That awkward moment when…

So the other day I’m walking to class when this guy says hello to me. Cool. Random guy being nice.  Life is good. Until he then goes on asking about my life story. Which is fine if he didn’t already know so much about it. I’d never seen this guy in my life!  But apparently he knows everything about me. It’s creepy. And then I think more about it and maybe I do know him. But I have no clue. I don’t think I do.  I tell myself every time this happens that I’m going to be more aware of people in my classes but yeah, that never happens. So awkward moments will probably live on.

Another thing?  When people hold open doors for you when you’re miles and miles away.  What is that?!  It’s one thing to be polite and hold open a door if I’m standing right there, but when I’m literally on the other side of the room?  That’s insane!  I’m all for people being nice and helpful and all that, but how is it that when my hands are completely full and I’m trying to get through a door there’s no one around willing to help, but as soon as my hands are free and I have every capability of opening a door, I’m spotted from miles away and have people waiting for five minutes as I get to the door?  The world works in interesting ways.

Which brings me to my final point: Murphy’s Law.  Murphy freaking hates me.  I’m serious.  This guy has got it out for me like nothing else.  It’s become a personal vendetta against me.  I know this for a fact.Murphy sees that I have something to get done and, well, there goes my chances of succeeding in life! Murphy’s a tool. I’m not really sure how I segued into that, but there you have it. Happy Friday, humans!

Three’s a Crowd – sometimes

So this is officially one of the weirdest things ever. I am at the eye doctor’s for a consultation for PRK.  They have just dilated my eyes and looking through my glasses makes everything on my phone look blury as hell. I’m fine for up close things without the glasses but wow.  This is so trippy. I texted my mom to see if this is what its always like for her. I’m sure she appreciated that – I still haven’t gotten a reply!  =O. I solemnly vow to never mock the visually impaired. Nah, who am I kidding? I will always mock – especially if I can see without contacts or glasses again!  But at least I will have experienced it and know what its like. Sort of. So weird! 

Ok. So. Back to the topic I wanted to write about yesterday but got side tracked. Friends.  Friends are amazing. Most of the time. I have some really awesome friends. Some new, some have been around forever. I don’t like saying I have a best friend because I really do have multiple best friends. As corny as that may sound. And even though that defeats the whole purpose of “best.”  But it is what it is. I don’t think I have very many friends. I know a lot of people, but I’m not friends friends with them. I may even know a good deal about them. But the people I count as real friends. Well, maybe I do have a lot of “best friends.” Cheesiness.  Sorry, guys.

I have groupings of friends. I have the people from my high school fencing team, I have my dive club people, I’ve got Girl Scout people, and Italy people and, yeah, I could go on for a while. There are the stand alones too, but there’s not many of them. Two that I can think of. One from way back when, who funny enough, I used to despise with every morsel of emotion I could scrounge up- I’m sure one day I will go into the details of that, and the other from school, who I only met last year and I haven’t seen in ages but I know she’d be there for me if I needed her. Anyway, I’m digressing too much. Groupings of friends. I seem to have this nasty habit of being in groups of three since college. Yes. Three. Do you know how frustrating it is to have friends in threes?? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for having said friends, but why threes?? You only get to pick one person to be a travel companion for an airline. You only get two tickets for radio giveaways, you only get to sit two by two on rides. Three screws everything up! Except on Space Mountain and Test Track! But normally, three’s a crowd!

We’re going to call two of these people I’m referring to Mary and Tes. Now I’m more than certain that if they’re reading this, they already know I’m talking about them. Yes, I do really mean you! The three of us have known each other for almost three years now. I can’t believe it was that long ago! And yet, I can’t believe I’ve only known them for two and a half years. These two are the sisters I never had. I love them to death. I would literally do anything for them. And I think they would for me too. We are in sync with each other. We get one another and we all do contribute something unique to our trio. We are nothing alike. Our personalities and interests shouldn’t mesh from a scientific view, but we do. It works and I don’t know what we would do without each other.

A few months ago, I was annoyed at both of them. Even wrote a whole post about it. I was silly because I didn’t talk to either of them about it. I didn’t want anything to do with either of them and I didn’t give them a chance to explain their perspectives. A portion of this stemmed from me being paranoid. And feeling left out. See, this getting three people together thing isnt exactly easy. We are busy people! And some days Tes and I would meet up for lunch without Mary. Or Mary and I would go bowling without Tes. Or Tes and Mary would go shopping without me. Ok, Tes wouldn’t go shopping either, but you get the point. It wasn’t ever in attempt to leave the other one out, just we’d want to see each other and we couldn’t all make it all the time. No big deal. I think we all understood this without it ever being said. And then one day, a tune popped into my head (sorry, thats definitely a side track into the recording of Jersey Boys for the Sherry track- end digression and severe ADD). So anyway, one day this idea was fostered. This awful, terrible idea (gotta throw in my Dr Seuss too!!) became part of Mary’s thinking: Tes and I were talking about her.

I really wish I could add the soundtrack in my head to you reading this. Right now I would cue in the “dun, dun, dah…” music. You know the scary bit in movies that isn’t really scary because everyone already knows what’s going to happen? Yeah, that music. [Insert here]. So yeah, now Mary is paranoid. And then I get wind of this and I find out that Tes and Mary are hanging out and now I’m paranoid. And it’s funny because if Tes and I ever did talk about Mary, it was along the lines of “I wish Mary was here!” Or “We need to make sure she doesn’t feel left out.” Interesting. When I was abroad and then in Houston for the year and a half, I always felt left out because it seemed like they were always meeting up for this and that and I wasn’t there. I mean, I wouldn’t change where I was, but I did feel left out. I missed them. And it always seemed like Tes made the point to try to find ways to include Mary, but not so much for me (even when I was back in Florida). So after I got all paranoid, I got all blue and hurt because I was being left out. It’s no fun to feel that way. But I think it’s inevitable with a group of three. We’ve since gotten over that and hopefully better about the not being paranoid or left out thing, but it does get frustrating. I wonder if we had a fourth human if it would be completely avoided.

In high school, there ware usually four of us doing things, we’ll call them Kit, Sally, and Lisa (idk where those names came from. Well ok, one of them I do but that’s beyond the point). Anyway, it was easy with them. We could break up in pairs and Sally didn’t care if I was talking to Lisa and I didn’t care if Kit was chilling with Sally and you get the idea. I guess I will always wonder.

The other weird thing about threes? I would tell them both something, but seperately. And then if they’re talking and it comes up, they know the other person knows, but deep down they’re not 100% sure, so to avoid betraying my trust, they’d try to skate around it. Kind of amusing. I’ve done the same thing. I have a new group of three that is terrible about this. I kind of joined in on the two of them so I know that I’m the third wheel in that group and anything either of them tell me is already known by the other, but I still don’t feel right bringing it up unless the three of us have had the conversation together. Its strange. Friendships are strange. All relationships are interesting. I should have been some kind of psychologist or something where I could have studied human interaction. It really intrigues me. But I think I’ve already maxed out the attention span of people on this post so I will save that for another time. There’s so much more to add about this! I will leave you with this though, which I think has had more of an impact on me in the last few weeks even though I’ve seen it for as long as I can remember: “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ― Albert Camus

Porta vita

So I’m sitting here in my least favorite class of all time and I look around to see what the rest of the people in my class are doing.  All three of the others here. Because it’s not just me that knew this professor was terrible.  But everyone else was intelligent and avoided this class like the plague. Except the four of us.  Go us. So anyway, I normally don’t pay half a mind to the other people in my class. Flash back to high school: we’re eating at Subway and Dora points out Tyrell.  I’ve never seen Tyrell in my life. I ask Dora who this Tyrell character is and she looks at me in disbelief. “He’s in our calc class!”  Nope! Never seen him. Not ringing a bell. I have a pretty weird memory though so I ask her where he sits. The following conversation ensued:

“Behind Danny.”
“Who??!!” Needless to say, I’ve no idea who Danny is. I was hoping Dora would give me a “4th row, 3rd seat” kind of reply but no.  I think she considered it after I asked who Danny was but decided to see how far she could go to find someone I actually knew of.
“Danny’s behind Katie.”  (Ok, some of the names are random- I didn’t know who they were then, I definitely don’t remember them now!!)
“There’s a Katie in our class?”
“She sits next to David!!!”
“And I would know of David because…?”
“I’ve seen you talking to him!!! He sits behind Sam!”
“Who’s Sam?”
“REALLY??  You sit next to him!”

Yeah. As you can see, go me with the knowing people in my class. But I digress. In a class of four, we’ve bonded over our hatred of our prof- funny how that works, no?  So Simon is chilling in the 2nd row, passed out. His tongue is even kinda sticking out and I wouldn’t be surprised if he started snoring soon. Matt is staring at his phone- I think he’s playing a game or something, but at least he’s trying to be discreet. Adam’s over here just staring down our prof. He’s not taking notes or anything, he’s just glaring at him. Almost like he’s attempting to destroy the man with his mind. Amusing. Me? I’m blatantly swiping away on my phone to write this. And our fearless leader?  He’s giving a new meaning to death by powerpoint. Even though he doesn’t use powerpoint. There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the projector that he gave us ahead of time and is now reading it. Because obviously we can’t read. And heaven forbid you’re not sure how he got from line 3 to 4. Because it’s in the notes (WHERE??!!). And we don’t have time to go over every detail. That’s why we’re provided with the notes ahead of time. Jeez!  I don’t know what any of us were thinking!

And wow. Our prof literally just said “and here’s the vector you get because you guys are too stupid to know what it is.”  Yes.  I love coming to this class for my triweekly (is that athing?) dose of verbal abuse.   I just can’t get enough of it! At least this time he followed up with “Sorry, didn’t mean to insult your intelligence.”  Ohhh really? Because at least once a week, he has no problem prefacing answers to questions with: “It’s obvious to a three year old… (or to a child of three- take your pick, he alternates)” or while reading to us the notes he created (that have more errors than any of us can count): “An idiot could tell you this will be…” but surely he doesn’t mean to insult us any of those times. And those are only two of the ones he uses on a daily basis!  I really need to record these classes because the powers that be don’t seem to think there’s a problem with him.  I mean, this is a 600 level class.  I’m not saying it should be easy. I’m not even saying it shouldn’t require a good deal of work.  But I could do without the slams to my “inability to understand basic concepts” whenever I ask a question.

I think I’m a fairly intelligent person. Sorry if that sounds obnoxious or conceited, I just don’t think I could have gotten this far (one more semester til I graduate with a masters in aerospace engineering!!!!!!) if i wasn’t. I even think this professor knows a lot about the subject. But if it’s evident from the homework and then the test that the entire class (ok, yes, there are only four of us, but I’ve had him before in a class of 30 and it was the same then) doesn’t understand something, then it’s not obvious!!  And I’m sorry, I don’t know WHAT three-year-old children he interacts with, but I can’t tell you of any that understand matrix operations, let alone tensors or understanding the finite element application of isoparametric quadrilaterals!  But maybe that’s just me (and in case you were wondering, we are now 50 minutes into the class and he has said on 6 separate occasions his bit about the human of 3).  I love this class so much.

End rant. It’s several hours later and I’m about to eat dinner with one of my best friends. I wasn’t intending on posting about my favorite professor today but the moment was too perfect! I WAS however going to blog about the awesomeness of good friends and knowing that they’re always there for you. So I guess that’ll have to wait until another post. Thanks for reading my rant! Hopefully it’ll make you feel better about your professors OR you can share your horror stories!

Hakuna Matata!

My Escape

 

I got a card from a friend today.  I can’t exactly say I was surprised to get something from her- she had asked me for my address last week.  But I was surprised by the content.  It wasn’t really anything crazy.  It was just nice.  It was surprising because we aren’t as close as I wish we were.  But for that effort to be made?  And it was nice to get mail that wasn’t a bill or a subscription, but from a person who genuinely wanted to hear from me and see how everything is.  I used to get mail from friends my freshman year here.  But that stopped.  Every now and then I get an e-mail or a facebook post from someone.  At least once a month, a good friend from home calls for us to catch up.  But today, getting that physical piece of mail to find out how things were and how things with her were.  It was nice. 

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately.  Yesterday I was up way later than I should have been, but it was good.  I must’ve written about 40 pages of the nonsense that floats inside my head.  It was good to get it out.  I read over it this morning.  Half of it makes no sense.  The other half is so ADD it is not even funny.  I know my brain is on 30+ topics at a given instant.  To try to put it on paper?  I mean, I type pretty fast, but not as quickly as I can think.  It’s intense.  But I can logically make the connections between my thoughts.  If anyone else were to read it though, they’d be lost.  It was scary to see something so raw.  I didn’t care about grammar and I didn’t worry about what other people would say or think if they saw what I was truly thinking.  I’m always trying to filter what I say.  Even what I think sometimes.  I don’t mind being straight forward with people, but I think there is a nicer way to say most things.  I usually try to find that way to express my opinion.  Last night I didn’t hold back.  It was refreshing. 

Writing has always been my escape.  When things don’t go my way or something upsets me or makes me extremely happy or whatever, I can write about it.  There are the blocks in that every now and then – when I’ve written too much about something I want to change and still haven’t done anything to change it or something like that- but for the most part, writing calms me down.  It builds me up.  It very rarely disappoints me.  Writing for myself at least, if that makes any sense. 

People.  Lately, people have been disappointing me.  I talked to really good friend for several hours yesterday afternoon.  One of the main topics of discussion were if my expectations of people were too high or if people simply fell short.  I was leaning closer to believing the former initially.  I’ve been let down by certain people over and over again in the last few months.  At least they’re consistent, right?  But if I’m always being the one constantly discouraged, maybe I am reaching for something unobtainable?  I hold the people I care about to high standards.  And they do fall short more than I feel they should. 

I guess it’s something like a professor I’m struggling with this semester.  Our first exam was last week and the highest grade was a 64 and the lowest was a 40/100.  He was irritated that we did so poorly.  He knew we weren’t ready to take the exam – our homework grades were just over 50%.  We all fell short of his expectation to do well.  My friends have been doing that too.  I think my standards are reasonable though.  They’re based on each person and what I think they’re capable of.  I don’t want to settle.  If I lower my expectations, isn’t that what I’m doing?  Maybe that means I need to cut out some people who can’t keep up.  Or that I’ll just continue to be disappointed until one day they get it.  I hope for the latter and that they get it.  And they get it sooner than later.  I need patience.  Writing usually helps with that.

Some Thoughts…

I’ve been thinking about a really good friend of mine a lot lately.  I’m not really sure what sparked me to think about him, but I know I’ve really missed him for a while now.  And every time things seem to pile up between school and work and relationships, my mind wanders to him.  Let’s call him John.  John hung himself about ten months ago.  We had lost touch, but we had been pretty close.  I can easily count how many people I share almost everything with.  John was one of those people.  He was full of life and always found the brighter side of things.  I was thrown into a situation with him where we were very much fish out of water.  It’s amazing to see how much that can shape you and define you and bring people who have nothing in common together.  John and I probably would have never been friends had it not been for that experience.  I would’ve never known the loss of a friend to suicide.  Or at least not yet. 

I think I’ve finally gotten over the anger I had towards John for ending his life.  Maybe not.  A lot of days it’s easier to accept than others.  Today – this week actually – not so much.  He had everything going for him.  Had a 3.8 in Mechanical Engineering.  Had the nicest of parents.  He loved people.  He loved life.  At least we thought he did.  Granted, he didn’t have the greatest hands dealt to him, but I thought he had moved on from that.  John and I had drifted a bit when I started my tour of the world with my internship in Germany and then when I was studying abroad in New Zealand.  We would talk here and there, but it was never the same as before simply because neither of us wanted to have our heart to hearts over the internet.  When I came back after my co-op in Houston, he had already dropped out of school and moved back home. 

John had left school because he started drinking too much and then he got into drugs.  When I was gone, our other mutual friends warned me that he was changing, and not for the better.  Every time we did talk, he seemed fine to me.  He was the same old John.  I didn’t see the change.  I think it was better that way, though: the rest of our group started resenting him.  I’m sad to say that it was a month before I even knew John was no longer with us.  We had texted on Easter and everything was good.  It seemed fine at least.  The night that he ended things was a normal night.  He had dinner with his parents, things were fine.  There were no fights, no problems.  John just had enough. 

I will always wonder if there’s something I could have done.  I will always wish I could have stopped it.  But most of all I will always miss him.  I wish you were here, buddy.  Life isn’t the same without you.