April 1 Today was not much of a laughing matter. Last minute issues printing scholarship paperwork. My bags mysteriously not containing key materials. In short, there's a conspiracy afoot. Is /me the fool? Arrived back at school just less than an hour before first class. IHUM this quarter has a new lecturer, and got off to a decent start. However, a variety of little annoying tasks popped up for the afternoon. My very first PWR (Program in Writing and Rhetoric) class was also in the afternoon, and put me to the test resisting sleep. Not that the class was dull, far from it, but six hours definitely didn't quite cut it. The highlight of the evening was, indeed, my quasi-sane bedtime.
April 2 Sleep deprivation yesterday had a bigger downside today. 9AM Physics was nonetheless far more endurable than most of last quarter. Am witholding judgment of the professor, given that in a more alert state, I might be significantly easier to please. Right after physics came my first math class. Then my second math class. Or the second one would have been right after the first one, had not someone kindly changed the room without notifying us. Worked that out eventually, and ready for work on ODEs. Afternoon was first IHUM section of the quarter. Of course, they changed the room for that too, and I managed to get very lost, before eventually arriving. On the bright side, I sure am seeing new parts of campus. Sooner or later, I'll even be able to find my way around without the map! Had an uneventful afternoon, whose high point included getting my music room key, and whose low involved my accidental skipping of dinner. Ah yes, dorm life...
April 3 Up early. Had to finish a little thing for PWR, then quickly go off and practice flute for my lesson. Chapped lips and several days of not practicing have definitely taken their toll. Attended IHUM lecture, (and unusual event for Thursdays, if one examines last quarter), and then my flute lesson. I was all set to go to math discussion, but lunch (after missing breakfast, and dinner the night before) was an offer I couldn't resist. Thus my delinquency begins. After lunch, did a bit of reading, and off for PWR. PWR proved surprisingly enjoyable, though for anyone who reads as many editorials as I do daily, a discussion such as the one we had was bound to be interesting. Another uneventful evening, in which I was mildly productive.
April 4 101 ways to not eat breakfast. Running off to physics wasn't the excuse I'd have picked. Discovered some fascinating crevices in the ceiling, but had decided difficulty following the lecture. Guess that's what reading the material beforehand would have helped. Would have, had I been a tad more motivated last night. Second IHUM section of the quarter found me slightly unprepared (yes I had read the book, not I hadn't read it in the last 5 months). Felt mildly ashamed, but drowned it in an afternoon of fruitless computer mucking.
April 5 I really need not to do this. Procrastinated all morning. Felt bad. Tried to start work in the afternoon. Failed, and felt bad on that account. Then went to the library for the afternoon, to try and work. Aside from the beginnings of my PWR Rhetorical Analysis, accomplished zip. Argh. It's like a vicious circle, and I'm too stupid to see the way out. Not like reading NY Times and Independent editorials is likely to improve my mood. Ended the day on a low note by beating the Command & Conquer demo. For the nth time. At 2AM.
April 6 Got a good solid 9 hours. Which meant breakfast didn't happen 'til around 11. It didn't really happen at all, since all I accomplished was picking up sushi. Stayed away from the dining hall, for reasons not clear to me. Maybe taking shyness to extremes. Started physics review. Tried to plan out my schedule. Realized that it will be completely impossible to attend both math classes I like. In fact, with a lot of luck, I might just survive without having to pull more than a few all-nighters. Time to learn the art of time-management, or pay, I guess. Went to a flute recital given by person I'd known briefly in orchestra. She was absolutely amazing! Made my version of Copeland's Duo sound positively trashy by comparison. Spent afternoon reviewing physics with my dad. Visited the Stanford's tomb as well, and went to a woodwind quintet in the evening which was pretty neat too.
April 7 Went to my (now) two morning classes. Then started in earnest on my paper. Finished around 6PM. Not a great paper, but certainly sufficient for a rough draft. Missed both breakfast and lunch. Ate an early dinner, and then off to flute choir for me. I get to play alto flute this quarter. Was quite frustrated by inability to get notes above D. Turns out there was a massive leak in the instrument, so I can't start practicing until next week.
April 8 Now I see why most people don't take 9AM Electricity Lab. Nearly zapped myself quite a bit, misread the instruments on a number of occasions, but nonetheless managed to obtain the necessary results in the allotted time. Then off to IHUM lecture. Found the day's lecture on the French Revolution quite interesting. True, most of it I've heard before, but the presentation was coherent, and brought together a good number of hitherto unnoticed (by me, anyway) points. Afternoon was spent starting on math homework. PWR class was interesting. Read somone else's paper. After learning he'd written it in 3 hours flat, became extremely jealous. I spent more than twice as long on mine, and his was still better. Ah well, humility... Spent the rest of the evening on math homework. Discovered some interesting things, and others, that were less interesting (like my proof skills are quite lacking). Thought about Diff Eqs as an easier alternative to Modern Algebra. Not for the last time, I'd wager.
April 9 Finished writing out my math homework. Realized I'd missed an important step in one of proofs. Oh well. Can't be helped now. Ran off to physics, then math. Then, spent lunch reading the Communist Manifesto for IHUM. Not nearly as long as I'd remembered, which was a good think. Unfortunately, IHUM section dealt a fair bit with a chapter from our history reference text that I hadn't covered. Got into an interesting argument on the validity of the Marxist analysis of the French Revolution. Guess I'm not quite the Marxist, but I definitely concur on a number of topics. Whoever said: "property is theft" had a very valid point. Afternoon spent on less than profitable pursuits (including SimCity 2000, always a dangerous move, especially when someone pursuaded me to loose a monster on my city).
April 10 Whew. Long dark teatime for my soul (pardon the Douglas Adams...). Flute. IHUM. Flute lesson. PWR reading. PWR class. Physics review. Physics homework. More physics homework. Etc. Not an interesting day, but a full one. Weird, seems I feel much better after the insanely busy days, rather than after the ordinary ones.
April 11 Fridays are nice. Except for morning physics. Nearly managed a significant bike accident thanks to lack of sleep. Neatly avoided sideswiping a skateborder and slamming into another bike. Morning lectures were nearly incomprehensible to my sleep impaired brain. Managed to complete physics homework during lunchtime, and even help a few people with it. Received the comment, "Hey, how do you manage to understand this." Correction. I don't. If it weren't for my occasionally operational memory, I doubt I'd understand anything. Memorization's about as far as my talent extends, and rarely even that far. IHUM section proved uneventful. More Marx discussions. My favorite question remained unasked: is private property essential to a free society. Guess I need to speak up more? Afternoon and evening involved PWR work, Simcity 2000, a little work on my programming project (my distcc wrapper for cc1, which works usually, but fails with odd preprocessor errors at seemingly random intervals). Full day.
April 12 Wow, today was a busy day. Woke up and started on schoolwork around 10AM. By the time I went to Tresidder at 2, the sky was relieving itself of a pretty good-sized torrent. I hate wet feet. Spent the next few hours in the math library, apropriately, working on physics. Learned, much to my surprise, that my uncle was in the area. Had a pleasant evening chat. Following that, went back to the dorm. Spent entirely too much time on trying to finish building KDE for MacOS X. Went to bed around midnight with severe dizziness.
April 13 Tried to get up this morning, and almost puked. The world is spinning like a top, so far as my brain is concerned. Even lying down in bed doesn't help much. Managed to stumble to the bathroom, and later the car. Doctor claims its allergies. To what, I'd like to know. Oh well, have a prescription now. By the evening, I almost felt okay. Okay enough to eat food in the dining hall. Still a bit dizzy and unsteady about the feet, but at least I can move around now without almost vomiting.
April 14 Today was "interesting." No, not in a good way. Still suffering some from dizziness. Had to reorder my classes. Not pleased. Das plan isn't working. Tried to catch up on weekend's work, but without success. It's amazing what the perception of a little movement does to one's concentration. Anyhow, I spent time helping on "the movie", and did a little computer junk. Managed to also get most of my work for PWR written. Need to learn that going to bed at 2AM is baaaad.
April 15 Blech. Felt awful this morning. Partly sleep deprivation, partly general realization that I have a lot to do, and can't seem to concentrate. Well, what else is new? Lemme see. Went to all my classes today, and even managed to get in a little flute. IHUM lecture was about a book I haven't read yet, but nonetheless interesting. Guest lecturer dealt with the emergence of European "liberalism." It is vaguely ironic to realize neo-conservatives have appropriated many of the same ideas to their philosophy. In the afternoon, I went to PWR, having frantically completed my homework in the morning. Surprised at how well my essay proposal was received. It was accused of being focused. Now there's a mischaracterization for you. The last possible focused thing I did was memorize pi, and that would've been, oh, about 7th grade or so. After dinner, went off to the library to work on PWR paper final draft. I think I've overdone revision a little bit. You might call it more of a "redesign from the ground up."
April 16 Much to be done today. Unfortunately, not all of it was accomplished. Physics lecture was definitely not a high point. By math, I was feeling a little better. At least, until we referenced material I'd missed last week. Kinda a pity. The proofs were interesting, but without the background, they made about as much sense as a babelfish translation of a German computer magazine article. IHUM section in the afternoon. Degenerated into a discussion of motorcycle safety laws. Well, actually, we were discussing liberty and John Stuart Mill's conception of it. But still... In the afternoon, worked more or less continuously on PWR paper revisions. Went to house meeting to get info. on the camping trip. Interesting meeting, but by the time it was over, I was pretty much unable to do anything about math homework. Due tomorrow at 4. Should be fun.
April 17 9AM Flute practice. 11AM IHUM lecture on nationalism in late 19th century. Why it worked in Germany. Why it didn't in Ireland. 12 Flute lesson. Was accused of sounding comfortable with my concert piece (concert in less than 2 weeks). Uh huh... Back to the dorm. for lunch. Made a mistake that caused indigestion (I should just learn to stay away from pringles). Finalized PWR paper. Actually am fairly proud of it, on the whole. Math homework was a no go. PWR class spent learning about potential research sources. The work on physics homework for the next 5 hours. Then sleep. Yup, it was one of _those_ kind of days.
April 18 Up in time for breakfast. It's definitely been a while. Scheduled a doctor's appointment for the afternoon. Then off to morning classes. A quick lunch allowed completion of physics homework more than 3 hours before it was due. Cheers. Applause. Stunned disbelief. Decided, owing to questionable health, not to go on camping trip. Not pleased at all. Doctor declared I have a severe case of allergies, which untreated, could get me an ear infection, bronchitis, or numerous other fun things. I think I'll pass. Don't really know why I suddenly have allergies, but not going to argue. Discovered my health insurance doesn't cut it for the pharmacy by the dorm, so had to pick it up in Palo Alto. Went out to dinner with dad there too. Ate probably the spiciest Thai food I've ever had. The aftertaste of pepper lasted most of the night.
April 19 I am, in the words of an illustrious relative, learning how to work again. As in spend prolonged periods of time on school-related stuff. Following a late brunch, took up residence in the library. Remained there, aside from brief interruptions, for the next 6 hours. Managed to do most of my physics and math homework for next week. Definitely feels good to know that Wednesday and Thursday nights need not always be spoken for. Having slight issues with dipoles, and my bike derailor, but otherwise, all is good. After dinner, old friends came over. Witnessed firsthand the addictiveness of flash video games. Laptop turned into arcade station for well over an hour. Went and saw the movie "Bulletproof Monk" afterwards. Was neither impressed nor surprised. If the Chronicle Reviewer actually said anything positive about it, he should definitely be reassigned. Heck, I'd say his offense was worse than Peter Arnett's.
April 20 Woke up later than I should have. Worked on squaring away math homework. Somewhere in there, had breakfast. Three days running of breakfast! Must be picking up bad habits. In the afternoon, worked a bit on physics, and had a nice walk toward the radar. Went back to the dorm for dinner, and heard all about the camping trip from the Yosemite returnees. No fair, they almost made it Half Dome without me! Guess I'll just have to take one of these weekends off and head up there. Day culminated with me reading "Heart of Darkness." A truly great book. I was inspired to some less than cheery thoughts though.
April 21 Gotta love them Monday mornings. A day of many firsts. First first was having a clue in Physics. Yup, ladies and gents, I actually left with the vaguest feeling of knowing what in the name of Cain was goin' on. Wasn't quite so boring that way. Afternoon decided to give me the slip, so I didn't quite get started on PWR 'til quarter of midnight. Still, got some important stuff worked out including who I'm living with next year. Or at least, that's assuming my roommate keeps his mouth shut so the word doesn't get out about what a nuisance I can be. No, I don't always insist on disassembling other people's writing implements. Only when the mood hits me.
April 22 Was dizzy this morning. Not good. Medication doesn't seem to be doing the trick. IHUM lecture raised my spirits a bit. Scions of nationalism, here we come. Did somebody mention lunch? Seems like they did 'cause the greasy chinese chicken did my stomach in. Yay, indigestion. After lunch, finished working on my PWR stuff. Tried to go off to the library to read On Liberty. Unfortunately there's a conspiracy going to cause me to fall asleep. Of course, once I get back to the dorm, I'm no longer sleepy, and so can't sleep for a while. Insomnia for the sleep deprived. Hey makes sense to me.
April 24 Blech. No IHUM lecture this morning, so I got in a good solid two hours of practice. It's amazing the difference between the rooms where I practice and where I have my lessons. Something tells me that I don't suddenly get better when I go into the my lesson. Probably, more along the lines of having a room with actual echo making a pretty darn big difference. Then it was back to the room for PWR prep, putting math homework together, and running off to PWR. Spent the majority of class hearing all about the trials and tribulations of high-school newpapering. Guess nothing really happened at our paper. No shootings, no hazings, no attempts at massive censorship by the administration. In short, no good war stories from my days with the paper. Back at the dorm, had a deluge of ProFros (prospective freshman), and did a last bucketload of Physics studying.
April 23 Would somebody be willing to lend me a little extra time? Would be awful handy right about now. Rehearsed my concert pieces with the pianist at 10AM. Very cool accompanist. Now if I can just hold up my end of the bargain. Another delightfully full afternoon, yet somehow empty of a lot of the important stuff. Don't quite know how that worked out. Sigh. Maybe this is what life has to offer. Endless work, yet never accomplishment. Guess I'll find out pretty quickly.
April 25 Well on my way to perdition. Took the 9AM Physics midterm, just so I wouldn't have to think about it any more. Then back to the dorm to finish studying for IHUM. Got sidetracked looking into summer course schedules. Irritatingly, looks like De Anza's the only place with an assembly programming class this summer. A little bird tells me I'll be making daily pilgrimages to Cupertino at this rate. IHUM midterm was curious. Managed to take a question I thought I knew, and horribly butcher it. Probably the worst organized piece I've written since 7th grade, and that's counting this journal. Heh. Doctor's appointment was next on the list. Yay, more medication. Then got in a good 2 hours of flute before dinner. After dinner, wandered around downtown Palo Alto with my dad. Picked up a prescription, invaded the Apple Store, saw some old haunts, and tried to stay reasonably dry. Whew, I haven't been this cheerful in weeks. Couldn't tell you why...
April 26 Today could justly be described as "catching up." Somewhere in the nature of 10-12 hours was spent in the useful pursuite of knowledge. Biggest chunk spent was probably by me catching up on a week's worth of math. Still, all in all not too bad. Feel real worn out though. Half a day in the library does that to a fellow, I guess.
April 27 Owing to going to sleep late, I had a little bit of difficulty getting up in time for a physics meeting. Still, physics made a great deal more sense after that meeting. I guess electric circuits aren't so bad, at least if you don't have to compute the current function. Went to my first ever rock concert in afternoon. Actually it was more a combination of things. The first half was a combination of music and readings by various authors. I especially liked a piece entitled "Bangs" by Sadie Smith, whose dry British accent and wit were much appreciated by all. After intermission, They Might Be Giants really got going, and while my eardrums survived, I definitely had doubts at times. Nonetheless, enjoyed the concert to some degree. Afterwards met a number of folks through a friend, and had a pleasant discussion of things technical and less so. Afternoon was unproductive, but very pleasant. In the evening, returned to do work, but primarily read Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. Being as tired as I was, I identified with the book far more than I might have.
April 28 Good god, the weekend's over. No rest for the weary. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just a slave to my own stupidity. I mean, I didn't have to take all these classes. Well, not too productive a thought. Classes in the morning gave way to preliminary research for my paper in the afternoon. I've developed a singular knack for crashing IE on regular websites, so the research process was artificially lengthened. Came up with a huge list of books to check on. Unfortunately, had rather poor luck finding the books, by and large in the library. Some were checked out. Some they didn't have. Some were in special collections, where I couldn't find them. Oh well. Finally started my preliminary topic proposal around midnight. Managed to get about 1/3 done before crashing for the night.
April 29 Spent all morning on, guess what, writing that sainted proposal paper. A little computer misbehavior at lunch meant that the bulk of my work was done in less than 45 minutes. Not bad for a 5 page paper. Inspiration is nice at times. Finished the proposal along with annotated bibliography just in time for class. After class, it was off to practice flute for tomorrow's recital. Then dinner. Then more flute practice. Well at least I know what parts I can and cannot play for tomorrow.
April 30 Wrestled briefly with trying to get the programs for the recital in order. Then skipped class to get some last minute practice in. Then did a final rehearsal, and come noon, concert time. I was first (of 4 different flute solos). Despite heart-rate in the 90+ range, and the driest mouth in weeks, made it through with no major mishaps. Both the Telemann (first movement of Suite in A minor) and the Mouquet (1st movement of La Flute de Pan) worked out well, all in all. Spent the afternoon in IHUM, and then feverishly reading for IHUM, and all sorts of fun besides. A long sort of a day.