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Good Morning

It’s 1:04 and I am attempting to write.

I won’t do it any other time so I’ll do it now. I have been up since early this morning (past) therefore my faculties are a bit tired.

I’m currently writing important emails as I’v abandoned Calculus and don’t dare open Physics. Not because it’s intimidating so much as because I realize that if I can’t bestow even a modicum of focus on my favorite subject (Calculus) I will be that much less suited to tackle applications of Calculus that involve multiple theorems, abstractions and lots of algebra (a subject I have tolerated to get to Calculus).

So far I’ve managed to stay ahead of Engineering Design, English and Chemistry. I am ahead but by a smaller margin when it comes to Calculus and rather abreast in Physics. Being ahead seems to be an incredibly precarious state of existence which has taken a good deal of energy and initiative to attain – but it’s worth it. I figure if I die staying ahead at least I’ll have that week’s homework already done. 🙂

I was supposed to do Crew in the morning – but at this rate I doubt that will happen. I have this feeling that my schedule has spoken: I doubt I’ll be doing crew this semester.

In between all of this I am attempting to loosen my pen from the iron cage it seems to have been holden in – yes, I’m coming back to writing! 🙂

I would do a week’s recap (MKL’s birthday, NC primaries, Etta James etc) but in the interest of not sounding unnecessarily like a bumbling fool, I rest until I have more RAM available.

However I must mention that the Fab Labs have been invited to, and will be participating in the World Economic Forum in Davos this week!

Ambitonz

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We run this race just to keep our distance

This semester it is my goal to be ahead in all of my work. I refuse to be behind. In that spirit, I completed my first calculus assignment before classes started and the second shortly thereafter.

In spite of this ambitious start – I already feel behind. This may simply be a mind trick – but I can feel my stress-as-due-date-of-assignment-looms-closer levels rising.

I need to go back to my system of writing my assignments on sticky notes on my computer…that would help me de-stress and not have to worry about missing assignments.

Yes, my life at this point pretty much revolves around assignments. And time – well time is like sand. I’ve never been able to feel like I have a really good handle on it. It seems to slip through my fingers.

For instance: today. I had a meeting – the meeting was supposed to begin at 1230 and end at 1330. After a late arrival by one of the involved parties and extended round of pleasantries, the meeting commenced at 1315 and ended somewhere in the vicinity of 1445-1500.

So much for chemistry homework. Oh, and so much for writing my MKL tribute I had planned for tonight.

Instead I will continue to race towards my dream – acknowledging his role in giving me a fighting chance.

It’s either physics or bed now. Bed with a 400 rising time.

Ambitions

“Sleep is winning”

“Sleep is winning”. I vividly remember that line. It was from National Geographic’s documentary on Charles Lindbergh’s trans-atlantic flight.

Thousands of miles above the Atlantic ocean, as the ice fastened it’s chilling fists around the tiny Spirit of Saint Louis and the wee hours of the morning seemed to strangle the young pilot’s hope of ever seeing the bright rays of daylight again, he penned in his journal the line “Sleep is winning”. Narrated in an almost defeated tone, this line seared itself into my young consciousness. It’s stuck with me for the past decade – always meaningful – but never really meaning anything – until now.

Strangely enough – it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m currently tired and barely able to hold my eyelids apart. It’s taken on a different meaning – a larger, scarier, all encompassing meaning. It has become. It writhes and dances around me – chanting it’s incantations – daring me to continue fighting – demanding that I acknowledge defeat. Exactly what it has become I do not know. The difference between life and death? The difference between the past and the future. The here and the now. (Yes, the difference between the here and the now.)

No! It was not I who breathed life into this – what shall I call it, I wought not. I would have been more than pleased for “Sleep is winning” to remain simply a line in a National Graphic documentary that inspired a young girl to fly and provided a subject for her first celebrity crush.

I did not invite the curse to take on a life form, behaving so much like flesh and blood – so much like mist – so much like magic – so much like God. ‘Twas not I who linked it’s putative hand with the totalitarian regime of Father Time and set it to friendly relations with the overprotective and overbearing matriarch Mother Nature who watches us through the hawk’s eye and announces her censor through the crow’s scold.

“Sleep is winning”. I am beset both behind and before. Continually ambushed by a presence which transcends space, time and deadlines. “Sleep is winning”. The cruelest type of enemy rules with an iron hand. It knows not forgiveness but marches to the cold steel drum of Time.

“Sleep is winning” taunts me as I stagger to my feet. Haggard and ill – aging at a rate I had hoped only could be induced by Black Magic, I stand. The being surounds me – contact from all directions. I cannot fall so I stand – dazed. It retreats. I collapse.

“Sleep is winning” inhabits my collapsed form. It whispers into my brain – playing mind tricks until I think I have acceded. “Sleep is winning” – no that is not my thought I realize. I struggle to stand but cannot. My limbs – under the control of the monster will not move. Your bed is comfortable. Not my thought – I weakly reach for my computer. I am determined to resist.

I fight for every inch of consciousness. I fight to inhabit my own consciousness – I fight for control. I fight to free myself.

But “Sleep is winning”.
As unavoidable as gravity – as sure as the sunrise. As rigid as Time. To free myself would be to abdicate my existence. In defeating my demon I would ultimately defeat myself.

I embody a paradox. I search for a solution. It is impossible to make peace with “Sleep is winning”. I must maintain control. Yet – I must embrace the darkness. I must learn to dance his dance.

In learning him, he resolves out of an omnipresent mist – into a single entity. No longer the fearful chant “Sleep is winning” but now a single word: Sleep. An element. A state of being. Even a place of comfort and renewal. A luxury. A necessity.

As long as I exist – he will exist, and he will always win. Yes, he will always win and yet – I must learn to win.


The struggle continues. This is the struggle of any professional American woman in today’s age. As incompatible as sleep is with my lifestyle I’m learning how to make it happen. Especially since I’m also learning that beyond a certain point – yes I am still away – but I get sick for extended periods of time.

Tonight I make peace with sleep while you stand your ground, read this and wait, with coffee in hand for the inevitable attack happening between 6 and 7 in the morning.

Happy Holidays!

News

Well well well. We meet again. My blog and I. Or rather, you (the reader) and I.

I am mostly alive and well. Break started last week, but it’s taken until now for me to recover. Even at this point I’m still amazingly exhausted but I am declaring myself fit so that I may return to being efficient.

I spent the last two weeks of the semester semi-ill from fatigue. 5 hours of sleep in 48 hours will do that to you. And that wasn’t from cramming. In fact, I did good. No cramming. A little for bio but not really. I am proud of myself.

My final grade was good but not quite what I’d hoped (not what I’d worked myself to pieces (literally) for). I am on the Dean’s list however. Next semester however, I will be victorious! 😀

The past 3 months have been more than intense. Pretty much on all fronts. I can’t think of an aspect of my life that has been low key. Granted that it’s been like this all year. This year has been rough.

“My roller coaster has the biggest ups and downs
But as long as it keeps going
it’s unbelievable.”

That said, I’m writing primarily to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.

Let’s keep our minds focused on how we can be a positive force. Each of us is a force. It’s up to us how we use our influence.


Musings


I posted a status on Facebook the other day. It said “If you complain about the hand you’re dealt, you probably don’t deserve to play the game.”

After I re-read it a bit later, it struck me strangely and I wanted to clarify.

First, it was NOT a political statement. Second I stand by it but in the introspective context. Each of us has a situation or a set of circumstances in which we exist. Some of these circumstances are within our control and some are not. We must optimize those variables which we can control and accept those that are constants. This said, we must understand the limitations of our circumstances and learn to thrive within those limitations.

This statement or idea is NOT a talking point for one person to use in being insensitive or judgmental towards another. We should be sensitive to the limitations of another’s situation and work together to ensure that we all can progress and thrive.

We are each other’s biggest resource. The community is a colossal force. A force to be reckoned with. We must remember this and press together, guided by the light of justice, equality, respect and tender care.

As we weave our selves (not just our monetary resources) together, respecting the privacy and entity of the individual, maintaining the boundaries of justice and equality and smoothing over our interactions with understanding and felicity we can move as one to maximize our own control of our environments. We, as we band together can ensure the success and freedom of all.

Happy Holidays.

Makeda

College Week 2 and Why I Don’t “Like” The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao

No, I have not deceased. I am, in fact, very much alive and well. I’m currently in my second week of classes. As much as it felt like we “hit the ground running” I’m still bracing myself for what I anticipate to be a tidal wave of work.

I’ve been doing ok so far — except for the fact that I haven’t been taking the time to properly list my assignments. That had not really been a problem until today. Last night more precisely, I realized that I had not even looked at the reading for my bio class which I had today. I ended up reading a couple chapters of bio in between classes today (mind you that Tuesday is one of my two busiest days).

I did fine in class but also decided that there will not be a repeat performance.

The issue is that it takes time to plan your assignments. It takes time to implement software solutions to keep all of your work organized. I started doing this last week. It was taking a lot of time, I was tired and had a couple assignments due so I just did them and got some sleep. I guess I’ll be revisiting discussions of how to get WebDAV working on my server…


I finally know why I don’t like (to put it mildly) Junot Diaz’s book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I’ve distilled my intense dislike for the Pulitzer prize winning novel. I can sum it up in one word. Disappointed.

We have been discussing the book in my (awesome by the way) English class (along with themes such as deliberate living and social programing).
Today, Junot Diaz came to the school to do a reading and answer questions about the book.
As I was listening to him talk it all kind of fell into place. Even though he seemed to distance the book from his own experiences growing up, I saw a lot of very direct parallels between the characters and symbolisms in the book and experiences/characters in his own story. I understand his book much better, more deeply. While I whole heartedly agree that it is very complex and excellently crafted, the reasons for my persistent disillusion with this book came clear.

It is simply this. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is like a defeated hero. The book is boldly written and it’s very structure begs a critical, deeper-than-the-surface consideration. It sets out boldly to accomplish great things – things which it ultimately (after many painful reiterations of the same struggle) unceremoniously surrenders.

The worst part however isn’t the surrender – it’s the fact that he, in his novel defines success as (or finds success in) the very things he sets out to so boldly challenge.
Granted that this could be a device – a means to an end – but according to the author, his goal (and what he seems to think he has accomplished) is victory.

For example, he says that he sought to bring out that life is difficult but beautiful. As the reader – the beauty was completely lost on me (something for which I blame the author’s lack of bring it out). He attacks, head on, the issues of his culture’s (sudo) definition of manhood. He does this (in his own words) by creating a character which is the antithesis of this macho “manhood”. He says that this is an exploration of who people really are – a foray outside of the “mask” that people wear to fit in. In the story, you might think that this character would embrace who he is and find success outside of the prescribed cultural “box”. Wrong. In order to accomplish “manhood” (symbolized by getting laid) he has to become the “macho man” that Diaz rebels against.

So, either we conclude that the author miserably failed to deliver – allowing the spirit of the novel to fall flat on it’s face and grovel in the dirt of tragic despair, or that it was simply written to be a celebration of the morbid and tragic.


*sighs* I think that’s it for now. I need to go to bed. Hopefully I’ll be able to dig something out of this to use as a spring board for my essay… I have to incorporate some aspect of the book…

Physics at 8… I need to read the lab report.

Ambitionz

It’s Just Me, My Pencil And My Wits

I’m nervous. I had 4 classes today which went well. I have Calculus tomorrow. I just found out that we have a pretest which counts for almost 20% of our grade.
I like how on the syllabus, the professor says that for tests we will have “nothing but your[our] pencils and your[our] wits”.

I have Physics early tomorrow and Calc a little bit later.

English 125 was interesting. I liked it. We had a stimulating discussion.

I’m so tired though…and for some reason I thought I had biology tomorrow but I don’t. (Puts Bio HW down and picks up math).

Hmmm….

I did have a really good workout this morning. It was short but I ran (on a treadmill) almost 2 miles in about 22 minutes.

“Know thyself”
“Commune with thine own heart upon thy bed and be still”

(Yes, English 125 stuff)

Ambitionz

Thanks Mommy!!

I finally have a roommate and suite mates 🙂

I stayed up far too late last night and spent today paying the price. In fact, I had just gotten up (or almost just) when two of the girls and their families arrived… Lol.

My mom took me out tonight and we got a bunch of kitchen stuff.
Our suite now has a well furnished kitchen. (I added to what everybody else brought.)

I can now really and truly cook. Everything is going to be alright. 🙂

It’s not that I cook a lot – it’s just that eating food I’ve prepared always gives me an extra confidence boost. I know I’m running on the best fuel possible.

Thanks Mommy! 🙂

I still have to do grocery shopping. I plan to do that Wednesday. My roommate did hers today. I have 4 classes tomorrow. I start at 8 and my last class ends around 5.

I’ve decided that I am going to try to join WIT’s crew club. I’m finally going to adopt a sport. 🙂 They have both men’s and women’s competitive rowing teams. I figure that since I get up early and usually exercise, this activity would fit in well with my schedule. They practice in the early part of the morning so that folks can be back for 8AM classes.

Ambitionz

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