The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I'm starting to feel old. This week it's finally starting to sink in that college is ending for me. This Tuesday I went to my last ever Hospitality meeting. I was a graduating senior so I had to come up to the front and they put a picture up on the screen of me that sure enough was my 'most embarrasing' photo ever! (I was wearing a tutu.) I've been systematically hiding this picture since I was 10 and for some reason my family is always able to find it. But I forgive them, because my mom wrote a REALLY nice letter about me, that was read in front of the whole meeting. It really made me realize how much I love my family and how great the memories are that I've had and will have with them.

Tonight was also my last Muster, next week is my last full week of school, this weekend is my last weekend before my last projects are due, etc. So yeah, it's coming down to the final few days...scary; yet, exciting!

“The temptation for revenge must give way to the courage of forgiveness, the culture of life and love must render vain the logic of death.”
-Pope John Paul II

"When you run into someone that you used to date, you either find them totally annoying or enough time has passed that you've idealized everything about them."
-J.D. from 'Scrubs'

"The final estimate of men shows that history cares not an iota for the rank or title a man has borne, or the office he has held, but only the quality of his deeds and the character of his mind and heart."
-Samuel Brengle of the Salvation Army

Monday, April 19, 2004

This week was amazing. I got called in at the last minute to help the Terry Foundation do interviews for new potential scholars. I got to do it once before while I was in Austin, and it was really cool, but this year just blew me away. First off most of these kids are freaking awesome. I swear, I met some people that knew more coming out of high school than most adults I've ever met. They knew what was important in life, they had a positive outlook on things despite extreme hardships and they are looking ahead at life with passion and vision. It really impressed me. Plus, I got to play a little bit in the hand of fate because I was able to directly help the foundation pick some of these kids. Some of these kids came from backgrounds where college was just some far off dream, where they lived off of $10,000 total a year, where their mom shot herself, or their dad left them and refuses to play a role in their lives. I think it's amazing that we can help to play a role in letting them get an education for free, to take and finally play them a card in this game of life that's in their favor.

While I was down in Houston I finally did something that I've been meaning to do for the last 5 years, but delayed my whole college career. I visited my best friend, the wonderful Ms. Kelly Caffey. It was so great to see her, spend some time, catch up, and realize that even though we may spend time away from those that we love, that we never stop loving them. Seeing her was great, and it's helping to remind me that even though I'm leaving college soon that I won't lose those friendships either, despite us all being seperated perhaps for years.

Things I learned this week: Even though people may have everything working against them, they can still overcome with the right attitude and some well timed help. Friends are really friends forever if they choose to be such. My life has been filled with amazing people that God has placed in my path at the right times. I am only where I am because of those that have helped me (Insert Isaac Newton quote). People at NASA are really smart AND really weird at the same time, but they were fun too. I'm glad I'm going to work in a company that doesn't have much red tape. College ends in 3 weeks, but my life is just beginnning!

Finally here is a poem that I found while cleaning my room that is from my English teacher in Germany. It's really hard to read aloud, so go ahead and try it:

A Dreadful Language?

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it's said like bed, not bead-
For goodness' sake don't call it "deed"!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.)

A moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose-
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive.
I'd mastered it when I was five!

Song of the night: Red Meets Blue by Matt Wertz

Sunday, April 11, 2004

"An over-entertained man is a cookie cutter. We must be brave enough to be bored. For without stillness there is no depth." - Gregg Matte

How true those words are. Most of our lives we are constantly searching for one way or another to abate any possible boredom within our lives. We call as many friends as possible before each weekend night, we arrange plans to go on trips, or we record our favorite TV shows so that we have something to do when we get home. Why is it then that we are so fearful of being alone? Is time spent by oneself truly that undesired? I've seen within myself a constant desire to be wanted by others and I somehow think that this is both important and can be satisfied by being busy doing one thing or another. How long will it be though until I not just know, but am willing to understand, that my joy in life will never be dependent upon another person? Momentary happiness may come from being around others or receiving praise for what you've done, but the joy of life can only come from something beyond what this world has to offer...something that I strongly believe can only come from God via Jesus' sacrifice for us. I've determined that I need to be willing to spend more "me time" focusing on what is important, rather than concentrating on the best way to slowly let my mind grow weak by constant distraction. Focus on the pain, focus on the joy, and focus on what I can do to become a better and stronger man.

In other thoughts of the week, what are those dreams that we're meant to pursue? Should we continually attempt to shoot for the stars and risk failure with each shot or should we shoot just above the horizon and achieve something great, but not as lofty? Alas, I'm in a bit of a quandary, for to take on one set of dreams it means to lose out on another. There never is truly an opportunity in this life that is without cost. What is the limit that we're willing to pay to entertain our desires and hopes? I've determined that it's worth shooting for the stars, to send my grappling hook in that direction. But what if I DO catch something? Should I pull it in and risk altering my course? Or should I simply acknowledge that yes, it could have been caught, but I chose my current course? Then again, what if only failure is met, will it be worth the rejection? Regardless, I think the potential rewards for most of our grandest dreams far exceed the potential loss in their rejection.

On the non-serious side of life, this week was Shack-a-Thon. I love this one week out of the year that people build shacks around the MSC and live in them for a week. This year was a little bittersweet, because I knew that it would be my last chance to do it. But it was SO much fun, I've missed being a part of life on campus, and I met so many new people that are truly wonderful, and deepened my relationships with some of those that I already know. I've discovered that my greatest joy seems to come from doing some sort of manual labor. I know it sounds weird, but I felt like such a real man after spending 8 hours building a shack, beating nails into wood, and constructing something that once didn't exists, but thru my hands and sweat it was forged into existence. I really want to learn how to be a blacksmith later in life. I think it'd be so awesome to take a raw piece of metal and form it into something that has a purpose and is beautiful. Back on topic...this week was great, involving very little sleep, but a whole lot of fun. And I hope that some of the relationships forged and grown continue to develop. The coming weeks are going to be a little tough though, because senior design project stuff needs to be completed and the working model is still a long ways off. I can't believe it's only a month until I graduate! Crazy!

Tip of the week: Don't eaves drop on a conversation that you aren't supposed to be a part of.

“Don’t let one thing lead to a mother” - Anonymous

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Nothing makes one feel younger than seeing old friends. Today was the Freshman Leaders in Progress (FLIP) reunion, and I almost didn't go because I figured I would be the oldest one there (I was the only FLIP '03). But then I came to learn what I've really been missing. I've felt so old this year, like I should be dying or something. I feel like I'm the college guy that's practically in a nursing home for the retired students.

But I realized something this weekend. I'm not old at all, I'm still a fresh young man, who's full of energy and hopes and dreams and aspirations. I have SO many goals in my life, I'm full of excitement for my future, and I've made a wealth of friends here at A&M. But it's just a matter that it's hard to keep all of those things in perspective for me where I'm living right now. There's so much emphasis on the fact that I'm "at the end" of my college career. But I think I've lost sight, that this is really just the beginning. My life is about to begin, my education is almost complete, I'm going to go and find where my place is in this world. I've met/made friends that are wonderful, people that I know will be there for me if I'm willing to ask, and I've got a God that's strong enough for me to depend on regardless of how I feel!

So bring it on world! I'm ready for you. I've loved this school, and I've loved the people I've met. I've learned what I need to, and now I'm ready to move on and make my mark!

"Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)

Saturday, April 03, 2004

I just went to see the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and it was one of the best films that I've seen this year. It was so beautifully done, and covered an out of the ordinary topic in a light that was interesting and understandable at the same time. I love movies like ESSM that show the nuances of the workings of our own minds. There's so much in there that is stored away, so many memories of good and bad. All of those things making up who we are, who we love, and what we want to do. By changing one little thing, how much could we change our entire being? Or does fate really come into play in our lives forcing us into certain paths regardless of the amount of free will that we try to throw in fate's path?

"There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live."
-Edmond Dantes in Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas