Rainy Days 

It was ten days since my last blog here on the site, but I am going to try and start posting with much more frequently. I've got a plan to use this blog more as a tool to help me keep focused, but there'll be more on that later in this post.

To be frank, I have a had a difficult past two academic years, the result of which has been the accumulations of incompletes in most of my classes. Most of my professors have heard my tried and true sad-sack excuses, which if they're not sick of them, I certainly am. But, I've always been pretty good at painting a picture of redemption. Perhaps my ability to admit to very personal (and vaguely embarrassing) difficulties, combined with my discomfort at doing so, seems to move my professors to pity. Inevitably, they offer me a second chance to do good. Now, I'm nearly at the end of the whole graduate school experience, but it is still not too late to turn things around. This is my last second chance to do well at school and work towards the career I want.

Rainy Day

This blog comes in as a tool insofar as I am hoping to use it each day to track my progress at getting my schoolwork done. There are two classes for which I going to work on completing first: 19th century Victorian City class, and Sacred Violence class. I will read: Bleak House, Samson Agonistes, and No-No Boy again during the next month.

Today, I went to the student health center for my one-time free followup meeting to meet with the Doctor. (As I am on a leave-of-absence, I can't use the University resources anymore like the student health center, nor get any finances.) The doctor will write a letter explaining how my difficulties during the last couple of years are attributable to a medical problem that I have just now begun to work out. Tomorrow, I pick the letter up. I will also take the letter to the disability services office tomorrow afternoon.

As for my accomplishments today, I re-inaugurated this blog as a work tool and read part of my book for the Victorian City class. This book, Victorian Soundscapes, is part of a three page paper that I will have done by middle of next week. I e-mailed my professor about getting a paper that I had previously turned in back. I need it for my records. Even though this is the second day of the new term, I am going to call this: Day One.

29 March 2005


Finals week is over, but that does not mean that work is over for me. I'm not sure if I have mentioned this here before, but I have some incompletes left over from the previous terms. Therefore, I am planning on taking off the next term to finish these incompletes up. This means developing a solid work routine that I stick to: read, write, meet with professors, and write again. My old system of working like crazy at the last minute of a deadline, or working day and night for a handful of days to get a final paper done, is dead and finished. That system does not work anymore. My plan is to develop a balanced approach where I can write every day, and then take time off to decompress from the stress of the exertions. I suppose this is not unlike starting an exercise routine in that it requires a lifestyle change for a permanent result. The raw intellectual ability is not an issue, but rather the issue is the development of new work skills and basic discipline.


But I think that this is not such a bad thing. The temptations to do other things, like watch television, as a means to avoid sinking under the weight of unpleasant emotions must be overcome. This is where the lessons of Beowulf come back to me. The traditional means we use to slay our monsters do not always serve us. Like Beowulf, one must be able to toss aside the sword and use one's hands to overcome their Grendel, even though it may feel more difficult. These next few weeks will be a new beginning, a pseudo-do-over.

19 March 2005

Volcano Again! 

In October, I wrote this brief post when Mt. St. Helens (Aka: Loowit) first began getting attention. I am reposting the camlink here because the mountain is rumbling again.

As you may have heard in the national news, the volcano had a relatively small eruption yesterday with a plume of ash and steam. I'm just a bit too far away to see it from my house, but my parents saw it from their house, which is still pretty far away. I did not live in the Pacific Northwest when Mt. St. Helens really blew its top in the eighties so some of the information that comes across the television news is interesting.

For example, if ash falls on the windshield of your car, don't use the wiper blades if you can help it because you'll scratch the heck out of the glass. Furthermore, your car's air filter will clog up with ash something horrible. And if you happen to live near the mountain, move already (or get volcano insurance). The daylight images from the Volcanocam have been really interesting lately. Check it out.

09 March 2005