Man, I really haven’t written anything in a while. In retrospect, this was definitely not good.
I didn’t have a good reason to stop writing; in fact, there were definitely points in my life in the last years where I should have taken some time to reflect on how things were going, what was going badly, what I needed to improve upon, etc. I think a lot of this had to do with pride — either I thought my life was fantastic, or whatever little problems I had at the time felt transient or minute enough that they weren’t worth recording (in fact, they WERE).
So where am I right now? I’m taking a 36-unit term, which SHOULD be fantastic. I should be owning all my classes, waking up early, and getting tons of outside projects done. Instead, right now I’m behind in 18 units worth of classes, behind in grading, and haven’t done ANY outside projects. This morning I woke up near noon and hating myself for not having my life where I want it to be.
Time for a change! I spoke to my best from high school, Jason, for more than an hour yesterday, and our conversation made me feel even more disappointed in myself by reminding me of how much of my resources I’ve been wasting. Jason wants to do more with his life and his coop, but his school and his workplace just can’t offer more to him.
Next week we’ll talk again, and I hope to have a better progress for him then.
Borrowed 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on Kindle and just started reading it. Haven’t even gotten to the enumerated habits yet and it’s already made me think.
The comparison it talks about is called Personality Ethic vs. Character Ethic. Effectively, it compares saying things with doing things — we can always try to say more things, write more things, promise more things to our future selves to ameliorate a current, bleak situation. Having an “good” personality that helps with interacting with people is sort of important, but it is secondary to having an intrinsically “good” character. But emphasize the personality ethic too much, and eventually we’ll just fall behind in making those promises happen.
Seems like a reminder to turn thoughts into action, and action into habit.
A good reminder! I’ve spent all term making excuses to myself! Really need to start doing things now.
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And I’m a good boy, but I ran out of boxers
Couldn’t do laundry, not enough time
Now I’m free, I’m free ballin’
the creative product of a bunch of college guys running around Pasadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, Alhambra
This will be my first year at Caltech that I’m not taking CS11: ACM programming contest. At one point this year I was actually thinking about taking 60 units of classes: six full-fledged 9-unit classes, CS11, and running, but I quickly decided to drop one of the 9-unit classes because its utility:work ratio was just too low (CNS 187).
I didn’t really consider dropping CS11 because it only involves 2 hrs of work a week, but after failing to attend a single class due to CS143 work, I think CS11 is definitely the next class on my list of to-drop courses. So even though it’s a lot of fun and makes me feel a lot more legit a CS major than I am, it looks like I have to make some practical choices.
Talked with my parents for a while today and I think it was very useful. My mom departed from the old cliches (“do what you ought to do and don’t do what you ought not to do”) and told me something slightly different this time, which is that instead “sometimes you can’t do what you ought to do” — and when those times arise, I should think about what I want to give up. Relinquish. Abandon. Drop. None of these verbs sounds too positive, but in the end it’s a fact of life: we are all knapsacks of finite capacity, be that capacity in the form of energy, time, patience, love, etc.
Just how finite we are is not really something we want to take the time to consider (it’d be rather pessimistic, eh?), but sometimes reality suddenly hits you that 1. You’re not going to fit 60 units in a term, 2. You’re not going to finish Phys Prac Lab before Friday and 3. You just don’t have enough energy to go to cross country practice today. You realize you’re very much finite, and if those 3 things could ever change then there are some other things in life that you’ll need to give up. Subtract 3 more units, and drop it like it’s hot.
I think I’m gonna fail Phys Prac Lab.
And, if I’m staying up this late (waking up for XC in 4 hrs), I ought to have a good reason. But I don’t really.
Frosh are like a tornado. They blew through the House over the course of a week, got everyone excited, and BAM suddenly Rotation is over and we the upperclassmen are tired out and surveying the resulting carnage: a bunch of nubs running around, yelling their heads off, bouncing off walls with their infinite sources of energy.