I feel like I've been asleep for ___ years...

Happy Christmas! Not happy Hanukkah. Or Kwanzaa. You don’t see Christians going around and saying “Happy Pentecost” or “Happy Ash Wednesday”, do you? Then why do we think that Jews would want us to say “Happy Hanukkah”? Kwanzaa is just made up. By this guy. And for that matter, what about the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. And don’t start with that Christmahanukwanzmas crap, or even Festivus. Sorry, it’s not funny anymore.

Here’s something I was going to post on December 4. I would do the “draft” thing, but then it will post it from today, right? That’s not correct. Or maybe I don’t understand how Blogger works. At any rate, it’s all still true:
I’m done with networks.
I’m a terrible TA. (This is not actually true; I’m only saying this because I’m comparing myself to super hardcore math folks)
I’m awesome at improv. This is not true either, but Sunday and Thursday’s workshops were fantastic.
I love live music. This is not true; usually it’s boring. However, the Hell Yeah the Hellcats show at the Quiet Storm on Saturday was pretty cool. I enjoy their band. (edit: the other Hellcats show I saw, on Friday the 15th, was neat too. It was in a pool hall. Really, it was just a bar, with a big smoky room for doing things. Pool, pinball, etc. Also a projector was showing the 80’s movie “Rad” behind their show. Why? Ehh, beats me.)

But now it is the present! What has happened between then and now?

- I actually did finish Networks, and even got an A in it.

- I finished the rest of school, pulling out a B in Neural Nets. GPA hovers at the just-as-good-as-a-4.0 level (3.8), despite the toughest semester yet. Rock on. Although hopefully it’s all downhill from here. And I mean that in the “getting easier” sense, not the “getting worse” sense. You got to admit, it’s getting better. All the time.

- TA’ing finished off well. Not spectacularly, at least in my eyes. I still felt kinda distant from all the students. But they mostly did well on the final (although tests and grades aren’t the best way to measure anything… more on that later). I don’t think I really got anyone jazzed up about Concepts of Math. I don’t think I really let anyone down either. Maybe by college it’s too late for that? Hopefully my two hours a week with them were relatively pleasant.

- I went skiing for a week! If I’ve been out of touch, sorry. It was The Best. At least, The Best skiing I’ve ever had, and The Best week I’ve had in a long long time. Stayed with my friends from high school, the Gadomskis. They were The Best hosts. I skied for 6 days at 5 places. I meant to only stay 4 days, but thanks to The Best blizzard ever, I managed to get stuck there (woohoo!) for three more days. Did I mention how the Gadomskis were The Best hosts? I mean, skiing with Pete, Brian, and Pete’s girlfriend Sarah (or “Mar”, making her the second person I know with that nickname) showed me that I can do more than I thought I can do, and reinstilled my faith in my enjoyment of skiing. Then we’d come home and Mr. and Mrs. Gadomski (or Guy and Cathy, as they insisted that we call them) would make dinner, and we’d all play cards or a game or something. And we had fresh snow almost every day, including a foot (!) on Thursday. If you’d like to geek out about skiing sometime, let me know, and I will explode with excitement about this trip.

- Christmas happened. Luckily, I managed to make it to Tampa with the rest of my family, then we drove to The Villages, where my grandparents live. We also saw my aunt and uncle. It was nice! We had a nice Christmas yesterday, and it reminded us of how lucky we are, blah blah blah, and then we (and by this I mean my parents) went totally overboard buying gifts, and now we have a car full of stuff that probably won’t fit on the plane back home, and holy cow. I got a great backpack! And a coat! And a bunch of books about Europe! Hey, another third of the First World, here I come!

Notable thoughts I have had:
“this is a cool restaurant, despite the boringness of the food” - inside Red Mountain Grill, in Dillon, CO. The decoration was a combination of Maya, Aztec, Mexico, and Disneyworld. It was the kind of fake-authentic thing that might show up at Crocker Park. Had Crockerparkesque food too. But it was neat.

“when I become a professor, I shouldn’t give students grades” - while reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s a great book. I’m almost done. Note that I soon second-guessed this thought, and then third-guessed it, and I’m still wondering.

“this is a worldview I might be able to buy” - same book. He talks about the grand duality of everything (calling it Classic vs. Romantic) and then talks about how maybe Quality (aka Goodness) isn’t in one side or the other, and it’s not some third prong somewhere else, but instead, it’s the generator of the whole thing. I still don’t quite understand it. But I kinda like it. Also, he brings in Taoism, which always gets me going a little bit. (it’s the “Fiery Furnaces” of the religions, in my mind, which is to say that I like a lot of bands, but the Fiery Furnaces a little more than most)

“why am I not studying Dutch or German right now?” - hmm… a lot. I should work on that. Also, I’m going to cook dinner. More later!

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