere but it is 2am and I wish to proceed with my thought rather than properly cite my sources. This small and insignificant seeming man makes an impact on those around him. This man is happy regardless of what happens or what has happened, he is happy to be a father figure to these young children. I feel a good father figure has some of the most incredible wealth imaginable. Bill Gate’s wealth (which I believe was above 52 billion, last I heard) cannot compare to the love and sacrifice a given by good parents. The greatest gift parents can give to their child is life. There is nothing more profound and meaningful than that. I don’t think I will ever deserve what my parents have given me. They have brought me into this world to experience everything. They raised me from birth to the point I left home. They gave everything and now ask for next to nothing. What am I supposed to do with that?

Life is an incredible gift. In a way, to give what you have been given can also be very powerful. That is why I wish to become a father. I have little faith that I will be perfect. The lord knows my parents weren’t perfect, but it was because of them I am here. I’m here to take on everything life has to offer because of them. The shit storms and the beauty. Now that I am a little older and I have experienced a fair amount, I think I’m starting to realize how amazing life can be. I have had some (mild) scarring experiences in my life and I have also met a someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. The fact that life has it’s drastically different contrasts does not taint life. It enhances life. Not to say have been through horrible times, nor am I saying have I escaped them, but things never look quite as good until after you’ve gone through some rough times. Somewhat like a loved one getting in an accident. With one phone call you’ve got your priorities figured out.

We are each only here for a very short time. We’re just one worm of existence in the 4th dimension. Or a point in the 5th. There is very little we can do to effect what happens on our planet, and even less in the universe. Wealth (for me) is not in what you wish to gain through the time you have, but rather, the time you can give. I want to be a dad.

For all those dad’s out there who inspire me: Destin Sandlin, Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, Al van der Beek, of course my father, and probably many others I am forgetting. Look out, I’m going to try and join the club.

Martian

After a long and busy few months, I finally came to the end of Andy Weir’s incredible story; Martian. I loved that book so much. I have had several truly grabbing books in my life, but few are quite as cool as Martian. I am a lover and lifetime advocate of space travel. Astronomy fascinates me more than any other subject. What goes on beyond our pale blue dot will never cease to amaze me. Ever since I was a young boy, reading all the space books I could grab from the library, I have dreamed of space travel. Or at least involvement in the effort of space exploration. This book touched upon the dreams of my childhood in a way no other book has. The incredible intelligence seen in our beloved protagonist, Mark, his amazing ability to constantly think, innovate and make plans is nothing less than a lifelong dream for me. I wish I could be just like Mark in so many ways. Even to have his humor. No, especially to have his humor. There really is a certain charm to sarcasm when used correctly. Andy Weir did a truly wonderful job using this humor in such a pleasant and fitting way. I wonder how far my own thoughts would travel while being stranded alone on the red planet. Ignoring the emense amount of knowledge needed to survive, would I be clever enough to coin the phrase “space pirate”? I surely hope so.
Gosh I wish I was more clever. I should go to sleep now. I have homework that needs doing. … In the morning. … Or whenever.

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.

Just a little catching up.

   I really need to stop using my blog as a journal. It makes it so boring when I do. I made this blog with good intentions of creative thought and constructive writing, but it’s only become a sort of dumping ground. Nothing more than a place for all the experiences, thoughts and happening that go on within my slightly complex life. I wish I could just write something clearly and concisely like I know some writers can. They write a short blog post every day that keeps everything up to date. I wanted to do that, I just get carried away! …. See look! … Nothing significant has been said yet. …. Gosh darn it. I’m starting over. Should I post this?….. Eh, sure.

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.