Math, my foot

The best I can say about this day is at least I’ve finished my exams, and earlier than I expected to. On the other hand, perhaps the extra studying time would have allowed me to actually earn a tolerable grade on this last exam too. Who knows? It doesn’t seem like you can mess up too much on the quadratic formula, but somehow my quadratic formula kept producing -7.39875×10^-6 (or something like that). Frustrating! Also, I tested alone in this room that was adjascent to several professors’ offices. In one a kid named Viktor, who was in my Marine Bio group, was pouring his heart out to this lady about how impossible Intro Bio and Intro Chem were last year; how Marine Bio is impossible; how though he has a learning disability he wants to do it “like a normal person,” etc. Rather distracting, as you might guess, and that was compounded by the fact my prof was also meeting with somebody (door open also). They discussed her troubles with math and he expounded on the many blessings of owing a TI-83… He also advised her to shell out $25 for a new manual when she could just get it online for free (God bless Adobe Acrobat). Somehow I got through the exam and sadly I feel “good” about maybe half of them. Some I didn’t care about – well OK, I don’t actuallycare about any of it – but some I just couldn’t seem to get. I guess I’ll try to be philosophical and say that I’ve done alright on my other exams *cross fingers*, and math isn’t a particularly important thing for me to do well in, so who really cares?

I’m just letting this go. Really. At least I got to take it 6 hours early with the strong demand not to talk to a soul about the exam in conjunction with signing an affadavit to the same tune, namely, “I didn’t cheat and won’t help others do so.” I’m no cheater, so I didn’t really mind signing it… Though it would be handy if somebody did cheat and our prof had to drop this exam grade like he dropped our quiz grade. Incidentally I got a 10/10 on my quiz, so that makes up for him dropping my LAST perfect-scoring quiz. Jerk. He was also rather interested in why his class list named me Kathleen Sullivan and I called myself Kathleen Ferguson. Seems that Student Records has alacrity for some things but not others. My old name keeps hanging around, refusing to die, which is fine because Sullivan is a perfectly acceptable name; I just would like to have this whole name-change thing done with.

Speaking of the whole name change business, last week we sent off our marriage certificate and my passport in a plain old envelope to Charleston to get my name changed on the passport. In the mail! THE MAIL! That’s what they say to do, and I didn’t really think about it until Luke mentioned maybe we should have insured it or something. Now I’m rather apprehensive because I sent two certified, original documents off to who-knows-where by US Postal Service trusting that everything will be OK. Sure hope it will be, because if I never get those back who knows what happens.

Yay, the Twins won. This will be interesting.

– KF –

Still No Mail

I guess life is back to normal – I don’t get any mail, phone calls, emails, or IM’s. I love how I’m so accessable, yet nobody cares to access me! Though I think maybe Mom doesn’t send me mail any more because I borrowed about $50 worth of stamps when I came back here to Worcester.

You know what is icky? Hands! Especially unwashed hands. When you think about how many people pick their noses, scratch their rears (or other things), sneeze onto their hands, and then handle doorknobs, writing utensils, bannisters, and other public objects… well, it gets downright scary. Cause then when I touch that doorknob or bannister I may as well be touching everything they’ve touched, plus whatever they picked up from random strangers off other public objects. Not a subject worth dwelling on, frankly: it’s disgusting and will make you want to compulsively wash your hands. Aforesaid washing is good in moderation but painful in excess.

My ex-advisor said that I used too many archaic words in a story I’m going to submit to the Atlantic Monthly–he said it made the story sound stilted. Does that mean that I’m stilted? I think in these words; I use them easily and with fluency. Why should I be penalized for writing in a natural way? I suppose that’s the course of things: make all writing easier to read so that people enjoy it. After all, nobody would read to expand one’s vocabulary, or for the general interest of a subject despite difficulty! Nope, make things easy and people will like you.

I just finished taking my Geology exam. After studying so hard and making those 80+ notecards, I sure hope I did well. Usually I have this great feeling with an exam (except for chemistry) where I feel like I got every last question right… and then I get it back. Ouch. Anyway this one went alright, though she asked us to define “volcanic,” and that was such a broad question I was unsure what she wanted. Somebody asked and she gave her typical vague, confusing answer. Hopefully my random expostulation gets at least partial credit. But overall I didn’t find it too difficult, and I knew at least part of how to answer every quetion. How is conglomerate rock formed?

Now I only have this one exam left, and I’m so miffed with it! That math prof, why oh why should we have to take an exam at SIX O’CLOCK in the evening?! Granted it gives me all day to study, but who needs that? It’s starting with natural numbers and going aaaalllll the way through how to graph a straight line. He spent all last class about how to graph a line on your calculator; he’s also talked about how to use the Quadratic Formula, the point-slope formula, and how to calculate the area of Massachussets compared to 1 million square acres (incidentally that’s about the size of Rhode Island).

Now I realized I’m writing forever, and saying nothing. Happily I’m in Kristin and Jos’s room hangin out with Kristin! First time in like 2 weeks! Anyway, I’m rooting for the Twins, cause frankly the Mariners disappointed this year. Only team worse than them was the Devil Rays! 😮

– KF –

Dear Lord, What a Night.

I cannot remember a more harrowing night that I have ever experienced. First, I had my whole meltdown as a result of Luke’s comment – an overreaction to him, but not to my whole situation. Hopefully I’ll be able to see Luke online or something today and explain why I got so upset. His comment was the last straw, not the entire haystack. I hope he can understand… I still want to be his friend.

In the background of that was the knowledge that Jess “borrowed” her parents car and took off – to who knew where. This of course was preferable to the Other Choice, but still knowing that my best friend was possibly endangering herself and certainly taking some very extreme action is a hard thing to forget. She promised to call me “when she stopped driving,” and I knew it would be a late phone call. Well, about 12:20 (an hour and a half after I usually go to bed) her mother called sounding very lost and asking about Jess. I talked to her for 25 minutes and told her everything that if I were Jess I would’ve wanted her to hear. At the same time I tried to be sympathetic, because I know it would be very difficult to watch your child run away (though she had her cell phone, so AT&T; could track her anywhere. Creepy) out of sheer desperation. All in all it was a terrible thing to have to witness and be involved in; I was just so glad when Jess called at 2:30 and said that she was driving home and that she’d talked with her father for an hour. I hope they can reach some kind of accord, because what Jess was feeling sounded so sad, so awful, that I can understand why she did what she did. She got to Spokane.

So it was 2:30 by the time we started really trying to sleep. But some time after that – I have no idea what time it was – Eric woke us by shouting loudly and pounding vigorously on our door. “What’s going on?” I wondered to myself. Eric is a very considerate roommate and I had a difficult time imagining him ever waking us at some ungodly hour for a frivolous reason. Well, his reason wasn’t frivolous. Somebody had broken into our apartment through one of the big windows – it was wide open when we got to the living room – and had stolen one of his gaming systems, the Playstation 2. Amazingly, Eric heard the thief struggling with our difficult front door (it’s completely nonintuitive: turn the wrong way and pull towards yourself) and went to investigate. There was a nondescript black man standing there with his PS2 and its controller. Naturally Eric asked, “Who are you?” to which our thief replied, “I’m Rich, let me out.” He kept repeating this while Eric insisted he give the PS2 back. Eventually “Rich” gave it to Eric, who then let him out and immediately woke us to explain the situation. I went with him to look around, and sure enough one of our big windows – the one with the hard-to-kill plant – was wide open and blowing wind in. Eric closed and locked them, so the apartment was sort of secure, but there is no lock on his small window, so it’s still penetrable. Also if anybody really wanted to they could easily break the glass of any window and get in; that’s the nature of a basement apartment. We decided to pass on calling the police because all the thief got away with was a $10 controller.

Up to now we’ve felt OK, fairly safe, despite the fact we’re in Worcester. Ian and I had considered buying some renter’s insurance just on the offchance that something might happen; now here it has. I feel completely violated. When I got back to Ian and my room I began shaking uncontrollably and felt horribly nauseous. Somebody broke into our apartment! On top of everything else that night, on top of my Geology exam tomorrow, something true and BIG happens, though thank God he didn’t get anything really valuable. I’m so glad Eric investigated: if he hadn’t, we would have just found the open window and missing PS2. I still shake when I think too much about it (but maybe that’s from exhaustion; I didn’t sleep much last night, as you might guess). If you’re interested in Eric’s take on this, I suggest you check out the Punch Drunk Momentalism link to the left; it’s the second-from-top post as of now.

And now I have to go to Clark, be alone, and act normal. Dear Lord please give me strength for this day. Without you I do not know how I will survive. Please help me to be temperate and calm, loving to all people: a vessel through which Your light may shine. I’m terrified.

– KF –

Hate Everything!

I hate life. Jess is gone, I have no friends, I am a stupid fat loser and can’t even succeed in school. I am too serious and sincere; everything I do is laughed at. Screw you Luke, I can’t be funny all the time – screw you all. I’m not some stupid WPI guy who thinks quoting Strong Bad is the epitome of cool. I hate living here because I can’t make any real friends. Everybody hides behind their stupid hilarity, making each other laugh – well they’re all weak. Making a joke is the weak way out, it’s keeping everybody at an arm’s length. I can’t live this way much longer, never seeing my Clarkies and trying to be funny all the time. I AM NOT A FUNNY PERSON, I cannot laugh all the time. I can barely find reason to LIVE, why should I try to make you like me? I can’t, obviously, I’m too serious – I hate “funny people”!

This is no way to live. I want to curl up and hide forever, but I can’t because there’s too much life ahead of me. Maybe something better will come along; who knows. But I never want to hear another clever wisecrack again, because – here’s the truth of the matter – I am too stupid to keep up. No matter how hard I try I constantly fail, so why should I keep trying? I don’t care what it means, I am never going to try to make you like me again. I will be alone and die alone because I can’t live alone. I will fail my exam because I was trying to be “fun” and “sociable” and look what it got me: another affirmation of what a freak I am, always looking at life seriously and “never able to take a joke.” Haha, just a joke. WELL THINK IN THE FUTURE BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH! Good Lord, does anybody think anymore? Life isn’t all about making other people laugh, it’s about forming meaningful relationships! How meaningful can life be when you can not speak all summer and get right back to your pathetic shallow talk about class and games and the Internet? But then, who really cares? In two years I’ll never see any of these people again, so why should I even try? …but I do, because I’m so lonely I think I would be happier if somebody abandoned me in the Cascades with only my Leatherman.

Oh I know it was only a joke – only a joke, no harm meant! Most innocent of jokes, hahahahaah. Just like every day for the past who-knows-how-long. OK, fine, a joke, but it’s been enough jokes! Nobody cares, but I need real relationships. Yes they include joking, but they include normal talking too, talking about things that are sad and things that are worrisome. That’s fine, I know that I’m not remotely interesting when it comes to that type of relationship. I never have been, never will be. But all I know is I can’t stand this “I’m your friend but all I’ll do is kid around” business. Enough, I’m not playing that game anymore. I’ll come across as sullen and difficult maybe, but who cares? Nobody, because I’m not worth investing trust or caring into – just an endless well to dump laughs at and maybe one will make a little plinking sound when it hits bottom. The bottom’s just fallen out.

– KF –

Too Long!

The field trip took forever. F-O-R-E-V-E-R. The ride there didn’t seem too long, though we left at 3:00 and got there at 4:30. The ride was, for the most part, quite lovely especially when we got into the town of Nahant itself. So cute! Its city hall was no bigger than Jonas Clark, but far prettier. All the houses were well-maintained with lush lawns and sweeping trees. The sun came out and warmed everything up, and when we finally got to see the ocean my breath was taken away. It’s been long enough that I haven’t gotten away from Worcester I almost forgot New England is renowned for its beauty. Sadly, my pictures don’t do it justice (if I knew how to upload pics to show you, I would, but I have no clue how so that’s that. For now.)

Turns out that the best part of the trip was getting there. Actually we spent probably 45 minutes poking around on the beach, looking in tide pools and picking up rocks to identify various organisms. Some people found crabs – fairly good sized ones – but we only saw tiny Green crabs. We saw lots of Ascophyllum nodosum, various Fucus spp, lots of Littorina of different types, some Chondrus crispus, a few Carcinus maenus, and some Pagurus spp. Of course I’ve left out sea stars, barnacles, muscles, and rocks. Lots of rocks… maybe shale, but maybe some type of igneous: dark, heavy, and broke along even planes; extremely weathered, with big cracks that look like the weathering from freezing water expanding as well as the weathering from wave and organic action.

You may be bored by all these names (and their links!), but I tell you what – we spent may good hours shoving aide that Ascophyllum and Fucus, counting barnacles and muscles, putting little snails into that tupperware container and getting excited because we found a crab in our quadrant. My knees began hurting after about 15 meters (we went in 1-meter increments), and finally at about 20 meters they just plain wouldn’t straighten up. I tried to stand, and they wouldn’t bend – too much pain. Suddenly I remembered why I quit cross country, and why I need a new back. My group worked hard; we’d chosen a long stretch of beach and started in a section way above where anybody else started. At about 6:00 the sun set; by 6:30 it was getting pretty dark; by 7:00 we could hardly see. Even so, we hadn’t finished – so we gave up. We picked a fairly interesting stretch still five to ten meters from the water, picked it over, and called it quits. We didn’t even get to see the tunicates, which are eurochordates, the closest thing to a chordate we could’ve seen the whole time (barring ourselves). The big excitement for the guys of the class was one point when a TA found a couple of crabs “doing it,” and all the males rushed over to watch. Typical.

So we left a little after 7:00, but didn’t arrive back at Clark until just before 9:00. By then my muscles had set, my rear hurt, I was exhausted: so I walked to E’s house (unmolested, happily) and he drove me home. At least we got to chat a little bit then, but I feel like I don’t get to see him often enough… Our relationship reminds me of the Mark McGuinn song Always On the Run. Anyway, that was my field trip. I have another one possibly next Saturday, but it’s optional for Geology so since it’s from 10:30 – 6:00 and doesn’t pertain to geology, I think I may forgo that thriller. I have to go see my spacey prof some time Monday anyway, I guess I’ll just un-sign up then.

I wish I had some friends.

– KF –