Friday, September 29, 2006

The first round of tests

I had my first German test last Friday, and then tests in both Geology and Geography on Monday. My results were:

German - 94%
Geography - 84%
Geology - 97%

Since my knowledge of Geography has always been embarrassingly limited I thought it would be a good idea to take a Geography class. That might not have been the best idea I've ever had, but I'm pretty sure I can do better than an 84% next time. My attention was split between Geography and Geology this time. I was much more frightened of Geology, so I studied it to death and ended up blowing the test away. I've never gotten such a high grade in a science class in my life. I always figured science just wasn't my thing, but I may have been wrong about that. I'm wrong about a lot of stuff, and often.

My first Philosophy test at UT isn't until the end of next week. I think I'm starting to lose my passion for Nietzsche, and that makes me sad. It also makes me second guess my decision to study German, but I have no intention of ditching my German studies now that I've gotten started. I think I may take both French and German. If I had more time in my schedule I would study Latin as well, but it has occurred to me that I might like to actually graduate at some point, and move on to grad school. Someday I will study Latin. And maybe Greek. And perhaps Spanish. Japanese might even be interesting. As an undergrad I will narrow my focus to German and French. I've contemplated minoring in something but my interests are so broad that I think a minor would be really limiting. Strangely enough, it would not be very difficult for me to double major with Psychology. I seem to have unconsciously accumulated a lot of credits in Psychology through the years. The thing is, though, I'm not even sure if I really like Psychology - I just know that I'm good at it. Anyway, as for now I am sticking with just the Philosophy major. The classes that remain aside from core requirements will represent the scattered nature of my interests. Perhaps some Literature courses, a touch of Classics, some Art History. I'm not sure what else yet.

I'm started to get involved in a couple things on campus. I went to one meeting for Philosophy club, and didn't like it a whole lot. Some of the people were interesting and had some good things to say, but there was also the presence of the worst kind of philosophy major personality - the pompous 20 year old pipe smoking passionless analytical conversation hog. I actually felt physically ill for days after hearing some of the comments made at this meeting. Anyway, I suppose I should try going again but I'm afraid of how I might feel afterwards. An activity I feel less ambiguous about is being part of the support staff for UT's literary magazine, the Phoenix. I went to my first meeting for that on Wednesday and overall I liked everyone there and had a tremendously good time. I forgot how much I enjoy criticizing other people's creative efforts.

There's another organization I'm thinking of becoming involved in, but I'm not going to talk about it until I really do get involved. I'd also like to join a choir, but probably not on campus. Maybe something Unitarian.

This post is becoming extremely long. This is what comes of not posting often enough. When I do post it becomes a manic outpouring of writing that I hadn't planned for. There is however, one other thing I want to mention that has been going on with me lately. I've been realizing that a lot of the products I purchase come from companies that engage in animal testing. I'm going to stop doing that. It's astounding how much regular everyday stuff is tested on animals. I can't believe it never occured to me before. From now on I'm going to be more careful about what I buy. I've been doing a lot of research and finding good alternatives for things I use regularly. I think I'll feel a lot better once everything is replaced. Don't worry, I'm not going to join PETA or anything. I still think their practices are unethical, although I must admit that their website is a good resource for finding which companies do and do not test on animals. Since I'm an animal lover I think it's time that I start acting like an animal lover, and less like a typical American consumer mindlessly purchasing things without giving a second thought to how they're produced.

And, speaking of animals, we are thinking of adding another to our family. Nik wants a puppy, and naturally, I want a kitten, or a cat. What we really need is a house so that we can get both.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I think I can actually do this

My classes at UT are seeming a lot less intimidating to me now. I've been working with the CD that came with my Geology book, and it has helped tremendously. I'm pretty sure that I nailed the first quiz in lab too. German is very demanding, but I think I'm keeping my head above water. As long as I never let myself fall behind I'll do allright. I think that's what happened to me when I took French in high school - I fell behind and could never catch up. I wish I would have taken high school seriously, but I'm not big on whining about the past. I'm more into doing the best I can now. If reincarnation exists I'll take high school seriously next time. In fact, I think I'll be a straight A student from first grade on. Either that or I'll come back as a starving orphan in some underdeveloped country, or a bunny rabbit. I think bunny rabbits know stuff.

Nik and I went to the Tennessee Valley fair last night. We rode on lots of rides and had a really good time right up until that last ride. That last ride was evil. My hands were shaking when I got off of it and I felt terrible for hours afterwards. It reminded me of what my life used to be like before I stopped drinking. Blah. I felt so horrible I wanted to go straight home after the fair instead of attending the interest meeting for Philosophy Club at UT. I'm really kicking myself for missing that, but I'm going to try to still get involved with Philosophy Club. As non-social and non-conformist as I'm being, it would still be nice to be involved in something.

There isn't a lot going on that I want to be a part of. Lots of Greek organizations, political stuff, religious stuff, etc. I may go to German table on Monday. Nik has a sort of a martial arts class around the same time, so we're planning on going downtown together and then meeting up after our seperate activities to go see Harry Belafonte. I love Harry Belafonte, ever since I saw him on the Muppet Show. He's so full of positive energy. Even with my semi-dark personality, I find it contagious. Nik thought he had died. I told him he must be thinking of Tito Puente. Has anyone else noticed that a lot of people who have guest starred on The Simpsons have died soon afterwards? Purely coincidence, I'm sure.

I tamper with the idea of visiting Germany either next summer or the summer after. Right now the idea of visiting Germany with the very limited understanding of the German language that I have is terrifying, but I have to remember that I'll have learned much more by the time I actually go. The summer programs are six weeks long. I don't think I could handle being away from home and studying abroad for a whole semester, but six weeks might be manageable. Mostly I worry that my cat's diabetes will start acting up again while I'm away. I don't know. It's something to think about.

Overall, life is good, except that I work tomorrow. I hate my job and don't want to do it anymore. Right now I only work on Fridays and Sundays, but I think I'm going to cut down to just Sundays. The only thing that keeps me from quitting altogether is the desire to be able to say that I worked at a certain place for a certain amount of time. I don't care at all about the money, and the work itself seems utterly pointless. A steady work history though, would be a nice thing to have. So I'll hang on for a while, keep my head down for one day a week, and weeks will go by.