Happy Friday!

October 21, 2005

Well, it’s the end of the week once again. Time to figure out how to leave work early and head to the nearest bar. I personally am enjoying a much needed day off after surviving yesterday’s two midterms and an Industrial Advisory Board Luncheon where me and one other student were put on the spot for an hour and a half. The engineers present decided they would ask us our life stories and about all things college, which would have been fine with a little warning. On a brighter note, one of the gentlemen present did compliment us by saying we were the most articulate engineering students he had met. I will be emailing him Monday about a job.

Anyhow, some stories. First, I went to the College Republians weekly meeting wearing my “Last time someone listened to a Bush, folks wandered the desert for 40 years” shirt. I did manage to get under some folks skin about the Miers nomination.

And never ones to miss the chance to express their ignorance, they started making fun of the Reclaim the Night event that is going to be held on campus. One of them, a woman no less, said they should hide out and beat up the women after the event, when the women reclaim the night by walking across campus. Seriously twisted.

Also, talk came up about the proposed state constituional ammendment to ban gay marriage and any form of civil unions. After voicing my opinion, one young lady handed me a copy of “Getting It Straight”, which is put out by the Family Research Council. I told her I knew about the group and their psuedo-science already, but she swore to me that the FRC is non-bias. O-k.

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One thing I’ve realized lately is that I find my self spending more time around those I disagree with. But I don’t go to fight persay; I get in there, be truthful about my beliefs, and engage them in conversation. I don’t lie or hold back, I just use tact. This gives me access to information about the interworkings of their group, and a heads up as to when they are planning events.

Plus, I have gotten more than one of them to admit they aren’t happy with how things are going. And by giving them a chance to vocalize their distaste, I help make it a little more solid. Maybe once they hear themselves say it out loud, it grows.

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Second story. After the luncheon of doom, I had my second midterm of the day. So I found myself sitting on the front row, listening to the roar of all the other folks in the room stressing over the exam. And I realized that I wasn’t stressed at all. In fact, I felt rather giddy. This is my last semester, only eight weeks left. I have taken a thousand exams, and survived every one. Instead of stress, I felt joy at being so close to finally accomplishing something I have been working at for over 13 years.

I know I have bitched about getting an engineering degree in the recent past. But something has changed inside me, something that has helped me realize the magnitude of this accomplishment in my life. I have done something a lot of people haven’t, and I did it my way. I have milked college for all its worth and got others to pay for the whole experience. I am an honors student and a leader on campus. But most importantly, I have come to realize that an engineering degree can open so many doors for me, that I have many more options now.

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There is of course some drama attached to my graduation. Family issues have arisen, mainly involving money and tickets to the event. As far as I am concerned, I don’t care if I have stoles, a ring, or a party. And I don’t care if anyone shows up. All I care about in this is the sense of accomplishment I will feel walking across that stage. Everything else is just mundane reality.

I went to college to be able to better provide for my family. But this one moment, this one experience walking that stage, is completely mine. And I will not let any drama interfere with it. I don’t need stuff, I need the feeling that its over, that I made it. That is all I am asking for.

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Final story for the day. I’ve taken to complimenting people more. People seem to love to point out each others faults. And they have no problem going off on someone for shit the person has no control over. Wednesday me and the wife were at a fast food joint picking up some good old greasy dinner. The girl at the register was having trouble punching in the order, and said she was sorry but she was new. Me and the wife made a few jokes about registers and what not, and let her know it was ok, that everyone has been there. This really seemed to brighten the young lady’s mood, because several people had bitched at her that day.

On Thursday, I was sitting in the organization office at school, talking with the young lady who became president after me. I told her that for what it was worth, I am proud of her. When she joined the organization, she was terrified of being a leader, of having to talk to people. And she was still very much in high-school drama mode. But over the past 3 years she has grown as a person. I told her she had come quite far, and that she will succeed in life because she has taken control. Being older makes me feel like a big brother at school to all these folks. I just want them to know that their hard work is worth it.

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Well, if you made it this far, I commend you. Tomorrow I am going with a friend to hear Dr. Wayne Dyer speak. I have seen him doing PBS fundraising and heard a couple of his cds. I don’t normally like these type of events, but the guy seems to get it. We shall see.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Remember to stop and enjoy it.

Cross-posted at annatopia.com

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