5.11.2009

the end... for realz

Tough, silly, and chill,
Strike a balance to recall,
Another year passed.


Yeah, it's gone, alright. Hard to believe that a year ago today I'd already started my job at Google and moved to California, but a lot has changed since then. I'm pretty sure that I spent time last summer (and over the past school year) growing up... but not so much that I won't be excited to get water guns in the mail (thanks, Mom and Dad).

This last semester was dandy. I got cut a break from homework, but that left time to explore other interesting things; I'm getting really excited about logic programming and miniKanren, which was, incidentally, the PhD thesis project of one of my AIs this semester. He's trying to get me to convince the NLP people in Deutschland that they want to use it for their research. :)

I guess this is the part that I think about what I'll miss when I'm overseas this summer, but I don't really know what to say. I'm actually pretty terrified of the move. It's one thing to move across the country to California and meet up with someone I know there. It's an entirely different thing to move 7 timezones across an ocean to a country where I don't even speak the language and have never met in person anyone within 3 hours of where I'm living. It's scary!

But I suspect I would be denied the opportunity to expand myself if I didn't do things that terrified me once in a while. Skydiving was a blast! :P

So this is the last entry in this blog... I don't live next to 666 anymore, and I guess I'll miss it a little bit, at least. The painting we did was a lot of fun, but I learned some stuff about what kinds of people I can live with and what kinds I'm not so good at living with. Let's hope that Mathieu and Titilayo are the former. :)

(next posting will be on awesomehaus.blogspot.com)

5.06.2009

mail, the end

Now that I post this,
I expect letters. Is there
Greater joy than mail?

Well, probably. But there's nothing quite like opening a mailbox to see a real piece of paper with one's name on it. Evan and I started a game of chess by mail this semester (I don't remember if I mentioned this before?), and it's sort of tedious, but also lots of fun. :D

Anyway, my address for the summer:

Valkyrie Savage
Max-Planck-Stra├če 4 Building 20
64281 Dieburg
Germany

I think that's how it's written, anyway. Google maps can find it with that. :) And, yes, I am living on Max Planck Street.

I'm going to miss this blog a little bit, but I'm going to have a new one for the summer, which, hopefully, my roommate will write on, too. I'm expecting it to be at awesomehaus.blogspot.com (hat tip to Carlo). But I'll post a link for sure when I get it going.

I took my only final this morning: Calculus. There was one question that I messed up, but the rest of it felt okay, I think. We'll find out later this week. Eep!

What now? Paper, painting, packing. That's all. Then Germany!

5.04.2009

real life

We can't all live in
A real world. School is far from
It, but we come back.


Today brought my first visit to ye olde dentistry shoppe in nearly two years. Being in school makes it hard to actually do things like that, but it turned out alright. The only thing I was chided for was flossing too hard; I had some indentations in my gums that were caused by it.

I did get a prize, though, for being good. And some weird looks for getting a prize. (see photo)

I wonder what constitutes real life. I mean, I haven't really felt the recession due to being in school, but some real life responsibilities are there. I pay bills, I cook, I have to keep my house clean (and my roommates happy). But if college is supposed to prepare us for real life, then where is my 9 to 5? Where are the scads of money that I should be getting? Where is any sense of stability?

But soon will be a return to an even more real life: work! Hard to believe that my flight is a week from tomorrow! Harder, I'm sure, for my parents to believe. :) Especially since I have yet to get an address for where exactly I'm going...

Oof.

5.02.2009

narcissism and the greater good

Earthworms in puddles
Hapless victims of giants
But why were they there?

Almost every day this week it rained. It made for a fairly miserable time getting to class with a laptop, but it did give nice spans of time to ponder the great mysteries of life, like why the hell earthworms crawl across cement? I brought this up in conversation with a friend of mine. "You know, if you're an earthworm, and you were to find something that you couldn't dig through, why on earth (!) would you continue across it? It seems ridiculous!"

He commented, in a sarcasm-about-wisdom-hiding-actual-wisdom tone, that if no earthworms had done it, then they would only be in one spot. They are fighting for the greater good! Or perhaps they are emo earthworms. But the first sounds much more noble.





Christopher Columbus worm

Amelia Earhart worm
On the other hand, stories in Time and Newsweek recently began insisting that humans aren't really tending towards that sort of commitment to the species at large; we're becoming more and more enthralled with ourselves. Well, not humans in general, but the US, at least, is suffering from a "narcissism epidemic." Interesting. I wonder if all that teaching that little kids get about being a beautiful and unique snowflake is best summed up by Chuck Palahniuk: You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.

Well, maybe putting it so bluntly isn't the right thing, either, but I can certainly see where psychologists might get inklings that people, especially my age, might be getting a bit big-headed. I have borne witness to many a student spending hours grooming his or her Facebook profile page to make it attractive to, you know, anyone who might visit. Such effort! And the fact that some employers and graduate schools now use Facebook to help make decisions on candidates sort of encourages that, too. I dunno... I'm not sure that I can subscribe to that. I know that I spend too much time on Facebook after my lenten resolution ended, but I think I'm doing a better job than a lot of people. Anyway, it's time for adventure. I have to put off thinking about this atomic theory paper for as long as possible.