Friday, August 07, 2009

Limbo, Fear, and Moving on.

I'm graduating college in a week. I'm married and my wife's more than half-way through pregnancy with our first child (a boy). I'm feeling more and more like an adult lately, which I guess shouldn't surprise me. I was once referred to as the twelve-year-old who acts like he's forty-two. Despite this and my "distinguished" look, I've always felt like I was five watching how the big kids did life. Speaking of life, I recently played the iconic game and managed to use all the promissory notes and a few fire insurances.

I can't help but think that the game reflects many of the financial hardships that this slump, recession, or whatever has caused. This is the economic whirlpool that graduation is dumping me into. Officially I can't work at Independent Study past the 28th. I think I've mentioned that before. What's different today is that I won't be working at Independent Study by sometime this Monday. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is for me. There's nothing left for me there. I've been itching to leave for some months, but I didn't know until today that I should. I've felt like I was stuck in limbo knowing that no matter what I did I was going to be let go, and I was just stuck to wait for the inevitable. But I'm done. I don't know how often I've kept reading a book or watching a movie thinking that it would get better when it didn't The Curious Case of Benjamin Button comes to mind. Well I'm cutting this short and moving on.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I'm Striving for Adequacy; Forget Excellence

Spring term is two weeks from over in Happy Valley and I'm ready to be done. I was about to explain the details of how and why I'm behind but let's leave it at unrealistic expectations, sickness, and malaise. All I have left after these classes is a tennis class that I'm taking from Independent Study; I don't get a discount. I trained the design assistant that rewrote large portions of the course and I don't get a discount.

This brings up BYU Independent Study, the company that will not be hiring me on full time. I understand this is because of a company-wide hiring freeze, but it still sucks.(begin rant) I've worked there longer than sixty percent of the full time employees. I helped create a new process for more rapidly and effectively updating old courses. I trained some fifteen new students and two new designers in the process and wrote ninety percent of a thirty page manual on that process. I revised and created hundreds of questions for a myriad of courses. I also worked on loads of problem projects (end rant).

I'm a little bitter that I don't have a job when I graduate. My supervisor told me a year ago that I'd have a job there for sure. I counted on that and hadn't even thought about it until a few months ago. I was told that it was unclear if I'd have a job. A few weeks ago, they nailed the lid on the coffin of my hopes and dreams.

I enjoy my work. I want work and get paid for it. This whole being out of a job thing interferes with my plan. I also have no idea what I'll be expected to do at a new job. Will I be able to ignore misplaced commas and unnecessary colons or will I have to hunt them down? I'm bored even talking about copy editing.

I'm in my publishing class and I'm horrified. The teacher is droning on about the history of printing and all the steps between cave paintings and Adobe InDesign. We're not even going to be tested on anything. I don't know why he thinks this is applicable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Graduating and how I'd like to do that soon

I'm about to go into my first class of spring semester. It's a two hour long copy editing class so I can't say I'm terribly excited about it. Copy editing is not at all my favorite. I'm far more interested in substantive editing.

I just got into my class and their are two middle age women in my class. It's weird, mostly because my mom just graduated so it's a little like taking classes with my mom. Although I'm saying this before the class even starts so maybe it won't be like that at all.

Gah, it's starting.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Upon reading Moby Dick..again...kind of

I'm close to done with Moby Dick. I've been reading it for my American Novel class and it's been interesting. I read the condensed version of it when I was in middle school. It was one of a series of great books my parents had that were about a hundred pages each with half of those pages being pictures. I also started reading the book once for fun only to have school start again. These previous reading have made reading the book this time strangely familiar and foreign. It's odd though, the book begins much like a Dickens novel: long drawn out descriptions and next to no plot movement. About a hundred pages in the book shifts to a long series of essays on various whale related subjects mixed with a few whale hunts. This apparently switches back to a narrative for the last hundred pages.

The book is completely different in its structure than I expected. The odd thing is that in many ways it mirrors the structure of The Things They Carried. If you're unfamiliar with the book, it's a series of short stories about Vietnam, war, and human behavior. I highly recommend it. It is considered a ground-breaking choice of style that is absolutely necessary to in O'Brien's words "tell a true war story." It's fairly amazing to me that Melville did this long before O'Brien and yet Moby Dick is considered an awful book by so many people. In fairness, O'Brien has a much easier to read style.

All of this has lead me to wonder how popular any book really is and how we actually gauge that. I suppose the simplest way to do that would be sales, but that doesn't account for checkouts from the library and borrowing books from others. If my class is any indication, it seems like Moby Dick is a member of the literary cannon despite a strong dislike from the general populace.

Basically I think I like books that many people find unpalatable. I'm not sure whether that's because I want to like the "classics" so I can feel intellectual superior or because I genuinely like them when they're actually terrible books.

Mostly I'm just writing to try and get in the habit again.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Every semester has to have a worst class

I really don't like my grammar class. As a token of this, I wrote this haiku and poem during the class to keep me from gnawing my own arm off out of sheer boredom.

grueling tedium
gerunds, participles—sigh
grammar, a slow death

bow-tie speaks of corpses,
okay, so it was corpus but honestly
he's going to end up with more corpses than corpuses.
Starved to death on fun sized bites of the all too obvious,
surely zombies must come of this, and wreck sweet zombie vengeance.
Driven by a relentless march past the edge of interest and well-through intellect
where could they end up but madness.
A madness without method, but rather an aim: his silence.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

That whole losing an organ thing

I just wanted to make a quick note (I'm on a break at work) to explain what I know about the transplant at this point. It's most likely going to happen beginning to mid September. I did a blood test this week and I'll have to do a couple more tests of some sort next week. So far, everything has been going well though the transplant coordinator has not been as fast at returning my calls as I would like. It's still quite a surreal feeling that it's actually happening this time. It's been over two years since the possibility was brought up. I had my freak out about it already. I missed a lot of work because I just couldn't focus on anything else. I'm feeling much better at this point, which is helpful considering Rachel and I just signed on a new apartment yesterday and we're poorer than usual as a result. I won't be able to drive for two weeks after the surgery and I'll have appointments up at the hospital that I'll have to get to, quite likely when Rachel's at work. I don't know exactly what help I'll need at this point, but I will need some. The plan at this point is that I'll be recuperating at our new apartment in Provo, but it's possible that could change. I'll keep you posted. And does anyone in Provo have a truck or a trailer? We start moving into our place on Monday and we need something to move our bed and some couches (once we buy them).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I blame my mother

Rachel and I were just sitting here talking about my childhood and how she's had an uncommonly thorough exposure to it. She knows many of my friends from elementary school and has heard a number of the attendant stories (yes, this includes a certain stabbing incident).

She asked me why I stabbed my then acquaintance, now friend in the arm with a pencil. The answer was that McSomethingkins wouldn't stop talking to me. I was inside during recess and the only way that happened was as a form of punishment. So I was bothered to begin with and then somebody wouldn't leave me alone. I ignored her and tried to keep working on whatever I had been assigned but that didn't work. At this point in the explanation, Rachel asked me if I asked McSomethingkins to leave me alone. I never asked McSomethingkins to leave me alone. I resorted to more drastic measures obviously.

Thinking through the story and why I hadn't asked McSomethingkins to stop talking I was reminded that I almost never end conversations. I'm just not very good at it. I feel awkward, as though saying "I should go" or "It was good talking to you" means "you suck" or "you're boring me." Rachel helpfully chimed in that I probably got this from my mother. My mother talks and talks and talks. On an average visit, it takes between twenty and thirty minutes to get out the door and into the car to drive off from my parents'. Her conversations don't end until they absolutely have to. For me, I don't end conversations because I feel like it's impolite. I'm guessing I picked this up from years of hearing her talk with a disproportionate amount of the conversations ending quickly, neatly, or when I wanted them to.

I'd like to take this moment to apologize for any awkwardness I've unintentionally inflicted over the years through my communicative defect. I was like a monkey with a hand grenade: I didn't know what I was doing.