Tuesday, June 07, 2005

nothing's easy

i just found out that a graduation requirement enacted in Fall 2004 requires me to take a technical elective in upper level math, astronomy, biology, or chemistry. i am faced with two options, A) take a third course this summer in fourier analysis that meets at 7AM, 5 days a week. or B) wait to take such a course in the fall and postpone graduation by five months.

the first option would result in a hellish 11 weeks, beginning immediately. i have never attempted more than 7 credit hours in a summer; this scheme would load me with 10 and jeopardize the success of my senior lab. the second option would require me to find a part-time job or internship in the fall, which is probably more difficult than just finding a full-time job.

going with the first option would show that I value my time, that i'm eager to graduate and go to work ASAP.

The second option would allow me to take interesting upper division courses in the fall such as the network engineering lab and the computer architecture course taught by yale patt. i'll never get another chance to take courses such as this. i could also choose an upper division math course i want rather than the only one that is available.

the first option seems more ambitious and bold, get the diploma and turn the page. since I'm 33, this seems smart. this is what i think 80 percent of people in my position would do.

the second option seems more cautious but also more optimistic, READ the page before turning it, and trust that you will make yourself into a stronger job candidate with the extra time.

i think i'm going to push ahead with plan A, take 10 credit hours this summer and begin a real job search now. this means i could relocate, get out of matt's hair, and feel like i'm not backing off. i'll check out the fourier class tomorrow morning. if it looks bad i can reconsider.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

first denial then acceptance

the only issue i have with star wars III is that it was a Frito-Lay retail display at HEB four weeks before it opened as a movie. sith settles like a 100 million dollar layer of nacho cheese on every other serial/saga/shootemup that came before it. we are creating so much stuff for our children to watch that eventually they will never be able to reach bottom. yet, we will hand them a polluted environment, inadequate health care, budget defecits, and an estranged third world.

i don't know about you, but into my 30s my whole existence has begun to feel like a movie. impressive, unattainable things shoot back and forth across the screen but i am compelled, compulsed, to just reach for the next kernel of popcorn. in my case, next piece of odwalla bar.

always in the back of my mind when viewing a summer blockbuster is the sense of seeing a precious resource go up in flames. we witness how wealth, put in the hands of a privileged few, results in packaged messages that can only be heard when sitting silently and obediently in a theater. there is no natural law that requires millions of people to submit to the artistic vision of one man. all men are created equal, and with enough practice we could convert our cineplexes into public assembly halls, and entertain each other with music, lectures, strip tease, perhaps leaving ONE theatre open for film.

then again, my discontent over what is only a free market process is stupid. confining. i will continue going to the movies, enjoying the movies, and rather than allow some doubt to tickle the back of my conscience, i will just say "this is what it is."