September 27th, 2002

pod

Computer mage, the plastic age. Someday all this will be road.

It's been awhile since I wrote anything. It's been a hellishly busy week with assignments due every day and containing more frustration than a monastary providing sanctuary for the Swedish Bikini team during a rainstorm. Fortunatly I managed to press through without fucking up in a significant way and next week is shortened by Lee Bolinger's inauguration as president of Columbia (an unelected dictatorial position.)

Monday was rather dull, which was actually appreciated considering what was to come. The only thing of note that happened was that the president of Mock Trial wandered into my discussion section. Naturally as soon as I saw her my ears perked up since I was planning to find the weakness in any argument she chose to make and exploit it. She made it rather easy on me...arguing that 9/11 had been intended to draw intention to the terrorists' message (Typical apologetic liberal bullcrap) and all I had to do was ask what exact message she was talking about (you know...since...like...nobody ever took responsibility for the attacks and Al Qaeda's goals are certainly confusing at best.) All I can say is that if she wants to hang in a discussion section I'm in she had better offer up some slightly more rational arguments than that or she's liable to get undercut every time. I'm going to be as bitter as can be on this one.

Tuesday was irritating as usual. 9:00 AM class, incredibly stupid assignment to hand in during discussion section, etc...etc... It's not worth getting into except to say that I'm pretty sure I could do with the complete and utter elimination of tuesdays during this semester. They just plain suck.

Wednesday started with a welcome surprise when my American Foreign Policy class was turned into a big group exercise. Frankly I needed a break from lecturing and taking notes and this provided the opportunity. The activity itself was stupid in the extreme, but the break it provided was much appreciated.

After that class I wrote up my paper for Milennial Cultures Japan and went to that class. The first thing that happened there was actually something of an eye opening experience. I sat down near a bunch of people who were talking about how hot it was and how somebody should open the window. Although everybody agreed that the room was unpleasantly warm and the window should be opened none of them rose to do it. Finally I grew tired of their blathering and went over to open the damned window myself. As I returned to my seat I heard one of them say "See! I knew if we talked about it long enough the window would get opened." I turned and looked him right in the eye and said "I'm a realist." One of them replied "That's so passe."

The thing is I don't think realism can ever really be passe. If everyone just sat around in a postmodern mode contemplating the state of the window then the window would remain closed forever. It made me think about the importance of action...any action...in order to initiate change and how we've gotten away from that.

After my little confrontation with the postmodernists class started and it sucked. The novel we were discussing is a great one, White Noise, but so many people had such crap to say and the teacher actually yelled at me for raising my hand in a seminar which is really ridiculous. She doesn't like me at all, although I did get a check plus on my stupid first paper but I suspect that's because she felt guilty for letting her daughter draw on it.

CC was pretty lame, I made a couple of mistakes but I recovered from them. Not worth going into.

So now we get to yesterday. I had my proposal for term paper due and I totally fudged it. The thing is that an annoted bibliography was required, but who really knows what sources their going to use before they start researching? It's a stupid idea. I ended up slapping together a few books and some websites that will most likely be rejected but buy me time to find some actual sources. Still I feel bad about the fact that I handed in the WORST thing I have ever done at Columbia even if it wasn't for a grade.

The rest of my classes went without incident or much in the way of interest. Comparative Politics was taught by the TA and her lack of the ability to speak English was somewhat harmful to my understanding but I don't think it's a class where you need a lot of detail anyway.

I went to Philo again, this time through the pouring rain. Neither Avi nor that girl who I think wants to get with Avi and has been sending me random email this week, including one labeled FOR GIRLS ONLY that, as you can imagine, did not make me happy. This weeks debate was rather lame although Sullivan gave a decent literary exercise poem. My speech fell a little flat, especially since I couldn't help but laugh during my assertion that Dolphins qualified as a mineral, but it was still one of the better ones among the crowd of really bad speeches.

After the club we went to Symposium and sat around chatting. Avi showed up as we were leaving and I convinced him to come along because...I don't know. I just DO things like that without thinking. I actually sat in the middle of the table instead of at an end as is my usual wont to do. The moderator sat next to me and the conversation was decently alright. Everyone else had wine. After this we went to the suite the officers share (A Co-Ed suite, how scandalous) and watched cartoons on his computer. We left at around 2 AM.

A couple things I took away from this experience.

A) Avi is relentless in his gloomyness. He's what I would be if I weren't always trying to force myself to be sociable and cheerful. Yet he is more satisfied in his gloomy state than I am in mine. He seems content to just go out there and be his miserable self. I don't know what to make of that. Is he admirable or pathetic? I think a bit of both.

B) Whatever I need to find...it's not located in traditional college activities. Yesterday I tried again to have a more traditional college experience. I went out drinking with a bunch of kids and then went back to one of their rooms to watch crap on their computer. I have to say that it was a mediocre experience at best. I didn't like the pirated shows, I didn't like the non-interactivity of watching all those shows, and I didn't like being in someone else's house.

I don't know...I made it through the week but what was the point? It was just...getting through. I'm frankly running low on ideas as to what I'm supposed to try to jumpstart my life. I have some more crap to say but I'll leave it for later.
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