Of the mind
Monday. 6.2.14 11:30 am
I ended the semester with higher than a 3.0, which was nice. One of my final grades (statistical mechanics) was a 64.01, but the range for a B was 64-80 or something like that. Such is my life.
I went to Utah again for about a week. We would hike all day, then come back to a small condo in Moab to eat and sleep. One day we were supposed to go backpacking and camp right next to the Green River, but the day of our camping reservation it rained/hailed (what awful timing) so were weren't able to go out at all. No camping for us.
You may recall that on a previous trip to Utah, I lost most of my pictures from the trip. Specifically, I had photos from when my brother and I climbed a mesa over our campsite and it was beautiful. I'm happy to say that I was able to reclaim that particular memory because we happened to be passing our old campsite and I took the liberty of making that detour. Over all, I have about 260 epic photos from the trip, most of which are on Facebook. Check it out, if you're able.
I came back to Atlanta in time for a training program with my church. It was exhausting and convicting. A friend from a sister church in Clemson came and stayed with me, and we were able to spend a lot of time together. I am thankful for his friendship.
As soon as that was over, another friend came from Columbia SC and stayed with me for a weekend. This is a guy I've only spent time with briefly, but he's basically a taller and more-white version of me. We had a grand time, and I am VERY thankful for his friendship. He's great. I actually started feeling insecure around him because it seems like he's just such a cool guy, and I look up to him in a lot of ways. I hope that will pass.
I was finally able to get back to my job, and I've already made significant progress on our project. I'm coding up the system that's going to control temperature in these camera boxes. It's fun! I look forward to spending a lot of time on it this summer, because it's hard to prioritize it during the school year.
I've seen two couples get married in the past week, and this weekend I'm going to be IN a wedding for the first time. Summer, man.
Jordan locked his keys in his car recently. We were waiting for AAA to come and let him in. We were talking about how he keeps forgetting his keys in his car, and he asked us how our minds work.
His is like a stage. It only really allows for one stream at a time, but he has total focus on all the elements and players. Sometimes he just leaves out some of the 'behind the scenes' details.
His girlfriend's is like a series of boxes. Everything has a place, and she can keep several things in the forefront of her mind at once.
I'm not big on psychology, so I tend to have a simplified understanding of how the mind works. The image I have is of the subconscious, which is really the biggest part of the mind, and the conscious "me" that sits on top of that and pretends it knows what it's doing. In computer speak, my conscious self is just a graphic interface, an abstraction layer that sits on top of all the crazy subroutines that keep the system going. It's my subconscious that handles all my sensory input, directs muscle memory, and does basic problem solving, on top of the obvious things like beating my heart and controlling my various glands.
I often feel like I'm on autopilot. I'm one of those guys whose head is in the clouds all the time. I can walk, drive, and even read and talk to people (on occasion) without really paying attention to it. I just let the subroutines handle it, while I think or worry about what the wind blows my way. That means I'm often forgetful, that I rely on habit. I try to break everything down into its simplest parts. Tasks and goals are only easy for me when I understand how to fit them into my subroutines. If I can't, I struggle. I think this is why I found college life so hard, and why I'm so anxious about post-college life. It's too much, too fast. I have so many things that I'm trying to fit into my life, and I can't adapt quickly enough to do it well. On top of menial day-to-day things like studying, work, my walk with God, and other stuff like that, I also have to worry about taxes and maintaining my car and preparing for graduation and being a leader...
I've said before that I didn't understand myself. I saw a problem with how I was trying to handle life, but I couldn't get to the root of it. I think this is the next step. Now I know that my problem is a matter of organization. I still don't know how to change that core idea of my self, but I CAN focus more on integrating new things into my life as they come, instead of trying to solve my problems with obsolete tools.
In the meantime, this song is the best representation of my mind that I can think of. If you can understand that, then you might understand me.
Monday. 4.21.14 9:19 am
I love this guy so much.
He's a quiet kid. Freshman. He rushed with the fraternity last semester, and even though he seemed a little less socially capable, we brought him into the fold. It can be unnerving, trying to talk to him sometimes, because he can take several minutes to come up with a reply, and he speaks VERY quietly. When we chat online, he used to use Emojis extensively, to my amusement.
A friend and I studied the Bible with him, and he became a Christian a few weeks ago. It's all very exciting but that isn't what I want to tell you right now.
The most amazing thing is watching him change. Guys at the fraternity are amazed when he speaks, and he's generally well-liked (even though he's not someone who "fits in").
He's SO humble. He asks questions all the time. He went from silence to Most Inquisitive Man. It's probably partly because he's just more comfortable around us, but it's pretty clear he looks up to us too. He was following me around in church recently. "I'm trying to learn how to fellowship with more people." He regularly texts me to ask how MY day is going, how MY relationship with God is, stuff like that. Man I barely do that stuff. Kid's a boss.
And he's starting to talk like me. I can't help but be flattered.
Do you know anyone like that? Someone who you've sort of taken under your wing? It's such a good feeling to see someone respond to love like that. I don't know what to do with myself; I imagine this is just a small piece of what parents feel like.
It's going to be a great summer.
In other news, some other dude just unfriended me on Facebook and I'm a little surprised.
Saturday. 4.19.14 1:41 am
This me with my campus ministry Tuesday night. Here, we've just baptized two fellows. We did two more the previous week, and another the week before. It's been an incredible semester with lots of growth, ministry-wise. I'm so proud of them, and I'm so happy to be helpful to such a worthy cause. wittle baby Christians. They're adorable.
This is me with my fraternity Saturday night. We've just initiated four guys into the brotherhood. It's a little less than last semester.
I'm struck by how similar greek life (in theory) is to church life. Both organizations strive to better themselves and the world. Both have high ideals of character, are social by nature, and revolve around brotherhood. Both have a "ritual," something that everyone agrees on and that binds them together.
Of course, that's only in theory.
It's getting to the point where people at the college ministry consider me a leader. I've been around the block, at least from a college student's standpoint, and there are around a dozen younger Christians just at my school who need someone to be there for them, to harass or exhort them, to love them. The same way I've been taken care of, and continue to be. It's sort of exciting. But also sort of crazy.
I don't feel like an example. I feel like a joker. But someone's gotta do it!
This summer I'll stay near school, probably work in the lab and help out at church where ever I can. Then it's one more easy semester, and graduation! Oh, joy.
Tonight we had a special "Good Friday" devotional. It was...pretty intense. But super helpful! Helps me keep my head on straight. Definitely looking forward to Easter.
Tomorrow I'm going to the Atlanta Steeplechase. My fraternity is going as a group date, but Walter and I are sort of going as our own double date within the larger date. I've been looking forward to this since I heard we were buying tickets, but now it seems like I'm going to have a fifth passenger in my car on the way there and back. REALLY not excited about a random guy edging in on our personal time together. We can usually spend that time talking about more personal stuff, and it's especially important to me since we're going to be with the fraternity the rest of the time. But, such is life.
I'm going to attempt some computational physics homework, read some scripture, and hit the hammock. Nightio
Wednesday. 4.2.14 11:58 pm
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