Thursday, January 6, 2011

Update and New Year's Resolution

Updayyt  
    Oh! My poor blog, how I have neglected thee!  This time it was not out of pure laziness; I've actually been working my butt off. First order of bi'nis.  
My semester at ASU:
     Man! I will start by saying this.  That was a lot more difficult than I expected.  I did not admit this at the time but after the 2nd week I was seriously considering dropping out and choosing a different path.  After going on a long hike and then talking to my Mom (thank you, Mom!), I talked myself off the ledge and decided to stick it out.  Actually, she helped soothe my self-doubt several times over the semester.
     I have never wanted to quit anything.  If anything, I continue doing things purely out of spite long after it becomes apparent that no positive results will emerge.  I've always believed that if other human beings can do something, so can I. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I.  So many "I"s=bad writing.  Startng now, the person wrtng ths wll stop usng so many eyes. Ok, maybe a few won't hurt. 
     Long story short, as the semester progressed, my brain slowly "remembered" how to function at a decent level and I ended up with some respectable grades.  Nevertheless, I feel like I'm at least a semester away from where I'd like to be in terms of my ability to grasp concepts.   With that in mind I have made a reading list and study plan for myself so I can be better prepared for next fall when I hopefully get accepted into a program that doesn't get it's funding pulled 6 weeks before classes start.
     
GRE/Grad Skoo
      In my typical style I made plans that were overly ambitious and oblivious the realities of the world.  My plan was to rewrite the GRE in the first week of January AND get all 12 or so applications done for Grad skoo, and do it all over the holidays when everyone else around me is relaxing and laughing and telling me to come out to this and that, and family dinners. HA! (that's reality laughing in my face).  Not to say I haven't tried to do all I set out to do.  I've studied every night except one and I haven't gone out with the exception of NYE and family dinners. 
    I finished my last term paper sometime in the afternoon around the 15th of December after a 48 hour marathon.  I took a nap then woke up and started studying for the GRE.  So far so good.
     I initially wrote it the GRE in Sept. 2009.  I figured 2 weeks this time should be fine.  Well, not really.  At least this time I remembered what the math concepts were, although I didn't get too many of questions right on my first practice test.  
     As for the applications, the first round was due on the Jan 1,2,3, and 5.  Nothin' but time, I thought.  I figured each application would take about 2 hours.  Fill out a form here, answer a question here, press "send" and done.  Enter reality.
     I'm not going to bore you with details, but anyone who's applied for grad school knows (and I know now) that I was as delusional as a homeopath peddling remedies for autism.  
     Basically, after about the 3rd or 4th day of studying, reality started to rear its ugly head, and more caffein wasn't going to make it go away.  I was 2 weeks away from my target date and nowhere near ready--and I was exhausted.  
       Basically since the beginning of December I'd been pushing myself to finish term papers.  And then I had to pack up my room, drive my stuff back to Vegas (shout out to my girl for helping me), continue to work on papers, fly to Vancouver (the whole flight I was frantically working on a paper).  Arrive at me Ma's house at 1am and basically kept working until the paper was done.
      But it wasn't until I started working on my applications that reality came crashing in like a fatman (wearing a bumble bee outfit) through Japanese paper doors.  
      So, after trying to keep the fatman in the bumble bee suit out as long as I could I've had to reassess the situation and reset my goals.  I stopped studying for the GRE for 5 days and just did applications.  Now I'm caught up on those.  Now I'm pushing my GRE date to the 1st week of Feb.  The schools that I've already applied for and that I apply for in late Jan. won't get the new (hopefully higher) scores.  My original scores aren't terrible, it's just that they're not spectacular either.  Enough about that stuff.  Lets talk new year's resolutions.


New Year's Resolutions


I almost made a resolution this year, but before I talk about it I would like to thank all the people who make fitness and diet resolutions every year.  Thank you for keeping my gym fees low.  Without you fools signing year long contracts every year to "finally" get in shape, gyms would not be able to offer the low membership prices they do for those of us who actually attend regularly.  For this gift I am willing tolerate, for 6 weeks max,  your hurkey-jerky movements in the gym, your preworkout, workout, and post-workout "nutrition" drinks, your either decades-old gym wear or obviously-never-before-used-brand-spanking-new gear; the crazy out dated exercises you learned back in high school P.E. class or remember from that aerobics class you took in the 80s.  In fact I'm even willing to tolerate those of you who act like you've been going to the gym all along even though you stand out like tourist in Vegas.  Yes, I will be magnanimous to you all...but only for 6 weeks.  After that I want my gym back.  Thank you for coming...see you next year!  
   Lest you all think I'm a gym snob, I'm quite the opposite.  I love helping beginners out.  When I see a kid (or adult) trying to do something and it is painfully obvious they have no clue what they are doing, I always go over and (politely) ask if I may offer some suggestions.  I've even given random strangers my phone number if they want me to help them out next time I'm at the gym.  No....I do not wish failure on anyone. I wish everyone success.  It's just...it's hard not to by cynical sometimes when you've seen the same thing over and over, every January.  
     So, to all those newbies this year, don't be afraid to ask for some help from someone who seems to know what they are doing.  Most of us are happy to help and offer encouragement...even though we might snicker about you as a group.  Good luck!
    That brings me to what was going to be my new year's resolution.  I thought it might be good for me not to ridicule people with ridiculous beliefs.   The problem is, it's so hard to refrain!  It's not like I think I know everything in the world, but there are some beliefs and belief systems that are clearly ridiculous.  So, I've decided to take a moderate approach to this resolution because, I think in principle it's a good thing to do, and I'm definitely guilty of going overboard sometimes.  Also, that sort of behaviour is unbecoming of a philosopher.  So, here's my modified resolution: I will limit my scorn and ridicule of others to my blog.  I endeavour to abstain from such behaviour in public and (maybe) facebook!

3 comments:

  1. I'm not sure what to make of your resolution. Wasn't it only a few years ago that you declared you were tired of "pussyfooting" around people's sensitivities to their beliefs? Now your doing a 90 degree turn?

    Why don't you resolve to work on your relationship with the fat man in the bumble bee outfit? Maybe if you paid him more attention he wouldn't always come crashing in on you at the most inopportune times. I'm not saying that you have to pander to his every whim, just acknowledge that he is there, and maybe invite him over once in a while for coffee.

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  2. Yeah, I'm sure I said that about pussyfooting, but I realized I'm not going to change anyone's mind that way. I still think it's important to speak up against nonsense especially when it's being actively proselytized. But how I go about it is also important.
    Regarding the fatman in the bee outfit, we've made a deal that I won't ignore him so much if he promises to knock before crashing in.

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  3. Nice blog! I like your writing way. I'm doing practice GRE here: masteryourgre.com . I hope it's useful for GRE test takers.

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