Thursday, July 03, 2003

i bought something called "maple pecan crisp, peace cereal" at whole foods market (they have no major brand cereals). on the side of the box is a picture and quote from Yogi Bhajan. sales of peace cereal support "peace jam" seminars. i felt slightly unlike myself pouring a bowl this morning. but my angry thoughts throughout the day were curbed by memories of what i ate for breakfast. for example, a dude sat behind me in physics with a cocksure way of speaking out answers to the professor's questions. he was correct only about half the time. when he was right, i could hear him chew his gum in a way that seemed to suggest that he thought he had kicked everyone's ass. i thought, "fuck it, i could get mad at this guy, but i ate a bowl of peace cereal this morning."

anyway, in four weeks we've gone from coulomb's law to inductance. too much too fast, actually. in general, i now realize that three dimensional geometry, for all its perils, is the easiest way to understand the forces that affect charged particles. electric forces point straight. magnetic forces encircle. an electric field flows through the length of a conductor creating concentric magnetic fields. wrapping a wire in a loop can cause it to trap energy in the fields. a novel idea. i had previously thought that only batteries could store energy. with a steady current, energy can be stored simply by putting conductors into geometric arrangements. coiling them (inductor) or creating sandwiches for the electric field to go in (capacitor). buttons have capacitors under them. by writing this, i'm attempting to demonstrate that i'm comfortable with the subject matter. in actuality, i struggle with it, and when i take my eyes away from the book or the professor, i stop thinking about it immediately. when walking down the street, i have to force an equation into my mind, such as the biot savart law, and see how long i can keep it there until i start thinking about something unrelated. part of me hopes that i can actually become a good electrical engineer. i've realized that i need to LIKE it, and so far, there is little correlation to what i evidently like to think about. i've tried not to be hard on myself, it doesn't do any good. however, i like to think about the meaning of life, and myself, like my life is still a fantasy, even though i'm almost 32.

tomorrow is independence day.