Archive for September, 2001

The beat goes on

Tuesday, September 25th, 2001

Well, I’m slowly getting things settled into a groove these days. The past month or so has been remarkably weird, difficult, busy, fun, tragic, sleepy, stressful, happy, and blah. I resumed classes yesterday and they went pretty well. I’m really used to being busy all the time, and lately I’ve actually become much more accustomed to it. I used to always get upset about being scheduled all the time and never having and “free time” to myself, but what I’ve come to realize is that although I may be busy, I’m doing the things I choose to do and the things I want to do. This is my life and although it may be hectic and crazy sometimes, I do it to myself for a reason. So bottom line is that it’s good. I think you have to like this style of lifestyle if you’re gonna be an RA; comes with the territory.

Once again I’m back at work here at the FITT Center. We’ve moved locations from Room 18 to Room 19. Woo-hoo, I know, but this room is much nicer. It’s bigger, it has a nicer layout, and we have windows! Two of them! I can tell that yes, it is indeed still raining outside right now! This makes me happy. I had my second day of Linear Algebra this morning, and that went well. Math is math. What can I say? My other classes look good as well. It’s still a bit early to tell what to make of them yet, but stay tuned for more info on this front later.

In other news, RA life has been good. I really love my staff: Anna, Cindy, David, Drew, Dylan, Lisa, MaoMao, Megan, and Thomas, you guys are the best staff an RA could ever want! I don’t know what I’d do without these guys! We are such a tight team, it’s amazing. I’ll hopefully have a new staff webpage up soon. I’m trying to get the Housing department to give us some web space for us and our halls to have a web page. That would be really nice, and I think a really good way for everyone to come together on the net. I run the Cyber Hall, so it’s definatly up my alley. My residents are really great too, even those who are returning from last year, and think that since they already know me they can get away with flicking me shit. It’ll be a fun year, I can tell. I’ve already made Shelby feel bad about leaving by telling her about all the good times we’re having. I especially like the new cafe they put in next to Grab ‘n’ Go. It’s great! They have grilled cheese, steamers, sodas, sandwiches, soup, etc. Best of all, they’re open late! Finally, a place we can get hot food after 9:00!!! This also makes me happy.

I’ve also been working as a private consultant (Brunner Computer Services– Call me!) for Mortier Engineering lately. I haven’t been there in years, and it was fun to go back. Not a whole lot has changed, and that was part of the problem. Some of the computers there are still running Windows 95, if you can believe it. But not to worry, we’re moving along, and things are coming together there. It’s a good project.

A few other things going on right now of a more personal nature not to be discussed here. For those who know exactly what’s up, just know that I’m still hangin’ in there, and that I’m doing OK. Things are weird and tough, but not impossible. Nuff said.”

Goodbye training, hello life

Wednesday, September 19th, 2001

It’s been awhile… Training ended on Monday night, and Tuesday we began helping with check-ins, which continued in full force today. It’s been quite a time since the last time I wrote here, so I’ll try to cover it as best I can. I’m starting to write this at 23:49, but I have to go on rounds at midnight, so I will most likely come back and finish this later.

The day after I wrote my last entry I went with the entire Housing staff out to Camp Lane, which is out on the way to the coast. It’s a beautiful camp and we all had a very productive and fun time there. We did teambuilding exercises, we talked about our goals for the year, we discussed programming, and we played games like frisbee, capture the flag, volleyball, and basketball, and it was all-around a wonderful bonding experience. Contrast this with what happened the next morning of the retreat; Tuesday. In the middle of breakfast we were suddenly all told to meet with our staff. We weren’t told why, but we could sense something was wrong. After we assembled in our cabin, our Complex Director, Drew, told us what had happened in New York and the Pentagon, and let me tell you I’ve never felt such shock and disbelief at hearing news as I did that morning. All sorts of descriptive words flooded to mind about how I felt, but I can’t remember any of them now. I remember feeling numb, sad, angry, violent, shocked, amazed, and tired. It seemed so unreal, as if in a dream. We all didn’t know how to handle it, but the show must go on, as they say, so we quickly packed up and headed home early. We had the radio on in the van whole way back, and it was a very quiet car ride. We all had work to do when we got back, consoling what residents we had if they needed it, and putting up signs telling the international students to contact their embassies for instructions on status. I was impressed with how our staff handled the situation. We had barely had any training at all together, but we got done what needed to be done. It reminded me of Star Trek II, in how the crew of cadets was pressed into combat by circumstance and fared remarkably well in the ensuing struggle. That just seemed to come to mind. Other than this, I really can’t seem to find the words to describe that day. The situation has been all over the news, and we’ve just had to keep moving through all of it. Now there’s talk of the draft, and that scares the shit out of me. I don’t want to join the armed forces, and I certainly don’t want to be forced to. I like the way things are now, after all we’ve worked for as a staff, to have that broken by some war so far away… it’s all just so depressing and frightening, that I really can’t even think about it. I take some solace in the fact that I’m in college, so they’ll draft other people first, but I hear that they’re starting with people born in 1981! That’s the year I was born!!! Another thing, some of our staff may feel compelled to join up with the armed forces if the draft is instated, and I just can’t take that either. Our staff is a living team, and it just can’t be the same with one member gone. I mean, I want to show the might of our great and powerful nation by proving to the world that terrorists can’t fuck with us and get away with it, but when it hits so close to home, it doesn’t seem as worth it. I was so angry and hateful towards whoever was responsible for this that I felt the need to lash out and make them regret pissing off the most powerful nation on the planet. I wanted to have them feel the full force of our armed power, but now, when it at least seems possible that those forces might involve people I know and care about, and even myself, I am forced to reconsider my rage…… I hate war.

I can’t really follow up that last paragraph with anything so dramatic, so I’m going to leave it at that. In case anyone’s worried, don’t be; I’m fine and I’ll get by all right. I’m just a 20-year-old college student afraid of the Selective Service.

Communications blackout

Sunday, September 9th, 2001

I am now nearly done with Day Two of the infamous intensive RA Training two weeks. Expect not to see me, hear from me, or see updates to this page. I will be very hard to get a hold of. My cell phone will be turned on, but the ringer will be off. I’ll see that you called, but I may not be able to get back to you for some time. They work us very thuroughly here, so even if my schedule says that I’m done at 8:00pm, there’s still stuff for me to be doing on my own (letters, door decs, bulletin boards, etc.), and even so, by the end of the day (whenever that is) I’m wiped out. You’ll also notice that it’s 23:20 now when I’m writing this, and I’ve still got stuff to do, so I’m off. Just a heads up, and I apologize for being so busy, but you know how it goes.

See ya on the other side!

Where did he go?

Friday, September 7th, 2001

Hello again! Sorry for not posting sooner, but I’ve been pretty busy lately. The most important busy thing I’ve done is move back into Carson. Yea! This makes me happy! It’s good to be back with my high speed Internet connection again. I’ve been having fun hanging out with my new staff, and they’re all really cool people. It’s going to be a good year; I’m ready for it! Since us RAs get to move back far earlier than anyone else, and since no one has been living in Carson this summer, we are the only people in the building. It’s kinda weird being all alone in a building built to house about 300 people. Still, I’m all settled in and it feels like home nonetheless. Feel free to drop by and say hi if you haven’t already. My room number is 202-C Carson Hall, and the number to dial from the callbox to get me to unlock the door and let you in is 6-8005. I’ll write more about my fellow staff members as I get to know them better during training next week. Oh yeah, by the way, training starts on Saturday, so don’t expect to see me all that much or even at all during the next couple weeks, cuz I’ll be hella busy with RA stuff. Luckily, I’m not working any other jobs or anything during that time, so I won’t be too burned out, I hope. We’ll see how it goes; I hear training is really intense.

The other thing that’s been going on is much more technical. I’ve recently (Wednesday night) installed Windows XP on my computer at home. This is the latest and greatest computer operating system (OS) to come out of Microsoft’s Leigions of Terror, so of course I just had to have it! It’s really slick-looking and there have been a great many interface changes made. It’s the most drastic change in the look and feel since the change from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95. I’m still figuring things out with it since I haven’t had much time to play around with it yet. I’ve already had two problems with it, however. Firstly, when I installed Real Player last night, something about the combination of the install program and the other stuff I was doing caused the machine to "crash". I say crash is quotes because it wasn’t a hang kind of crash, or a blue screen of death kind of crash. It just wouldn’t do anything, including shut down. I could still move the mouse and even click the start button a browse around and stuff. It started when all my net apps seemed to lose the Internet, then I couldn’t close down Outlook Express. Then I couldn’t restart. Anyways, I eventually had to do a hard reset to get back. Came back fine. Anyway, I just consider that an installation fluke and I’m not too worried about it. The other problem has me more concerned. As usual, the OS seems to be having a problem with my combination of SCSI and IDE hard disk drives. I have the OS installed on the SCSI drive, but it won’t boot from it. Says it can’t find NTDLR or some junk like that. BUT, if I have the WindowsXP CD-ROM in the SCSI CD-R drive at bootup (it’s a bootable CD), then it boots fine. I think this might be related to the fact that the system drive (SCSI) is drive F: and not C:. In the drive manager with XP, it says that F: is the "boot" drive, but drive C: is the system drive. Now, C:, just had my programs on it, but no OS information. What I need is the XP equivelant of the DOS program "sys". I’ll have to bang this out, and I’ll let y’all know how it goes in the end. I’m sure you all care.