Friday, March 16, 2012

Supporting each other

In the last post, I wrote a little bit about our falling in love.  It's frustrating, that so many of the fairy tales and stories that we read, hear, see on television, etc..., so many stories just stop and handwave "happily ever after."  Because I know that the story continues.  That happiness may continue, but it's not a constant.  Nothing is.  Just because you've found someone, does not mean that everything else will suddenly go right.

Finding Brian was the *start*of something right.  But that didn't mean things were perfect, or that all troubles had ended.  I was only in my first semester of engineering school, at one of the top schools in the country.  I'd like to move on to the second semester for next post... but I don't want to sugar-coat college life.  I struggled with a lot of things, things that I think are not unique to me.

I was living in South Bend when the movie Rudy came out.  Everybody loves a happy ending.  But it is an unfortunate fact of life, that everyone has to choose what is most important to them.  In the things that mattered the most to me, engineering and a career that lived my dream, graduating from college was a triumphant success.

In other things that mattered to me... choosing engineering, and those academic pursuits, had a price.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Teenager in love

I was 18 when I started college.  The first week of classes, I noticed that the calculus assignments were work I had done before.  I checked the syllabus, and realized I knew 3/4ths of the material already.  So I went to the Freshman Engineering office, and asked about what I could do.

The advisers their told me that I could test out of that calculus course.  So we scheduled an exam.  I stuck with the class, took the test... and did not pass.  A different adviser gave me the results, and when I explained my concern that I would not do so well in a class where I wasn't challenged, he revealed that I had only missed passing by 5 points, about 1 question.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bonus post: 2012 Annual Budget Drive

Since I missed a post last Friday, here's a make-up post.  Life is getting busier, I start the Natural Language Processing course on Coursera this week.  I mentioned last week that I am co-chairing the Annual Budget Drive for my church this year.  As part of the lead-up, we asked people to give testimonials, describing why they attend the church, what it means to them, and why they support it.

In the spirit of leading by example, I gave my testimonial last week.  The theme this year, is GIFT: Growing Into the Future Together.  Here is a lightly edited version of what I said:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Solar weather

There has been a LOT of solar activity this past week.  Growing up, it FELT as though I had almost no connection to the space program whatsoever... but the reality was rather different.  For starters, Dad has quipped that the refrain of this song described one of his jobs: