Monday, November 24, 2003

The Night Before, Pt. 2

A continuation of the aforementioned issue (or something to that extent)…

As 5:30 quickly approached I had to get ready for a dinner outing with some of my classmates celebrating the debate to be held later in the evening between Al Franken and Ben Stein. At 5:30 two of my classmates showed up and we left for the Chinese buffet. After the fulfilling meal at 6:30pm we drove up to campus to get in line for the debate. It was very cold outside and we had to wait for around 15 minutes before we could get in to get our seats. At about 6:50pm the doors were opened and we quickly got seats up near the front of the arena so we could better see the debaters. At approximately 7:23pm the university’s Jazz ensemble began playing (about 8 minutes later than scheduled). After a 45 minute set the debate finally began (after the re-arranging of the stage and introductions of course). The debate of current political issues fused with much humor went on until approximately 10:10pm. At this time, one of my classmates and I said goodbye to our fellows and proceeded over to the stage to meet Ben Stein and the man, the myth and the legend who is Al Franken. After waiting in line (or in an Arkansas line) we finally got to meet Ben Stein and then Al Franken. Mr. Stein was slightly amused that a Coloradoan was in Arkansas studying higher education nonetheless. Mr. Franken made fun of something or other that I did and this made me nervous, but made me laugh as well. At about 10:30pm we left the building and proceeded to my car (through the freezing parking lot). At 10:50 I arrived home after chatting with my classmate for a few minutes and then driving home. I “warmed” my brain up with some 20 minutes of computer games and then proceeded at 11:10 to begin the process of writing my paper. Some six hours later I have the bulk of the paper written in pen in my notebook now to be transferred to this little black box in front of me.

So ends the saga of the Night Before. Hopefully my procrastination on papers will end here and now, and in the future I will begin papers earlier than I have recently.
The Night Before, Pt. 1

It seems like a bad television show that keeps replaying the same old crappy re-run. Alas, it is something even more horrifying (at least to me). That is that I have yet another paper due tomorrow (or today rather). Graduate school (in regards to classes) has seemed to be all papers. Now, I know that is not exactly true, but in many ways it is not. Looking back on my first semester (or at least 4/5 of it) I can say that I wish I would not have taken 9 credits (3 classes), but rather opted to take 6 credits (2 classes). I should have been thinking “Jake, you are in a new place, you are working 20+ hours a week, and you have been out of school for over a year, so you should take it a little slow your first semester”. Instead I was thinking “Jake, it is school, you like school, you don’t need to adjust, you can do what you have always done and work 20+ hours a week”. I am lost as to my reasoning last August. Oh well, my paper (and I still have 2 due after this one) will get done on time because they have to get done.

In an effort to see where my time went today, I present the following timeline of today’s activities in order to prevent procrastination like this in the future. As for today, I had an eventful day. First, I slept a little late knowing that the library opens up at noon. With that knowledge I allowed myself some quality time vegging before getting to work. Promptly at 1:00pm I went to the library where I got some quality research and reading done. At 3:45pm I decided I needed a break and went to the Union to talk with some of my classmates about the plans for later on in the night (we will get to that in part 2). After about a half an hour of shooting the breeze we all decided we needed to get back to work on our respective papers. After then I went to my office to catch up on a few things for tomorrow and hopefully begin writing my paper. What happened when I got to my office? You guessed it, I did not begin my paper, but I did get some catching up done. At around 4:45pm I went back home to get ready for the night’s activities and hopefully get started on my paper (yet again). To no avail I did not start my paper, but this time I really did not expect to.

More to come later during my next writing break…

Friday, November 21, 2003

Almost Thanksgiving
I have one more day of class and work before I get to go home for Thanksgiving...yay!!! Very exciting. It has been a long time since I have seen my parents and my brother and been to Denver. And I get to spend some time with Jenn! Yay!! I am so in need of time away from school. I love school, its been a blast, but my brain (and my body) are in dire need of some rest and some fresh mile high air ;P.

In other non-related news...the new CD from Dido Life for Rent is really good. The beats are so very smooth, but that is what you get when your brother is one of the geniuses behind Faithless.

Anyway...that is it for now. Since there is a paper to be written this weekend there will be a couple more posts I am sure.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Paper time once again

Always with the papers. I'er a week go by without a paper due. Oh well. It will get done. Why? Because it has to. However, I have been noticing that this is the first time in a long time that my level of stress and anxiety have been affecting my health. I definetely need to change that. I am drinking a lot less coffee and trying to eat more veggies and fewer carbs and fats and sugars. I got to do it this time.

Currently I am reading Raggamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. This book is absolutely amazing. I've never heard grace explained so well. Reading this book has really made me feel that I am not alone with sometimes being "down in the dumps" and unsure about things. I guess I needed some reassuring that it is ok to be a Christian and not be perfect. Now, I don't believe that according to the Bible one must be perfect to be a Christian. Christ did not hang out with the "perfect" kids, he hung out with the skaters, drunks, nerds, geeks, punks, hobos, hippies and other assorted "un-cultured". As I've already mentioned, I fit more into the groups of people that Jesus hung out with, than your typical "TV Christian" (i.e. those who are/play Christians on TV). Yup, I have faults and I sin (even though you may be saying to yourself, "Jake, you do no such thing!"). Am I proud of these things? No, (well I do enjoy some of my faults...i.e. slacking off can be loads of fun...especially on a night like to tonight when I have a paper due tomorrow). However, I can be sure that God loves me despite my slackishness. He loves me despite the mistakes I make, or when I feel as if I want to curl up in my bed all day because I am depressed. As long as I remember that He is there for me always. As long as I remember to turn to Him (though I may forget sometimes). But in all reality what matters is that the Grace of God belongs to all of us who want it and even those who do not. Ok, that is probably enough rambling nonsense.

On another note, this weekend I saw Matrix: Revolutions. I liked it better than the Reloaded but not as much as the original. I also watched The Truman Show for the first time in a long time. I think Jim Carrey is an amazing actor, and I think the movie makes a really great point. Especially now in our world of "reality tv".

...back to the paper...

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Last night as I was sitting down at my computer to update the blog I fell asleep. Yes, I fell asleep at the computer and woke up about 20 minutes later to a phone call. All I can say is I am too exhausted. I have 3 papers and 2 presentations due next week. All my body wants to do is sleep. Wow...I hate stress.

Santa Fe was great, got to see Jenn, got to eat loads of green chili, got to hang out with a really good friend, and meet some new people. I think I may have overdosed on the green chili though. At least its good for you. I also had a lot of thinking time. Although I drove with another person, 24 hours in the car gives one a lot to think about. Maybe I will write about some of that stuff later.

Must get back to the grind.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

On the Road Again
Once again I am heading out of town. It seems as if I leave all the time...but that is not the case. This time is heading to New Mexico for a conference...YAY! I feel so professional now that I can go to a "professional conference".

Well I better get back to my homework, so I can leave bright and early tomorrow (ok, dark and early). Off to Santa Fe I go.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Quick Note
So a quick note or two as I "study" (aka mess around on the internet because I don't want to study):

First, Liz has a great entry from a few days ago. All I can say is WOW!

Second, for anyone who doubts my loyalty to my home state I say this, "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver should be the state anthem because it adequately describes the feeling one gets from being in the Colorado Mountains, and the song, unlike our current state anthem "Where the Columbine Grows", actually mentions the name of our state. Also, as all Coloradoans have probably seen at one time or another, even the worst singer can sing "Rocky Mountain High", that is more than we can say about "Where the Columbine Grows". We could do no greater honor to one of the greatest folk musicians of our time then to make this wonderful song the official musical representation of our state. Oh yeah, the Denver Broncos are the greatest football team of all time and I cannot stand the Detroit Red Wings. I think it is now clear where my allegiance lies.

Third, Michelle talks about snow. I never thought I'd say this, but knowing that it rarely snows in Arkansas makes me a bit homesick for the snow capped mountains of Colorado, specifically those of the San Juan range.

That is all.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

El Dia De Los Muertos

Another Halloween has passed and the world now seems a bit quieter. Once Halloween passes it seems to me that winter is now upon us. Halloween has always been the official end to autumn for me, although I know that technically that is not the case. I believe today is the official Day of the Dead or El Dia De Los Muertos. Like Halloween, the Day of the Dead has always been a holiday that absolutely fascinates me. I think I can trace much of my fascination of Halloween and El Dia de Los Muertos to various short stories by Ray Bradbury. He is the only author I have ever read where I truly feel that I am in the story. Since many of his stories deal with Halloween or at least a hint of the supernatural, I am sure this assisted my fascination.

Today I took a drive through some of the most beautiful mountains I have seen in Arkansas. This part of the Ozarks are called the Boston Mountains. I guess these are the most “rugged” of the mountains in the Ozarks. I also drove through historic Van Buren, Arkansas. In one sense Van Buren, like many small American towns I’ve come across in my limited travels, can be considered to be “Main Street America” off the top of my head Hays, KS in my opinion is also “Main Street America”. I think it would be awesome to travel to small towns, meet some of the locals and then write about the town.

Well then, I believe it is time to go, after sitting in front of the TV watching the marathon 5 hour football game between the Razorbacks and the U of Kentucky I think my brain is a little fried. Thank goodness the Hogs won.