Three lost years

I am referencing a GLS song called Three days at sea (three lost years),,,

I have changed, I have...

Tomorrow is my first of three labs that I get to teach each week this semester. It should be pretty straight forward - scientific notation, unit conversions, and reading maps. I also begin my semester of spatial stuff with my two Geography classes tomorrow...I think I would rather work with GIS than be a hydrologist anyway...don't tell my advisor!

Too bad GIS work doesn't involve being outdoors unless it is GPS work...but I guess that is on the up and up, and even if its all remote sensing, at least I get to look at air photos. But this is all too long-term for right now, I have to shift back to third gear (a maneuver that is now impossible in my car, at least at mis-matched rpms). I need to take it a day at a time and stay on top of my work. How is that for self-motivation?

I think this will be a pretty easy semester. I hope.


an aside

This is a nice stand-alone entry about some memories I have conjured up. While in Elementary school I considered the group of kids that lived in nearby subdivisions to be my best friends. I would go over there to play on weekends and hang out. There were two subdivisions, the kids from each subdivision didn't really interact with each other, and I lived right between the two on a private drive.

I spent the most time at my friend J's house. Despite being physically shorter, he was the neighborhood kingpin, so to speak, and most people looked up to him. Little did I realize just how low I was on the totem pole with these groups. I can remember going to a pool with them and being abandoned. Sure, I was never the most fit kid, but I was always picked near the end of every backyard sports draft. Any time I had an opinion, it was unlikely to be heard. Even the kids that were younger than me tried to pick on me.

As soon as we moved on to middle school, J and the others quickly cut ties with me as their new-found popularity couldn't be weighted down by having such an outcast friend. I made a new group of more accepting and less accepted friends, and in some ways became one of the kingpins of my new group. This wasn't getting me very far, but luckily I was able to move away after my Freshman year of high school and reinvent myself at a new school. This move was good for me, but I cannot forget my roots.

I recently reestablished contact with J and a few of the other friends from my Elementary days. It was nice to hear from them again, but also evident that they had no desire to even be acquaintances online. I guess it is pretty disappointing that a stigma developed in Junior High can have such a lasting effect on someone's psyche. I don't know if I am talking about myself or my old friend. I guess in a lot of ways I am a little bitter now...and just saddened by how shallow our friendship must have been all of those years. And once there was popularity to be had, what a tarnish I was on their reputations.

I think despite all of this I have turned out fairly normal...If anything it has helped me to see through the facade of forced social situations and helped me to realize the unpleasant and selfish person that perceived popularity can create. I think for a lot of people, they peak too soon and never reach that point again.

At the rate I am going, I doubt I will ever peak. It is more like a gradual plateau. All I know is that I don't talk to anyone that I knew before college anymore, and that is probably the best thing I have ever done for myself. When you are forced to be friends with people you might not otherwise get along with, you are given just that, a forced friendship. Very little is real about it, and the relationships that you make seldom last.

Thanks for that lesson, J, and all of the other people that I was once convinced were really my friends. I wonder how you fared?


A simple rock song courses through my head this morning. The beat mimicking my heart, the guitar mocking my step. My cat purrs on my lap as I write this, wondering why my hands are making noise on the keyboard instead of petting him.

A routine is beginning to develop, yet it is unrelated to my cat or the simple rock song...a routine to carry me through this transition from late summer to early autumn. This year should be good, I know I have the power to ensure that. So much of what we experience is in our heads that you can take the same situation and interpret it in two completely different ways. It is all in our perception and our reaction. I am making more of an effort to control both of these aspects in my life, and so far it has worked pretty well.

Changes in attitude, changes in latitude, changes in elevation, changes in humidity. At least I have a car, can live the American Dream, go to college, make something out of myself. But there is so much that can be made without a Masters Degree...They lie. They make you think that everything worth living for is related to higher education and a career with good healthcare benefits. Don't let them fool you too...The secret to life is to be happy, you just have to figure out what that entails.

Try buying a cat!


And back again

Just like that, another summer gone. Scotland, Rock Glaciers, and now back to reality. Must go to work tomorrow and earn some money. Getting ready for the semester and to teach again...time to relearn what the bulk composition of an andesite is.

Got four games of racquetball in tonight...a good workout, even if the HPER is disgustingly hot and humid. Sort of like Indiana in general, really. I cannot say that I missed the mugginess. Or the increased probability of being mugged. I much prefer driving out in Montana too...cows are easier to see than cats.

I am still cooking some camp meals now and again. Ramen and tuna never tasted so good as when it is eaten at a table. I do miss camping and cooking meals with breathtaking vistas. I miss the vistas. And you can't have vistas without altitude...The way your lungs desperately suck each oxygen molecule out of the air and hand them off to the blood. more seamlessly than at a track meet!

But it sure in nice to be back with my cat...he seems pretty content himself.

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